10.8.06

Where oppinions clash


There's an issue on which I have one point of view about and some people surprise me by having the opposite view. I'm talking about privacy and freedom in the digital world.

The controversy is well known. For instance, let me quote wikipedia on it:


Opponents of online anonymity (e.g., of anonymous remailers or anonymous P2P) suggest that anonymity enables or encourages illegal or dangerous activity (eg, terrorism, drug trafficking, sexual approaches towards minors, and so on). The inference intended by such claims is that, without anonymity, these things would not occur, or would be less likely to do so, and members of society would be safer. This is typically countered by pointing out that prior to the practical availability of this kind of anonymity, all of these things occurred anyway. Actual evidence of a causal or even facilitating connection is limited, and often disputed. There have been several prominent attempts to claim they have, in the press and otherwise; few have included credible evidence, and some have cited mere allegations as 'evidence'.


My position in this kind of issues is clear: you shouldn't take freedom from some people because some other people can do evil stuff with it. Or, on other words, I fight for a world of freedom, including fighting for online privacy and anonymity (for instance by trying to contribute with GNUnet. But then people tell me that GNUnet is evil: something like "that's giving a gun to the hands of a killer". Well, I also don't agree with that. People who want to do something (morally right or wrong) will do it with the means they have. You can't reduce the number of people doing those things by not giving them the tools, and you can only mold people to not want to do something by socially imposing them a set of values. You shouldn't restrain people of using everything that might be wrongly used, 'cause you're not fixing no problem - you're repressing. More, you're taking freedom off from those who wouldn't use it for "good values".

In the issue, there was a poll made in 2002 where 50% of the people don't care about this kind of issues, and only 12.5% thought that software to provide online anonymity isn't necessary, against 37.5% of those who think like me.

1 comment:

  1. Uzume2:43 AM

    Frankly I believe freedom has a very close kinship with anonymity. I really do not understand people that claim they want freedom but think privacy is nothing. You want be "free" to be scrutinized in your every move? That doesnt sound like freedom to me. Everytime people are watched and not allowed the freedom of anonymity you will find people trying to legalize their concept of morality on others because they do not want to see that (stop looking and let me be anonymous then!).

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