Pointer to article:
See previous post for chilling new context within which this story should be understood.
According to the article, “Proponents of [EFF’s] Tor said the tool is beneficial to surfers who may be harmed if their identity were revealed. ‘EFF understands the importance of anonymity technology for everyone -- from the average Web surfer, to journalists for community sites like Indymedia, to people living under oppressive regimes,’ said Roger Dingledine, Tor project leader, in a statement.”
The “surfers” are only half the e-commerce equation. How about the online sellers? What if those sellers are thieves fencing stolen property under assumed names? How about the legitimate owners of the stolen goods? Aren’t they being harmed by the thieves’ cloak of online anonymity?
The EFF’s goals are generally laudable. But their absolutist ideological defense of online anonymity ignores the very real and serious problem of online theft and fraud. The fraudsters need to have their real identities and nasty deeds exposed to the light of day.
Anonymity is no absolute right. If you’ ve sustained damages of a commercial nature—online and/or offline--you need the tools and information to go after the perpetrator. Common thieves are everywhere.
Notice how I didn’t mention terrorists till just now?