Anonymity Will Be the Next Victim of Internet Censorship


The worrying developments in UK internet freedom over the last year make predictions for 2014 gloomy to say the least. But censorship now affects us all so we should be thinking about it. And it’s not politically driven censorship we should be most afraid of.

This year has been characterised by tension between the UK government’s use of terrorism laws and free speech and, more recently, by concern over the unavoidable over-blocking of content in the name of protection. Yet there are greater threats to our internet freedom than the heavy hand of the government.

Oversight versus interference

Both the government and internet service providers have abdicated responsibility for the quality control of the security filters being put in place in a bid to prevent children from accessing pornographic content at home.

ISPs such as BT and Sky have delegated the task of deciding what to block to third party companies. For accountability and oversight that is bad news but in terms of possible political interference it is actually good.

Why censorship?

There have been three main drivers for internet censorship. One is child abuse imagery, the banning of which is in line with the general population’s views. Websites containing child porn can be taken down, for example through the Internet Watch Foundation, and, since November, search engines have returned warnings and reduced results when certain terms have been searched for. Although porn in general is not illegal, the ISPs’ filters will have an impact on the blocking of child abuse by negatively affecting the distribution of borderline illegal material.

The second driver is combating extremism. It is still unclear how censorship will be applied here, but classification is highly problematic. No clear public mandate exists for this censorship, nor are links with legislation on issues such as hate speech or proscription of organisations, made explicit. In its filters, BT does not have an “extremism” category, although some content may fall within its “weapons and violence” or “hate” labels.

The final category is media organisations aiming to protect their copyright. The 2010 Digital Economy Act allows for ISPs to apply sanctions (such as bandwidth restriction and disconnection) to users who have downloaded copyrighted material. ISPs have also been forced to block file sharing websites, such as The Pirate Bay and BT includes the practice in its filtering. But file sharing isn’t always illegal and even when it is, public opinion is divided about whether or not it is acceptable. The heavy-handed measures that can be taken show the impact of the commercial interests in this domain.

Mission creep

It’s important to note that BT is filtering in 14 categories, even though David Cameron promised nothing broader than “porn” filters. The generous explanation for this is that the third party providers being used by ISPs already had a range of filtering options in place for parental controls or use in schools, for example filtering against high bandwidth activities like file sharing and media streaming already.

More worryingly though, it has been reported that the BT filters also restrict access to sites promoting the use of proxies. This is where the next battle over internet censorship will be fought. Restricting the technological means through which internet users can obscure their IP addresses and hide the content they are accessing from others is the next big target.

Again, the excuse may be that the third party providers already have this built into their products for good reasons. In the context of school web filters, for example, circumvention of filters needs to be prevented.

But it looks like these measures could well be broadened. The IWF and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre have been
asked to investigate child abuse imagery in the “Dark Web”. The only predictable, and sensible, recommendation for reducing child porn to come out of this will be to restrict access to the Dark Web. And that has to be done by restricting a user’s ability to disguise their activities.

Media companies and the TTIP

This by itself will not cause the UK government to restrict access to Tor, VPNs, or proxies in general. However, the media copyright lobby will want to make it happen because peer-to-peer networks, content indexed through torrent sites, possibly using some form of anonymous routing along the way, carry the majority of the “illegal” file sharing load.

Media companies stand to gain significant powers, possibly trumping national legislation, through trade agreements such as TTIP. Using these, they will want to close off all avenues of illegal file sharing, and they are unlikely to care about collateral damage to internet privacy. Thus, we have to worry about restrictions on the use of Tor anonymous routing, VPNs, proxies, and any other ways that allow us to be more anonymous and protected on the internet.

This prediction then brings together the two big internet freedom storylines of the last six months. The government’s desire for quick internet censorship solutions will end up impeding our capacity to defend ourselves against overzealous surveillance from intelligence services and tech companies.

The Tor fightback

The good news is that Tor traffic has proved hard to detect and shut down. Many countries have tried and failed. Security companies claiming to have the required technology typically are only able to block older versions.

