Penny Arcade! posted a comic that summarizes what many think of online anonymity and the Internet: John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory: Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad.
Up until the past few weeks, I would have agreed. But now I am starting to adopt a more nuanced view.
I don’t want to get into what has triggered the change of heart, and no – I am not anonymously blogging – my name lends credibility that I am not willing to trade. However, I have come to realize there are those who need to be able to speak out, and without anonymity cannot do so.
It’s confusing subject matter, so here are a few links of various viewpoints:
CNet: U.N. agency eyes curbs on Internet anonymity
Business Week: Busting a Rogue Blogger: Troll Tracker has been unmasked as a patent lawyer for Cisco. Now they’re both facing litigation
SSRN: Anonymous Blogging and Defamation: Balancing Interests of the Internet: It is important not to silence communication on the Internet, but it is just as important not to silence victims of defamation. Therefore, this comment argues for the protection of libel plaintiffs facing defamatory comments from anonymous bloggers.
Media Bloggers Association: Announces Libel Insurance For Bloggers – huge news for those who intend to pursue acts of journalism independently.
Must See Video: Hope2604 – Steve Rambam Pt 1 – Privacy Is Dead – Get Over It
Must See Video: Hope2604 – Steve Rambam Pt 2 – Privacy Is Dead – Get Over It
Wired.com: ‘Anonymous’ Member Unmasked, Charged With Web Attack on Scientology
Bruce Schneier: Essays and Op Eds
Time Berners-Lee’s new World Wide Web Foundation
Global Voices Online: Global Voices Advocacy: A project of Global Voices Online, we seek to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online.
Reporters Without Borders
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Risks Digest
Slashdot: Your Rights Online