If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time, you know that I put a high value on internet anonymity. It hasn’t always worked in my favor, either. I’ve been stabbed in the back by people who try to hide behind it plenty of times. It’s happened to me quite recently, even. But I still see anonymity as a fundamental right that should be protected by any means possible, short of criminality.

Here’s what I wrote about it way back in the fall of 2014…


Why do these people feel the need to destroy Internet culture? I hinted at it in the intro, but the reason they are so keen to kill anon, is because that’s where most of the challenges to the SJW agenda originate from nowadays. Anonymity gives people a protection cloak they otherwise wouldn’t have. I don’t give a shit about my name being out there. I like being known for fighting this menace. But some people have different jobs and responsibilities. They can’t afford to be controversialized.

The other benefit of the anon culture in particular, is that ideas matter more than the people behind them. There isn’t another place in life like this that comes to mind, off the top of my head. No matter where you are or what you do, your name and reputation will proceed you. It’s inescapable, and can certainly be a downer. But with anonymity, you can submit your views for public consumption without tying yourself to it. This is helpful in many different ways, and allows us to discuss taboo subjects without fear of reprisal.

The column is still pertinent, but the SJWs aren’t the ones you should really be worried about. Yes, they can influence the public debate through their platforms and various patsies in the media, but ultimately, it’s the US government you should be most concerned with. That has become even more obvious today after a report that appeared in The Register

Internet anonymity should be banned and everyone required to carry the equivalent of a license plate when driving around online. That’s according to Erik Barnett, the US Department of Homeland Security’s attaché to the European Union. Writing in French policy magazine FIC Observatoire, Barnett somewhat predictably relies on the existence of child abuse images to explain why everyone in the world should be easily monitored

[T]he pitch: “As the use of technology by human beings grows and we look at ethical and philosophical questions surrounding ownership of data and privacy interests, we must start to ask how much of the user’s data is fair game for law enforcement to protect children from sexual abuse?”…

And then the punch: “When a person drives a car on a highway, he or she agrees to display a license plate. The license plate’s identifiers are ignored most of the time by law enforcement [unless] the car is involved in a legal infraction or otherwise becomes a matter of public interest. Similarly, should not every individual be required to display a ‘license plate’ on the digital super-highway?

OF COURSE! We all need to give up our anonymity for the kids! Um, excuse me, but that’s preposterous. First off, there’s zero reason to think the bad guys won’t just find another way, as they always have throughout history. If there’s enough of a profit motive, you can be guaranteed that criminals will figure out how to make that money. Does this guy think that child abuse and the market surrounding said abuse just came into existence right when the internet did? I can tell you for a fact that it didn’t.  Yes, the internet helped the spread of it immensely, but the stuff was still out there way before that, and it would continue to be around even if we all gave up our online anonymity.

The fact of the matter is, yes, crimes against children are abhorrent. Terrorism against innocent citizens is terrible as well. Still, the argument that giving up my right to privacy would impact either of those things doesn’t move me at all. I reject it totally, even if you told me it would completely stamp them both out. Freedom isn’t worth anything if we go full police state. Also, consider this: The NSA has already obliterated anonymity in most areas. This guy just wants to deal the final blow, and you can be sure that he isn’t the only one who feels this way. I’m so down about all this lately that I’m not even sure there’s a way to stop this march. That’s doesn’t mean we should quit trying, though.