These days, Tor connections look like normal secure web traffic. Currently only China systematically and openly blocks Tor (with its Great Firewall) for long periods of time. They do this by blocking the eight “directory authorities” that form the entry point to Tor, in combination with Deep Packet Inspection. In response, the Tor project continually develops new camouflage methods, and also very promising tools for detecting internet interference. Russia and Japan have been reported to be considering blocking Tor. All is not lost, but we should be on our guard.

Eerke Boiten is a senior lecturer in the School of Computing at the University of Kent, and Director of the University’s interdisciplinary Centre for Cyber Security Research. He receives funding from EPSRC for the CryptoForma Network of Excellence on Cryptography and Formal Methods.

Julio Hernandez-Castro does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times.



  • Steven G Smith

    The most insidious form of censorship, coupled with the elimination of anonymity for the sake of protecting personal privacy, in the so-called free world is the threat presented by those trying to monetize social networks, e.g., the Huffington Post’s recent thinly-veiled grab for exploitable personal information by compelling users who wish to comment on articles to reveal their identity and subscribe to Facebook — a company known for compromising personal information and fully cooperating with government agencies involved in collecting, compiling and storing personal information on an epic scale.

    • Lindstr7

      I got nuthin. Your comment says it all.

  • http://jackholesrealm.wordpress.com/ RF_Dude

    Excellent article – and very timely given the essentially censored comment forums at Huffington Post!

    We, the HuffPo former users, are now very sensitized to this activity and will be watching and reading this with great concern and concentration!

    Thank you for posting this article – it is extremely important to get this word out as far, fast, and wide as possible!

  • Classical_Gas

    Thank you, Epoch, for this timely and well-written article.

    This is something people around the world need to keep eyes on. The loss of anonymity will have serious consequences for those trying to keep abreast of skullduggery and censorship everywhere.

  • Canukistani

    The loss of anonymity is only one of the victims of the mission creep of censorship mentioned in this very informative article. And that mission creep is one of the most egregious problems with permitting censorship to exist with vague guidelines and loose oversight.

    Censorship is usually aimed at enforcing a particular behavior or speech or, especially a thought pattern. In fact, a measure of thought control is the ultimate goal of most forms of censorship. If you can’t express a behavior or a word you’ll eventually stop thinking about doing it.

    When, for any number of reasons, people oppose that and find ways around whatever censorship measures are imposed those measures grow broader and the enforcement grows more strict to try to control them. That’s why, in order to have a free society, censorship must be opposed at every turn even if it seems harmless. If it isn’t opposed, it will surely spread.

    There are a few cases where a form of censorship must be imposed – you don’t yell ‘Fire!’, in a theater or ‘Bomb!’ at an airport. In the ensuing panic it’s likely someone will be hurt or killed. But in each case where censorship must be imposed it must be clearly demonstrated to be necessary to prevent injury or death.

    To issue some blanket general statement saying that it’s necessary to prevent terrorism shouldn’t be acceptable. There should be a specific and obvious reason to impose censorship and in each case it needs to be demonstrated clearly in an open public forum, not decided in some back room somewhere. Doing it that way may in the long run be more dangerous than the terrorism it’s supposed to prevent.

  • Pony

    The best censors and filters for children accessing porn are the parents. As to extremism , that seems like an open door for censorship and shutting down free speech one nudge at a time. One of the great rights we have in the US is the right to bash the government for its total ineptitude in doing anything right. The right to openly confront ideals we might find objectionable and to do so without the fear of a knock at the door. I’m not talking of course about actual threats.
    A look at HP shows wall of pillows being put around any subject that may be controversial. The notice that your post would have to be reviewed for sensitivity. Give me a break. It was a way to filter and show comments that aligned with an acceptable view. I’m surprised they didn’t play mood music and puff lavender up our butts at the end.
    Its one thing to filter for the outright personal attacks and needless foul language. Its another to filter because the idea itself does not fit the agenda.

