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Kaspersky CEO Wants End To Online Anonymity 537

Andorin writes "Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of well-known computer security company Kaspersky Labs, is calling for an end to the anonymity of the Internet, and for the creation of mandatory 'Internet passports' for anyone who wishes to browse the Web. Says Kaspersky, 'Everyone should and must have an identification, or internet passport ... the internet was designed not for public use, but for American scientists and the US military. Then it was introduced to the public, and it was wrong ... to introduce it in the same way.' He calls anonymity 'the Internet's biggest security vulnerability' and thinks any country that doesn't follow this regime should be 'cut off.' The EFF objects, and it's likely that they won't be the only ones."
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Kaspersky CEO Wants End To Online Anonymity

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  • "Papers Please" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:20AM (#29776951) Homepage

    Yes, because requiring passports to entry countries stops all terrorism and crime.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:20AM (#29776955) Journal

    Then he can just start his own network and only let people use it if they identify themselves.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:26AM (#29776985)

    when I have to log on using my biometrical passport. And every web page owner will know exactly who I am and what I do online.

    Sir, we have a special offer JUST for you.

    Good times are ahead.

    Oh, and the other way also "sorry, this part of the internet is JUST for women in Southern Italy aged 40-44. NO ACCESS."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:27AM (#29776991)

    Dear Eugene,

        Go fuck yourself.


  • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:28AM (#29777007) Homepage

    This guy apparently doesn't understand that for many, anonymity is a security feature.

    Anonymity is prone to abuse, sure, but it is vital for free exchange of ideas. People who are identifiable are less likely to make risky statements, and this is detrimental to culture. Repression and oppression should not be the goal of Security.

    Beyond that, not everything on the internet is a person.

  • by jcorno ( 889560 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:35AM (#29777047)
    I'm pretty sure this would be a huge blow to the adult website industry. How many people would willingly visit those sites if they knew their name and identification was being taken down every time? It wouldn't eliminate every visitor, obviously, since a lot of people pay for those things with credit cards, but it would be enough to cause some serious damage.
  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:37AM (#29777067)

    But most of the people it is a threat to, frankly deserve to live with being threatened.

    Anonymity can enable online bullying or petty fraud, but those are nuisances on the grand scale of things. The people for whom anonymity is an actual threat are governments who want to monitor and control their citizens, unsavory groups such as the church of Scientology who want to harass their critics, and businesses that want to force consumption of their products in the way they demand they are consumed.

    Let them be threatened. They deserve to live in fear.

  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Smegly ( 1607157 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:40AM (#29777085)

    Yes, because requiring passports to entry countries stops all terrorism and crime.

    Exactly. But then creating a fear based "papers please" society [] was never about stopping crime or terrorism to begin with, anyway. Thats just a convenient for voters to believe so various profitable charades [] can continue [] and profits continue [] to flow in...

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:40AM (#29777091) Homepage Journal

    Around where i live, a drivers license just says you have paid your tax ( ok, and taken the 'competency test'.. but that's a different discussion ) and gives you the right to drive around at will, anonymously. We don't have checkpoints where we have to produce ID.

    Perhaps its different where he lives, which is a shame.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:41AM (#29777101)

    The guy obviously never lived under the Stasi but instead, wants to become one

  • by jcohen ( 131471 ) * on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:41AM (#29777103) Homepage

    Considering the amount of computer-based identity fraud in the world, all this would accomplish is to get millions of people unjustly pegged for crimes they didn't commit. Suppose that identity is conferred via X.509 certificates. What is to stop a garden-variety rootkit/botnet from using these certificates for their own purposes? My spam trap is filled with hundreds of messages each day from unsuspecting victims; why would it make a difference if these messages were digitally signed?

    The problems are

    1. The falsifiability of the credentials.
    2. The juridical ("DNA testing") status these credentials would take on.
  • by Shin-LaC ( 1333529 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:45AM (#29777139)
    Indeed, this could be a serious PR blunder for Kaspersky. His statements single-handedly changed my perception of the brand "Kaspersky" from "respected maker of Windows antivirus software" to "worse than Microsoft AIDS" (a hypothetical product with the combined potential of causing sever harm to both your computer and your own personal well-being).

    Then again, I wasn't really in his potential customer pool to begin with, so it might not matter.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:50AM (#29777173) Journal
    Mod this up. If you think anonymity is a bad thing then create VPN on top of the Internet, with certificates required to connect, and reject any traffic that doesn't come over this VPN. Only make your services available over this VPN, and not over the public portion of the Internet. Come back in a year and tell us what proportion of Internet users are connected to your system; if it's more than 1% I shall be very impressed.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:52AM (#29777191) Journal
    Absolutely! Nothing important was ever published anonymously before the Internet []! Anonymity is a brand new thing that only exists on the Internet and is clearly not important there because it's not important anywhere else.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:05AM (#29777289)

    The only thing you really need for free exchange of ideas is a society where that its respected, and a government that protects it rather than prosecutes it.

    You say that like it was easier to achieve than anonymity.

  • by WCMI92 ( 592436 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:11AM (#29777323) Homepage

    People like this need to understand who is actually making the purchasing decisions for software such as what Kaspersky makes.

    It's people like us. And we tend to be very libertarian when it comes to free speech and anonymity. The guys in the suits who sign the PO's don't make these kinds of decisions in reality because they don't want to get the blame for a bad decision made out of ignorance.

