Lauren Weinstein writes:
Greetings. What’s the fundamental problem with “cyberspace” — that is, the Internet?
There are various issues to choose from, but if you didn’t put “anonymity” near the top of your list, you’re not alone.
Yet the drumbeat from the self-appointed guardians of our Internet safety — calling for “the end” of Internet anonymity — is growing ever stronger, and with it are increasingly shrill calls for some form of verifiable ID that could (proponents hope) track your every move on the Internet and on every connected site.
This of course is the wet dream both of law enforcement with usually laudable goals, and of totalitarian governments (or would-be, could-be, once-were, or might-become totalitarian governments) who are increasingly cowered by the raw power of communications — not subject to easy centralized control or muzzling — that the Internet provides ordinary people.
So the bogeymen of Internet nightmares, like the “bad trips” of a thousand geeks on acid, are being trotted out into the public discourse with increasing frequency and ever-escalating levels of doomsday rhetoric.
Read more on Lauren’s blog.