  • Summy

    This is so awful. The government doesn’t care about child pornography, they care about limiting freedoms. They want to censor information, and that is very frightening. I think it would be hard to just stop the dark internet though, They have a hard enough time working around VPNs, proxy servers, and regular site unblockers (torch browser, hola), let alone the dark internet. The government might have some super smart computer geeks on their side, but we have just as many on ours.

    • ChrisDC

      If I could add a nuance to your observation that “the government doesn’t care about child pornography, they care about limiting freedoms….”

      It is rare for a government to do anything for just one reason, especially in a democracy. What’s actually going on is that there are people who care about child pornography and people who care about limiting freedoms and people who care about both and people who only care about one.

      In fighting something like this, sometimes it’s important to remember that you’re not dealing with one monolithic voice. You’re dealing with a coalition which has concluded that their interests currently coincide — but that’s not necessarily always going to be true. Tactically speaking, it’s sometimes possible to peel off one part of a coalition if you focus on something about which they disagree with each other. They look monolithic, and act monolithic, but unless you realize that can actually be misleading, you won’t be able to spot the levers you could use to fracture the monolith.

  • Richard M

    Eastasia already has censorship. Eurasia is working on getting it installed. So the problem, from the point of Oceania’s regime is how to trick the Proles into going along with setting it up here.

    So the old standby “we must do it for the children” is trotted out.

    • don

      The current wave of internet censorship isn’t so much government induced as it is corporate. Corporations are seeking control of our lives that transcends governmental restrictions, are out of the purview of the general populace through democratic means and seeks to become the government. The recent campaign to eliminate anonymity that is sweeping the web is fostered by corporate desires. If successful, it would prevent George Orwell himself from posting under his pen name.

      • tense641

        Well stated don and many thanks.

      • tense641

        And to think don, more people want to believe that the government is listening to every phone call made when indeed they are not but you’re right it’s the corporations ie” HP which is why so many of us left.

      • MSII

        “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism
        because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

        – Mussolini

  • Steven G Smith

    “When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    “When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    “When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    “When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    “When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.”

    Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

    • dvncmdy

      I LOVE your avatar!

      • Steven G Smith

        Thank you.

  • ChrisDC

    The irony is that this excellently written article missed a twist on the anonymity question.

    The elimination of anonymity in a sense, is not, directly, censorship. It’s not banned speech — it’s compelled speech (disclosing your name and, as a consequence, where you live and where you work). With the likelihood that self-censorship will be the result.

    Others may have seen my thoughts on this on other articles, so I apologize if I’m repeating myself.

    Some people use anonymity as a way to escape responsibility for hateful speech. That’s what Huffington Post focused on with their policy change. (Or at least that’s what they said.)

    But sometimes, some people cannot speak openly without anonymity. Political and government professionals, like me, can never weigh in on public policy issues without being presumed to be speaking on behalf of the principals for whom we work. (Elected officials, agencies, clients..whatever.) It’s not that they would necessarily disagree with what we’re arguing in a debate, it just may be that they don’t want to get into that debate in that way at that time.

    I’m a campaign advisor, and friend, to an openly gay Member of Congress. His position on, for example, same-sex marriage is identical to mine and well-known. However, if he’s concentrating on moving forward his message on education policy or budget policy, somebody somewhere would use my words to derail his work on that. I can’t let that happen.

    Huffington Post lost the insights of pretty much every political insider and government official who was posting there. But I don’t think they care — they’re focused on page views and the revenue they produce.

    Second, sometimes people open up about very personal things for very good reasons. A number of us who were frequent posters in the Gay Voices sections talked about some pretty personal things — and quite frequently did that in response to somebody in some sort of crisis that we ourselves had been through before.

    For example, I had an exchange with a kid who had realized he’s gay when he fell in love with his (straight) best friend. Which happened to be exactly the way I’d realized the same thing. So, I said that and explained that the way to resolve that was to respect his friend for who he is, just as his (pretty cool) friend was sticking up for his right to be who is — and to build a “brother” file in his head and categorize his friend that way.

