2018/09/25: most people in the UK are far less free to express themselves – online or offline – than MPs, activists and journalists, often because of restrictions from their employers. For millions of public sector workers, including those in the police and NHS, there are rules against expressing political views, so that if someone wants to discuss politics online – which seems reasonable – they would need to use an anonymous account.
The same fears apply more widely to those in the private sector: we have heard enough tales of people losing their job for running their mouth off about their employer or posting pictures of a raucous night out, to dismiss this risk as hypothetical: people are right to be worried about posting under their own name.
Even those able to post under their own name often create anonymous or protected “alt” accounts to post about their family life, mental health, sex life or to bitch about others – and while we might frown on the latter, it’s hardly criminal or bannable behaviour.
But where the UK leads, dictators can follow: the suggestion from Rayner and others that anonymous accounts are illegitimate allows authoritarian leaders to say the same, suppressing a channel for opposition speech.
Remember that NYC Taxi data set that allowed you to see who visited a gentlemen's clubs and which celebrity took a taxi where? Reddit user uluman now seems to have found a way to distinguish Muslim taxi drivers from the set. He explains how:
FREQUENT visitors to the Hustler Club, a gentlemen's entertainment venue in New York, could not have known that they would become part of a debate about anonymity in the era of "big data".
Recently, thanks to a Freedom of Information request, Chris Whong received and made public a complete dump of historical trip and fare logs from NYC taxis. It's pretty incredible: there are over 20GB
Researchers from UCL, Stanford Engineering, Google, Chalmers and Mozilla Research have built a new system that protects Internet users' privacy whilst increasing the flexibility for web developers to build web applications that combine data from different web sites, dramatically improving the safety of surfing the web.
This is not a dig at Google, but it is a problem.
We're constantly blogging about data. If you'd like to contribute, let us know.
There are a great many other applications and projects working on anonymous communication and I2P has been inspired by much of their efforts. This is not a comprehensive list of anonymity resources - both freehaven's Anonymity Bibliography and GNUnet's related projects serve that purpose well. That said, a few systems stand out for further comparison. The following have individual comparison pages:
When you access a Web site over an encrypted connection, you're using a protocol called HTTPS. But not all HTTPS connections are created equal. In the first few milliseconds after a browser connects securely to a server, an important choice is made: the browser sends a list of preferences for what...
Darknet. The word in and of itself brings to mind visions of the seedy underbelly of the internet; a virtual red-light district, back alley, and digital ghetto all rolled into one. Despite this threatening image that the media and many governments would like to imprint on the public consciousness, privacy-aware individuals know that in todays world of ISP data retention being measured in petabytes and massive supercomputing resources being thrown at traffic analysis by both governments and private industry alike, individuals must take it upon themselves to ensure the freedoms that come with anonymous information access and communication. Two of the most popular tools for doing so on the internet are Tor and I2P. Both will be compared and contrasted below.
The Tor Project's free software protects your privacy online. Site blocked? Email [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] for help downloading Tor Browser.
Blippex has always maintained that its browser plugin, which monitors surfing to establish search ranking, doesn't record IP addresses. But to set skeptical
The digital pioneer and visionary behind virtual reality has turned against the very culture he helped create
Tomorrow, as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers reforming the decades-old federal email privacy law, the personal Inboxes and love lives of senior military and intelligence figures may be on that august body's mind. When the FBI pored through the personal lives of CIA Director David Petraeus...
Online anonymity may be a luxury we can no longer afford - and it's disappearing fast anyway. Are we ready to bare all on the internet, wonders Jim Giles
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Recently it has come to the attention of, well, nearly the entire world that the Dutch Certificate Authority DigiNotar incorrectly issued certificates to a malicious party or parties.