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Anonymous Internet Postings Will Soon Become a Thing of the Past--No Privacy Much Longer

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posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 07:53 AM
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A disturbing trend seems to have been developing over the last two days regarding anonymous posts by Internet users on various websites.

Now in the United States and England, high courts have ruled that Internet users who post anonymous threads, posts, and responses DO NOT have to remain private. Particularly in cases that suggest vague harm against or others, or use hate-crime rhetoric, their words can and will be used against them.



A Nevada newspaper says it has been served a federal grand jury subpoena seeking information about readers who posted comments on the paper's Web site.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday that its editor, Thomas Mitchell, plans to fight the request, which the newspaper received after reporting on a federal tax fraud case against business owner Robert Kahre.

The subpoena seeks the identities and personal information about people who posted comments on the story. The newspaper said prosecutors told the judge in the case that some comments hinted at acts of violence and the subpoena was issued out of concern for jurors' safety.

Mitchell said anonymous speech is "a fundamental and historic part of this country." The newspaper would consider cooperating if specific crimes or real threats were presented, he said.
www.washingtonpost.com...




The story drew nearly 175 online comments by Monday night, most in support of Kahre and critical of the government and jurors and attorneys in the case.

One commentator said: "The sad thing is there are 12 dummies on the jury who will convict him. They should be hung along with the feds."

Another called Damm a "socialist, fascist Mormon" and a "Nazi moron."

The comments are written under pseudonyms. Along with the real names of people who posted comments, the subpoena asks the newspaper for the writers' gender, birth date, physical address, telephone number, Internet service provider, IP address and credit card numbers.
www.washingtonpost.com...


Do you like this idea? Of course, nobody likes an evasion of privacy. But, since people make such hateful, inciteful, and racist comments on thousands of websites regularly...does this help curb the problem?

Is this ultimately a good thing for society?




posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 07:56 AM
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A Chinese example:


Anonymous online postings are to be banned by a city in China, after residents mounted a successful internet campaign against proposals for a huge chemicals factory.

Internet users will have to provide their real names, backed up by data from their identity cards, when posting messages on more than 100,000 websites registered in Xiamen. Authorities are taking action after thousands of residents of the prosperous southern port city marched through the streets, mobilised by mobile phone text messages and an internet-based campaign.

The law obliges anyone who wants to chat online to register using their identity card. Moderators of political noticeboards will be required to use their real names, and anonymous comments will be banned. Messages will be vetted before they are posted.

One government official said that the protest had shown the necessity to control content on the internet. He said: “Those who illegally spread harmful or bad information will be detained or fined.”
www.timesonline.co.uk...



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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From the UK:


Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.

In the first case dealing with the privacy of internet bloggers, the judge ruled that Mr Horton had no “reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity”.

The judge also said that even if the blogger could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, the judge would have ruled against him on public interest grounds.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 08:00 AM
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From the UK:


Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.

In the first case dealing with the privacy of internet bloggers, the judge ruled that Mr Horton had no “reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity”.

The judge also said that even if the blogger could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, the judge would have ruled against him on public interest grounds.
technology.timesonline.co.uk...



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 08:56 AM
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sounds like a really good idea. i wouldn't mind seeing some of you people get a ticket every once in a while for the nonsense that comes spewing from your mouth. i know i could've gotten a ticket for a few things i've said while drunk on internet boards.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 09:10 AM
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In my eyes the problem with it is who is deciding what is hateful, inciteful, and racist ? and from that will it lead to a Chinese sort of internet control? maybe we would just label it differently.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 09:40 AM
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I've seen this happen but only with real threats of bodily harm. Racist speech is protected in the USA but hate crimes, threats of violence or riots are not. None of the examples you provided sound like they cross the line but maybe there were others that were worse. None of this is that new, btw.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by ChrisCrikey
 


I felt the need to post this thread wondering if we are moving toward an ever-encroaching government that wishes to take away our ability to use social networking tools to communicate with one another, anonymously.

There was another article featured in today's Drudge Report that reports the US government has/does access our emails and phone calls on an even broader base than they were intially expected to do.

Gradually, our "privacy" is being eliminated. I make the assertion our anonymity on the Internet may soon not exist at all.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 09:50 AM
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Technically speaking Anonymous internet didn't really exist anyway.
Just think about it, all the data that you're transmitting to post stuff, that gets sent through your ISP as well, you have a certain IP assigned to you, and as far as I know every single ISP keeps a certain log of traffic.

Even proxy's have a log or trace in some manner of connections that were made.

You're only as anonymous as someone with a paper bag on his face that enters his home. Anybody can technically find out where you live, and once that's done, can find out who you are.

The only thing this changes is that it makes it easier to identify someone that has a dynamic IP, or accesses from different PC's.

I am against it though, too much negative stuff that can come from it. (We're already trying to keep spam out and stop 3rd parties of getting our info, why hand it out?)

I can tell you that Second Life (game) already has an age check based on your ID.