    The high school friend I fell in love (and with whom nothing romantic ever happened) is still my “big brother” 37 years later. I have nothing to be ashamed about in any of that, and I shared that story to help somebody, hopefully get to the same resolution, but if my name were attached to that posting people would pretty quickly figure out who my friend is. And a lack of anonymity would make me really hesitant to tell that story.

    And that’s quite frankly, a really, really nice story. Some of them aren’t so nice. One guy opened up about the fact that he’d been raped once, in an effort to help out someone that had just happened to. Now, he had done absolutely nothing wrong — and didn’t mind sharing what happened with someone who needed to hear it. But he, quite understandably, didn’t want all of us his neighbors (and the rest of the world) to know it.

    The problem with removing anonymity is that it shuts up a whole range of discussions that are incredibly helpful. And you can say you’re doing that in the interest of shutting up ugly comments — but it’s not like we don’t hear that stuff every day, anyway. The impact is just that it turns those trolls into lurkers, while simultaneously giving them clues about how to track us down at our offices or our homes.

    Not that Huffington Post cares about any of that. If they had, they’d have given us a chance to comment without simultaneously making us retroactively sign our real names to everything we ever posted on their site.

    • tense641

      And you’ve just stated why so many of us are now on this site and others and are no longer associated with HP. Not only was it forced on us long time HP posters but more importantly there wasn’t any notice given to those of us who were supposedly grandfathered in and the monitoring was outrageous. Thanks for your comment Chris.

      • ChrisDC

        And thanks for the kind words. I hope you’re enjoying the holidays!

        • tense641

          I am they are nice peaceful and quite as I hope your holidays are

      • Leslie (eserafina42)

        I have a hunch that their doing it the way they did (preemptively shutting down debate by announcing the policy at the same time it went into effect, thereby requiring anyone who wanted to object on the site to comply with the very policy they were objecting to) was a lesson learned from their previous “rollout” in August.

        • tense641

          And there you go Leslie. And people are screaming about NSA??? All the while corporations have been doing the very same thing to us for many years and now with the sophistication of the internet we’ve now reached this stage in our internet lives.

    • rg9rts

      Wouldn’t be Sean would it????

      • ChrisDC

        If you mean was I Sean over there, sorry, no.

        FYI, I’m looking for folks, too. Especially ChristianLady1.

        • rg9rts

          No the Congressman, he’s mine

          • ChrisDC

            Sorry, no. This guy’s not from New York.

          • rg9rts

            OK

    • Classical_Gas

      Excellent points, Chris. The policy makers – and their friends, family and staff – are muzzled by the decree that we post with our real names. The very information that needs to be seen is throttled, and I resent it greatly.

      • ChrisDC

        The twist is that it is, in a certain sense, a justified trade-off. You have the ability to speak preliminarily, and confidentially, on the inside — but the consequence is that you don’t get to draft the wider public to pressure the person who’s hoping he or she can engage you in a private conversation into agreeing with you.

        That does mean, however, that there’s a whole realm of “how should we deal with this” that Huffington Post’s decision precludes any conversation happening about.

        So, OK. We’ll find some other way to post questions to the wider public. Hopefully, that will produce something positive.

        And, God Bless You, Huffington Post, for totally removing yourself from any kind of productive debate or conversation.

        Good to know where you stand.

        • Classical_Gas

          Our local “newspaper” has followed the same route – and comments have stopped. Any chances of generating a discussion are gone. It hampers the community leaders somewhat.

          We are not amused.

          • apogee2perogee

            Exact same thing here….

          • ChrisDC

            That’s what’s so frustrating — I really do get the idea that people should have to take responsibility for what they write.

            But HuffPo already had my real name (heck, they even had my Facebook page).

            If I’d gone rogue, they could have taken action on that basis.

            But they, by surprise, tried to make me sign my actual, legal, publicly known name to everything I’d ever written on their site over the course of several years.

            And barred me from even asking questions about that, unless I played along.

            I refuse to believe that they’re so stupid as to have done that by accident.

