UN Agency Working On Tech Standards To Get Rid Of Anonymity
from the that-doesn't-seem-good dept
Declan McCullagh has a somewhat scary report about how the UN’s International Telecommunication Union has been quietly working away on a proposal for new core internet technology that would allow a “traceback mechanism” to effectively get rid of anonymity, and allow those with access to identify who provided any particular piece of content. Not surprisingly, the proposal for such a technology was first suggested by a Chinese official, who has long tried to control the use of the internet in that country. The leaked documents related to this effort even indicate that one potential reason for such a mechanism would be to crack down on gov’t opposition.
It is true that not everyone agrees that anonymity is a good thing, but it’s taking it to another level to try to block out the possibility of anonymity altogether. While some are trying to position this as way to track down “bad” players (such as those running DoS attacks), the problem is that the definition of who’s “bad” may depend heavily on who’s in control. Regardless of whether any such anti-anonymous technology gets very far, pursuing it is probably a wasted effort. Plenty of folks have already learned to spoof and hide themselves and pretend to be others. It wouldn’t take long for the same thing to happen with any “traceback mechanism” as well. Also, as the article notes, the ITU has no power over the internet these days, but has been pushing to get more power, which is why it’s worth following what they’re discussing behind the scenes.