For the most part, the US has recognized that the right to be anonymous is a form of protected free speech -- and yet, anonymity is constantly under attack. Of course, the right to be anonymous is not absolute, but there is value in allowing anonymous speech to occur. With the right to anonymity under attack in the US, it's even worse in other countries, where such rights aren't even seen as vital as it is in the US. China, for example, is now requiring news websites to force all commenters to reveal their real identity
. Apparently, the government issued a directive demanding such info from all commenters, though, they don't want to admit it. Even though the newspapers are claiming that they're doing it to increase "civility" and "social responsibility," quietly they admit that it's the government. As for why the gov't won't just come out and say it's for civility and social responsibility (even if it's to quiet critics), apparently the government is afraid of public backlash:
"The influence of public opinion on the Net is still too big."
I guess that's why the idea is to silence them.
Meanwhile, as reports came in last week suggesting that Australia's latest plan to censor the internet is just about dead
, Slashdot notes that Scientologists down under are asking the Australian gov't to implement severe restrictions on what they refer to as "Religious Vilification"
(which, one assumes, means any anti-Scientology comments, among other things). The proposal also suggests that any such site should not be allowed to be operated anonymously. Apparently, Scientologists took the name of the group "Anonymous" that organized protests
against the group quite literally.