            They made a business decision. Which is their right. No matter how soulless that might be.

            But, then again, we’re talking about Arriana Huffington so, as someone who’s been involved in California politics for several decades let’s just count it as my bad for being shocked.

          • Classical_Gas

            Absolutely. At this point I can only hope that she’s succeeded in killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

          • ChrisDC

            She’s only interested in money and getting her face on TV. (She’s switched political sides so many times now it’s impossible to figure out what her actual personal views are without going cross-eyed, or myopic, or whatever.)

            She gained a great sea of, perhaps, unjustified credibility by casting Huffington Post as a kind of journalistic infrastructure for this new age of Internet-based news.

            Turns out that, at least from my perspective, it appears that she’s willing to be just a parasite on whatever good she did.

          • Classical_Gas

            That’s certainly her MO – gold-digging, power hungry, and parasitic. Her choice of Breitbart to help found the thing was telling.

          • ChrisDC

            On a technical, if not moral or ethical level, you have to admit — it worked. Not that that’s saying much from my perspective.

          • Classical_Gas

            Indeed it did – and thanks to HP I have met some fine people, like yourself. That’s one small debt of gratitude I have for the dying HP.

          • Malarkey

            “They made a business decision.” One of my least favorite phrases, along with “Turn-around expert.” Whenever you hear either, run! It’s going to be bad news for someone, and that someone isn’t the higher-ups.

    • takawalk

      Very well said, and it could apply to any political, ideological view, or traumatic event. The web offers humanity something we have never in truth had before in any form that can impact almost everyone in any developed country and give hope that all will one day partake in it. Anonymity is a crucial part of the foundation of both the good and the bad found here. There has to be a way to protect the good from efforts to fight the bad, and as in the case of HP greed.

  • bluskiff

    anonymity is a must for the internet. It is freedom to say what you think and feel with out fear of reprisal. Just because some people abuse it doesn’t mean you take it away from everyone.

    • Sharyn G.

      That’s what got me about Ariana. You’d think she’d know that and just say- that’s life, get over it. But no, she throws out all the apples because one is rotten.

      • Jasmine starlight

        All Ariana is interested in is the golden goose, FB lining her pocket even more. I believe nothing HP spews, that interview here with Tim was very telling…he’s a tool. They sell their grandmother for a coin. A big ruse saying they want to end trolls— I’ve read more legit posters on HP then the FEW trolls.

        • Sharyn G.

          Yup.

          It’s so sad because I used to love to hang there. No way I can now. Well, besides being banned, they simply wanted too much data from the FB-HP connection. Why did they need to k ow when my last time logged on was? Why do they need access to my likes and my posts?

          They are so full of chit if they think people will believe that ANY of that helps prevent trolls. We know it isn’t about trolls, but others? Others may not even go into settings and check to see exactly what HP is asking for. If you look, it’s got nothing to do with anything but snooping.

          Settings/apps/huffington post

          Read it and weep.

          • Jasmine starlight

            I too liked to post there Sharyn—you have to stand for something though, and the stealing of our personal data isn’t worth it, at any price. Great to see you here… I was hoping some from the Travis thread would find there way here, no luck though :(

          • Sharyn G.

            Ill never go back even to read an article.

            I think here and also at the AP we can comment on the trial. The Meatballs are waiting for me to find a good place. After all, if you remember, huffpo always cut and pasted their stories from the AP anyhow- the AP is actually a faster source AND uses disqus ;)

          • Jasmine starlight

            Sharyn the great warrior and detective :)
            HP saw the last of their glory days, they destroyed a site within months. arrogant bunch of hungry wolves at the top tier—hope they devour each other in the process.
            Happy hunting, find the perfect place :) scout!!

          • Sharyn G.

            This one looks good, ill keep looking!

            Thank you!!!

          • Jasmine starlight

            Sharyn I’m sure you’ll find the perfect home :)— Freedom to express, with great stories across the board. 2014!

          • takawalk

            It’s a small world.

          • Sharyn G.

            Full of small minds, but occasionally, some big hearts!

