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"NN being gutted are those around loss of anonymity through the Internet."

How is that by necessity a bad thing? People aren't anonymous in every day life and their internet anonymity is mostly an illusion anyway. Big brother can almost always find out who did what if they want to.

" These "rollbacks" of regulations make it orders of magnitude easier for any entity in a corporation or organization to track down people who attempt to expose their illegal actions / skirting of laws"

It also makes it orders of magnitudes easier for anyone to find out about a coorportions illegal actions / skirting of laws.

I agree with most of your statements. But in the long run there really are a lot of benefits to a non-anonymous internet that can't be denied (just as there are a lot of problems as well). For instance, full access to health and medical data for research purposes would be a huge benefit for mankind and the sick people themselves just as that same access would necessitate a major rehaul of the ligislation concerning insurance companies.

I don't see how removing anonymity is inherently by its very nature a bad thing. It seems likely it would be like everything else, you'd need to legislate the legality of certain things given that all activity is non-anonymous, etc.




Anonymity balances power. Think not about this government, but the next, and the next after that. How much more thorough, brutal, and administratively easier would China's "cultural revolution" been if this technology had been in place in China as Mao took power? What if they could have used ISP logs for kill lists? IMO, you trust too much in existing social structures and laws. As unimaginable as they are, these things happen.


You're acting as if our governments don't have access to all this information already which they do.

Its because I do not trust social structures and government that I think anonymity needs to go away.

In a truly de-anonymized system if you are a malevolent actor (gov't or individual) anywhere your actions are broadcasted to the world and people or governments can respond before too much damage is done, no one cares what the benevolent actor is doing.

In a fully anonymous system a malevolent actor can run wild and no one will be able to stop him. The same is true for a benevolent actor, but in a de-anonymized system no one is trying to stop him anyway.

The whole thing though does depend on whether you think the world at large is made up in majority of benevolent people willing and wanting to help their fellow man or malevolent people wishing to do damage in the world.

I think the majority is benevolent which is why I'm for de-anonymizing structures.


One of the best responses I've heard to this particular line of reasoning is recorded here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30JORRy7F0A&t=53s

Not the same scenario being discussed, but worth noting that the consequences of a loss of anonymity through the internet have the potential to be a lot farther-reaching and more sinister than they are in any analogous loss of anonymity in everyday life. I'd be interested to hear if you find the linked argument persuasive.


The engineer is conflating privacy with security. These are not the same thing and they are constantly confused when people discuss this topic. I can for instance lock my house in such a way that no one can enter (security) but broadcast everything I do inside the house to everyone worldwide (no privacy). Conversely, I can stand in front of a closed curtain and no one can see me (privacy) but if someone shoots a bullet it will easily penetrate the curtain and kill me (no security).

I agree with him that the consequences of loss of anonymity are worse than a loss of anonymity in everyday life. In everyday life if a person sees my credit card number I only have to worry about that person say, whereas conversely on the internet its as if everyone the world over were to see my credit card number.

Assuming we don't have NN i.e. anonymity then the world knows everytime I use my credit card (no privacy). However, they do not know my credit card number because its encrypted (security).

So my thinking hasn't changed much after listening to the google engineers argument, I still think its a much better balance of powers to have everyone have access to everything than only those with the skills or power to acquire it, since I think given an absence of anonymity we would build better software and societal structures to ensure we have security for everyone even though privacy might be gone.


> I don't see how removing anonymity is inherently by its very nature a bad thing. It seems likely it would be like everything else, you'd need to legislate the legality of certain things given that all activity is non-anonymous, etc.

I see a few issues with such massive violations of privacy:

1. Slippery slope: Knowledge of people's private lives is extremely valuable, and nobody with the power to collect or use it is going to relinquish it, if anything they're more likely to try to get more, until they have absolutely everything. This isn't inherently bad, as concentrated power is very easily abused. We have a wonderful case study of this with the NSA, their ever expanding powers, their willful breaking what few legal limits are imposed upon them, and their inability to prevent themselves from breaking their own policies about abusing access to their treasure trove.

2. Benevolent dictator: This privacy invasion will most certainly work it's way back to the government, which has severe implications for civil disobedience and political dissent in general. While it's all peaches when the government is "nice", you're never going to have all citizens agree with the government, and future politicians abusing previously allocated power/resources is extremely likely (not that there has ever been a government administration worthy of invading everyone's privacy to begin with).

3. Drawing a line here is not only a great place, it also lets everyone consolidate resources to fight for a known good state. There's a lot of information to be gleaned from the data, and it's unlikely that everyone can commit fully to understanding the ramifications of letting this information out, much less understand how it will be used, or how it can be used. And much like giving the legislation a pile of money with legislatively imposed spending limitations, they're going to be constantly fighting to tweak and remove those limits. And its so much harder to be constantly vigilant when there's dozens of laws governing what can or cannot be done with the data, before we even presume that we agree with those laws to begin with.

4. As noted above with the NSA, it's not possible to trust custodians of this treasure, they're only human, and they're bound to abuse their power at some point. But we don't just have to worry about people with legitimate access obtaining this data, we also have to worry about hackers grabbing it from poorly secured servers, which seems to be an inevitable computer event, even more so for such massively useful information.


These are my thoughts as well. In particular:

> _It also makes it orders of magnitudes easier for anyone to find out about a coorportions illegal actions / skirting of laws._

I would add that I find it more important to ensure that there is transparency about the ISPs and other corporations' (and governments') actions.




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