But then, news publications have to use some algorithm for story placement, so there's always some kind of bias. A po-faced "objective" newspaper that pretends to no bias at all can be the most insidious.
And I never intended to be snarky.
I ask this in order to start an honest discussion. Reading the comments, there seems to be an immediate, and in my opinion unwarranted, jump from authentication of identity directly to censorship. Cutting through the article's FUD bullshit, censorship is not what Mundie is proposing. He's proposing a connection between internet presence and identity, as a means of combating cybercrime.
While his proposal conceivably enables censorship activities, I am wary of slippery-slope arguments in general, and in this case the proposal has nothing to do with the legality of censorship in whatever jurisdiction it's present it. In areas where censorship is more common than the US it might make it easier. But, in the US at least, I personally don't see lack of anonymity as necessarily being the first step on an irresistible march towards a soviet dictatorship.
I'm rather on the fence about the specific issue of anonymity being a principle aspect of freedom of speech.
But, even that is beside the point. An internet id implies authentication to use the internet. Identification is a _secondary_ purpose of a driver's license -- the primary purpose is to control who can and cannot operate a motor vehicle. That's the problem. Not anonymity,
If you can't be authenticated, you can't speak on the internet -- that is precisely what he's proposing (you can consume but not contribute). It's very small step from that to controlling speech. And it's not even about anonymity -- If you can't get on, no one is going to hear you complain. And guess who holds the keys?
And furthermore, cert authorities for the things that need them already exist. So, he is obviously pushing censorship, whether he's too stupid to realize it (it's a microsoft talking head, after all) or not.
The point of an actual driver's license is first to certify, and second to identify. However, if you give Mundie the benefit of the doubt, he was just using the wrong metaphor and didn't mean that some people wouldn't get the keys to the castle. Would an "internet license" that demonstrates your identity but has no entrance requirements and no way of being denied or revoked be as directly correlated with censorship?
So practically, even your proposal is broken. There is a requirement. You must identify yourself. So how do you do that? Well, you have to supply the proper "papers" -- and what authority will guarantee those? Oops, you've just handed the keys over again...
And the best part? It does nothing to stop criminals, who would have no problem breaking the law again, to just fake the papers and get an id to use a conduit for... whatever. It just institutes another level of control, another mental and practical barrier, to cross for normal people who wish to speak their mind.
For example, in the 1770s some people wrote pamphlets criticizing a man named George, publishing them under pseudonyms to protect their lives. Others signed a declaration of independence with their given names, risking death. To each his own.
Such risks may not be an imminent danger where you live right now. Nevertheless, Craig Mundie's proposal will make it far easier for armed men to track down people who disagree with them. That is, of course, the whole point of the proposal.
Yes. This is why for example voting is anonymous in the US, so your employer or local corrupt official or whoever can't force you to vote a certain way.
> censorship is not what Mundie is proposing. He's proposing a connection between internet presence and identity, as a means of combating cybercrime.
Online there's not much difference between "doing" and "saying", and some kinds of online crime are about "saying" (ie, things like kiddie porn).
> While his proposal conceivably enables censorship activities
The only way it can possibly work is by enabling censorship (not proactive censorship, but reprisals for saying the wrong things).
> I personally don't see lack of anonymity as necessarily being the first step on an irresistible march towards a soviet dictatorship.
That's quite a jump, from censorship to dictatorship.
What permits bad rulers is that the people who know either don't care or don't matter. Censorship acts to reduce the number of people who know. Proper institutions can make it easier to reach individuals who both matter and care. If a large enough number of people know and care strongly enough, then together they can matter.
If there's a culture of removing bad rulers immediately, the ability to censor probably isn't a big deal. If there isn't, censorship can make it significantly harder (but not impossible) to remove the bad rulers once they've had time to get entrenched.
Go about driving the wrong way and people can get hurt or killed; that's the motivation behind requiring a driving license. There is no comparable public-safety issue behind requiring a license for operating a computer, nor is there any need to regulate access to a scare shared resource (e.g. radio frequencies). There is just no compelling reason to bother, apart from the creepy, coercive ones.
I have lived most of my childhood under a right-wing military dictatorship. The "it will never happen here" concept is a very dangerous one.
I'd actually like to see it formally proposed in some fashion, just to see which congressmen would advocate it... and then observe them promptly voted home the following election season.
edit: or somewhere else on this page.
I'm sure they'll roll out the analog to the underwear bomber in time (long before hell freezes over).
Hacking by anonymous? Heckling on 4chan?
I will go out on a limb here and propose that the "Internet Driver's License" has more to do with gently guiding governments into requiring Windows, or at least non-free-software operating systems than it has to do with establishing identity, abolishing anonymity or any of the "Four Horsement of the Internet Apocalypse".
Oops... I just said it. Burn, karma, burn!
You can't censor the Internet. You can make posting to the Internet anonymously illegal, but you can't enforce that. You could make crypto illegal, but you can't enforce that either (steganography). Saying that you want to end blog anonymity is like saying you want to end water flowing downhill. You can say it all you want, but it ain't gonna happen.
Propose what, exactly? The article does not give any direct quotes, so all we have is the paraphrasing of a writer with an agenda.
Disclaimer- I work for MSFT but I really no nothing more than what is in these articles
"What Mundie is proposing is to impose authentication."
Who is authenticating to whom, and how long is this recorded for (and by who)? If someone posts a virus on a random discussion forum somewhere, and I download it a month later and start sending spam and posting new copies after another week, will this be sufficient to track whoever posted the very first copy? If it is, what will prevent it from having an incredible chilling effect on free speech?
Still, it's becoming commonplace to hear these kind of draconian, totalitarian proposals, from all ends of the political spectrum, and it's not inconceivable that at some point, one of these proposals will end up enacted in law.
Perhaps we will eventually need to construe this kind of rhetoric as an overt statement of intent to undermine the constitution, and reinstate prosecutions for seditious libel.
A censor's wet dream, that.
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