          • Sharyn G.

            And- I have emailed EPOCH and asked if they’d consider upping the Arias stories and maybe adding a crime section. I told them any George Z or Arias-type stuff is like flypaper to myself and a few others I may be able to get here. You know they won’t say no to more readers! Who would? We shall see.

          • Jasmine starlight

            Sure Sharyn VARIETY is the key, and I got hooked on that Arias trial, I wish it would be televised again—so I could record it—she was unbelievable to see in action….and those arguments of why she should not get life. Great work, thanks for your tireless service to a better site. I do love ET, would just love some more stories :) Have a wonderful night sparkling Sharon!

          • Sharyn G.

            So kind of you! Thank you :)

          • Jasmine starlight

            give me a pass on my spelling, you know me–just go, no proof reading, still bad with that too tho. Oh well!

          • takawalk

            I thought wolfs den would and some others. I am not a meatball, but I was fascinated when I discovered that community and still am. I hope they find a point to rally. I still go into the forbidden territory of HP for now. If you have a message to get to some one I will try to pass it along.

          • Sharyn G.

            I’m interested in seeing Arias get her due. She admitted it, after all. No better case for appropriate sentencing than that. There’s no doubt. I’m a meatball because I’m waaaay too familiar with abuse and it peeved me when I heard that she was trotting out the whole “burning bed” battered wife syndrome type thing- on her boyfriend no less. She actually called herself a survivor! It incensed actual survivors, like me. She was the abuser in her situation. Clearly.

            And, takawalk you can be a meatball anytime darlin.

          • takawalk

            By saying I am not a meatball, it was my intent to say that I was not highly involved with the group as a whole. I have briefly talked to some of them. Inadvertently it was one of the regs that was the cause of me ending up here. I am in definite agreement about stabby. To say it politely, the bit-h should be dead already. She should never be trusted in the general population of a prison psych hospital or anywhere else.

          • Sharyn G.

            Yes. Certain people need the death penalty. I have never been a fan of the DP. I don’t think it works as any sort of deterrent, but I believe in a kind of mosquito bug ideal. If a mosquito bug bites you and you know for certain it was the one who but you, and you kill it, at least it won’t bite anyone else ever again. One less mosquito.

          • takawalk

            I favor the death penalty in theory, there are some things people shouldn’t be able to do and survive. Too many kill again, sometimes other inmates. But in practice it too often doesn’t work. Too many people are convicted because they are the most likely suspect with a less talented defense lawyer than the prosecutor, when in fact they did not do the crime.

          • Sharyn G.

            Very true. I’m for it for Arias because she admitted it. I favor it when there’s zero doubt.

            Fruit flies also deserve the DP, they are annoying.

          • Jasmine starlight

            Thanks Tak :)….

            my own undercover Seal… be careful in enemy territory, slime, liars, bots, grenades every where. So kind of you, I do miss a few and loved wolfsden too…. I know many have gone to a FB site before HP tumbled, seeing the handwriting on the wall. Some really beautiful, funny and bright peeps from that thread, it was sort of amazing stumbling in there and staying to the end.
            You have a meatball heart! If you’re ever on FB here is the site of many former HP peeps…perhaps you can leave the ET link there, to come over at least once and voice their opinion about HP and their practices. Perhaps it will bring more traffic here too! I hope the stories here grow. Always nice seeing ya –beautiful day to ya Tak :) —-The code word is tell them LoveToday sent you, hope they remember the handle…its a closed acct. hope you can get in….ahhhh you’re clever!!!

            Love here is a great link for you
            https://www.facebook.com/groups/meatballsroll/

            thanks again~♥ ~

          • Jasmine starlight

            Hiya Tak, this is my second post to you, the other was quite long, not sure it made its way to you…. I just going to say THANKS in this one, a very nice gesture going into enemy territory to search out some.
            Have a wonderful night you and yours ~♥ ~

        • Sharyn G.

          How true.