[edit on 17/6/09 by -0mega-]



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by -0mega-
 


Do youe envision a day when the government will not allow us to ever use a "username?" Instead, we must use our government-ID legal name only?

There are already many online newspaper websites that only allow you to use a "username" once you have provided full name and address to register?

Just a thought...I wish I could foresee how technology and access to it will change in the coming years. But in a government that seems to be tinkering away from a democratic republic that we once were, one can only assume full access and use of the Internet with anonymity will not last long.

When a country wants to control the people, they must control the information. Are we heading down the road of China, Iran, England etc.?



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:05 AM
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I personally don't have a problem with this, i don't mind people knowing who I am, I don't say anything on here that I wouldn't say to someone in person.

On the other hand, I believe people who want to remain anonymous, can if they want. We could argue the severity of cases, for example death threats, but once we set a precedent for that, it would go wherever it wanted.

The probelm I do see with this is the direction we are currently headed, the dominoe's are almost in place. Soon we will have all these 'invasive' procedures for our own protection, against those nasty terrorists and evil criminal's, we will feel so very safe.

Up until they start introducing laws which will implicate more people, sweeping generalisations such as 'terrorist activity' will expand even further to domestic terrorism, where it is people who speak out against their government for things they don't agree with that wil be targetted, people who don't do what they are told.

It's coming.

EMM



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:07 AM
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Common sense told me this a long time ago. I wouldn't post anything on the internet, OR look up any subject, that I didn't want anyone else to be able to know about. Think we haven't been being watched and traced for a long time? Think again. If there is something I want to look up which I think could get me on any certain list, I go to the library.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by MOFreemason
There are already many online newspaper websites that only allow you to use a "username" once you have provided full name and address to register?

Just a thought...I wish I could foresee how technology and access to it will change in the coming years. But in a government that seems to be tinkering away from a democratic republic that we once were, one can only assume full access and use of the Internet with anonymity will not last long.

When a country wants to control the people, they must control the information. Are we heading down the road of China, Iran, England etc.?


It's worse in Korea. Many Korean videogames require you to give your KSSN (Korean Social Security Number) + a *Valid* Address (And some other info)

For some reason I doubt that ''we'' will head down the road of getting lots of websites blocked (like in some asian countries). But we might go more along the line of being required to ID ourselves at every turn.

Of course as long as the ISP's won't cooperate, there will be a certain sense of anonymity on a part of the internet.

[edit on 17/6/09 by -0mega-]



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by ElectroMagnetic Multivers

Up until they start introducing laws which will implicate more people, sweeping generalisations such as 'terrorist activity' will expand even further to domestic terrorism, where it is people who speak out against their government for things they don't agree with that wil be targetted, people who don't do what they are told.

It's coming.

EMM


You nailed where my true paranoia exists--citizens being deemed "domestic terrorists" from our vague definitions of the Patriot Act, simply because of the printed words on the Internet.

If we continue to have more random acts of violence by extremists with strong political views, I can see our government responding with great intensity to curb this. Of course, they will deem it "homeland security." So we're all safe.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by MOFreemason

Originally posted by ElectroMagnetic Multivers

Up until they start introducing laws which will implicate more people, sweeping generalisations such as 'terrorist activity' will expand even further to domestic terrorism, where it is people who speak out against their government for things they don't agree with that wil be targetted, people who don't do what they are told.

It's coming.

EMM


You nailed where my true paranoia exists--citizens being deemed "domestic terrorists" from our vague definitions of the Patriot Act, simply because of the printed words on the Internet.

If we continue to have more random acts of violence by extremists with strong political views, I can see our government responding with great intensity to curb this. Of course, they will deem it "homeland security." So we're all safe.


'Extremism' is a large umbrella, sooner or later, it will extend to effect us. Many on here, including me have what could be called 'extreme views', 'extreme' will always be a perspective and at the moment it hasn't reached us.

Don't be paranoid and never be ashamed, we are not in the wrong. The day they come to my house to arrest me for my opinions and beliefs is the day they'll get an earful for what they are instigating and propagating, not only for themselves and their neighbours, but their future generations.

People's behaviour and decisions in the next few years could effect the future for a long time IMHO.

EMM



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:20 AM
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Privacy? If you think you currently have privacy then I can get you a good deal on the Brooklyn Bridge. The only difference will be that the lack of privacy will be official instead of covert. I assume that very phone call, email, and internet posting is already be monitored. I'm not really worried about it either. as i have no say about what happens.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 11:01 AM
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Well, honestly, the anonymous thing is a misnomer. Yes, you can be traced back to your gateway pretty easily, and even to the machine, depending on what other information is sent with the packets. But the big thing is that the information doesn't have to be recorded. People just do -- as is their right as private companies. In fact, recording IPs is what helps ATS ban annoying hate mongering trollers, so it can't be too bad.
There will *always* be a way to fake your identity, although it may end up being much harder.



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