      • Malarkey

        Remember, before Ariana was a progressive, she was a conservative. When HP sold out to AOL, I thought the content started veering right. Above all, Ariana is rich and wants to stay that way; she’ll go wherever the money is.

        • Sharyn G.

          She’s a financial flip-flopper.

  • abxnomore

    Huff Post the number one violator in this regard.

    • Sharyn G.

      No doubt. Now people can stalk us all over the place and there are some crazy trolls out there.

      • abxnomore

        I have never had a FB account and didn’t set one up because Huff Post was demanding that I do, but is there really such a thing as privacy anymore?

        • Sharyn G.

          I don’t think there has been for a long time. Even at grocery stores and gas stations, those coupon card things track every purchase and where you go, etc.

          • FaunaAndFlora

            We can take steps to protect our privacy up to a point. For example, using cash instead of credit or debit cards or sticking with a land line instead of a cell phone. And by all means, stay off Facebook. ;-)

          • Sharyn G.

            And I used to love my debit card. :(

    • Seehowtheyrun

      Yep. They were the first ones that came to my mind.

    • FaunaAndFlora

      That’s why I left.

      • abxnomore

        Me too!

    • Peegan

      Facebook takes #1. HP is just a tool in their chest for this.

  • Devey Elise

    So the public will suffer because of a handful of sexual offenders. Really?! Why doesn’t Tor just get rid of the pedos. You know they can.

    • Orange

      LE have and can use social media and access to sites (which they seem to do in the US, the NSA apparently can listen or read anything) to entrap and catch the pedos. No reasonable-minded person objects to use of snooping and other such techniques by LE (overseen by independent courts) to catch bad people.

      But this trend by private companies to snoop on us has nothing to do with catching pedos. It is about the almighty dollar and it is unacceptable, not without our consent. We have a do not call list. They can make it easier for us to opt out of marketing exercises.

  • fumes

    anonymity: used by priests everyday in the confessional. it allows the truth out.

  • geesepeace

    Intelligent people simply will not give up their anonymity just to broadcast their opinions to the world. I love this quote ‘who’s watching the watchers’. You have to be very naive and gullible to let millions of anonymous people, groups, and agencies have access to your information. You will not be anonymous, but these lurkers will be. You will be the proverbial sitting duck.

  • Orange

    Thank you TET for this article.
    This right to privacy is slowly eroding here in the US too. Both the right and left can agree that that is a dangerous trend.

  • Peegan

    We would not have had the “Arab Spring” if not for anonymity. Anonymity is a tool of freedom.

    • Classical_Gas

      We wouldn’t have the United States of America, either, Peegan.

  • Peegan

    And just because it makes me happy to post, the lose of anonymity has decreased HP traffic by about 22%.

    • abxnomore

      Huff Post deserves to fold due to the way they dictated that everyone must open a FB account. I look forward to their demise.

  • Classical_Gas

    From the article: “The UN general assembly unanimously voted last week to adopt a resolution, introduced by Germany and Brazil, stating that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including the right to privacy”. Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, were among those spied on, according to the documents leaked by Snowden.”

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/un-compares-outrage-about-mass-surveillance-outrage-apartheid?akid=11315.204924.kw_Iyq&rd=1&src=newsletter940918&t=20

    Though this article is discussing government surveillance, I find it resonates here, as well.

  • herefornow

    It’s deeply troubling that now even the mildest examples of expressive anonymity seem to be under systematic attack. Edward Snowden’s recent observation that our children are destined to grow up in a world void of privacy brings home the seriousness of how wildly out of hand things have gotten. It’s heartening to know there’s a lot of people who aren’t willing to sit still for it.

  • Sharyn G.

    Good morning all. Start out today with a tweet to Timmy;

    @tamcdonald Yesterday’s #huffpost traffic was lower than the same day last year by 1.7 million. But, I guess it’s just the holidays, right?
    11:16am – 28 Dec 13

    -data provided by UCBAlum-

  • VincentTPackhorse

    I have nothing to hide was music to the ears of the Nazi’s and other totalitarian regimes. Know your history!!!


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