    I, too, will make sure his product doesn't grace the door where I work. And we, in fact, just happen to be looking for a new Corporate antivirus/spyware/spam suite now that our McAfee contract has (thank God) ended. They were on our list to evaluate. They won't be on Monday when I get to work.

    As others have said, physical passports in the REAL world did nothing to stop terrorists from coming in. They also do nothing to stop millions of Mexican peasants who can't even speak English from crossing the border, getting driver's licenses, and getting jobs despite the fact that all THAT is supposed to require passports and documentation.

    Considering how much easier it is to forge stuff that is in 1's and 0's than paper, do the math. All this "Internet Passport" idea is going to do is make it easy for oppressive countries like China, Russia, and yes, add the United States to that list too with that wannabe Hugo Chavez in the white house. His people also want to regulate speech on the internet and have a goon in the FCC already proposing it. This will only punish the honest, criminals will never submit to it. Suggesting that ending anonymity for web surfing is going to end whatever problem he is proposing it as a solution for is going to be as effective as gun bans have been at ending crime. Zip, Zero, Nada effect.

    Fact of the matter is, the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. The only way to change that is to tear it down and redesign it from scratch to be the KGB controlled streets of the Soviet Union. Thank God it was designed in the 1970's in this case.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:12AM (#29777337)

    The little (and often incorrect) information that we provide companies on the internet is already sold and distributed widely. Lets have some proof of trust before we suddenly start verifying our identities on the internet. What Eugene actually wants is to remove the uncertainty for when stealing identities or sending UCE.

  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by andymadigan ( 792996 ) <> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:14AM (#29777349)
    On the internet, there's plenty of reason to preserve anonymity and free speech. You can't kill someone over the internet, and real criminals will always find ways around a "passport" system, they already find ways around other kinds of security.
  • by WCMI92 ( 592436 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:18AM (#29777377) Homepage

    Uh, OK. How do you propose to bring about a society in which everyone respects the free exchange of ideas, and a government that can perfectly protect everyone who expresses an unpopular opinion?

    The First Amendment's free speech clause is very misunderstood these days, thanks to decades of piss poor civics and history education in the government schools. Thankfully I wasn't mis-educated in one of them.

    The First Amendment isn't in there to protect popular speech. It's in there to protect UNPOPULAR speech, so that people who say something that the government or even a large majority of the people CAN say it without being thrown in jail.

    Does anyone want to live in a society where I can't say "Bush was an idiot and Barak Obama is too" without being thrown in the gulag? Well, that day is coming. They already want to restrict blogs.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:22AM (#29777401)
    If he believes this then what privacy violations will he do to users of his software. I can be certain that his software is now blacklisted from my company network. Who knows what self righteous use he might make of being behind my firewalls?
  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:23AM (#29777421) Journal

    I don't get your point. That sounds just like required registration on most websites nowadays.

    Like Slashdot? I'm guessing tkinnun0 isn't your real name, and pharmboy isn't mine. With proxy servers and/or anonymous email, it is trivial to comply with "required registration" and still be anonymous.

  • by NeverVotedBush ( 1041088 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:23AM (#29777423)
    Just this one thing and now I really don't like the guy.

    Certainly there is a lot of fraud and theft on the Internet, and people who do bad things. But the anonymity aspect to the Internet is one of its greatest assets. I prefer my identity to not be known when I post, read news stories, research things, and known only to those where I buy things.

    As it is, if someone really wants to know who I am, they can find out. Link up IP address with logs from my ISP and I'm no longer anonymous.

    Already, and it is just the nature of the beast, everything people do online can be sifted, sorted, mined, etc. People can be identified by their browsing habits. They can be profiled by their search histories. Governments everywhere have their unblinking robot minions scanning for any key words and actions that might indicate someone is a malcontent and worthy of monitoring more closely. There is no need to make it any easier to monitor people or to allow others to join in the fun.
  • by lukas84 ( 912874 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:28AM (#29777463) Homepage

    Your ISP logs who has what IP.

    Not in every country. And then there's Tor.

  • by Stu101 ( 1031686 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:30AM (#29777471) Homepage

    Ah well. We were going to buy an enterprise licence for his product (Been evaluating for a few months). Not now. With renewals it would have been a nice chunk of change. To stop idiots such as this, we need to vote with our pockets.

    On a larger scale, without internet anonymity, we wouldn't have wikileaks. We wouldn't have free and open speach. We can and do critize bad laws, bad companies.

    It wouldn't be lonf until its a "pay to play" scenario.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:32AM (#29777483)
    Not if he's posting from a free wireless hotspot, such as those found at bookstores, airports, libraries, universities etc...
  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:34AM (#29777501)

    On the internet, there's plenty of reason to preserve anonymity and free speech. You can't kill someone over the internet, and real criminals will always find ways around a "passport" system, they already find ways around other kinds of security.

    Which, as far as Kapersky is concerned, is a business opportunity! Eliminate anonymity, and then sell products that mostly, but far from perfectly, protect against abuses of that information.

    Always follow the money, it explains all corporate actions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:36AM (#29777515)
    free speech as embodied by the First Amendment in the states accepts that anonymous speech is essential to the free sharing of ideas.

    There are two parts to free speech. First is the ability to speak without any explicit or implicit restrictions. Explicit restrictions are outright bans or legal restraints. Implicit restrictions are what they call "chilling effect". Intimidation in the form of threats or simply having a law enforcement official standing nearby while you are speaking.

    The second is the ability to listen without any explicit or implicit restrictions. It does you no good to speak if nobody feels free to listen to what you're saying. If the cost of me hearing someone speak on some topic is being identified, I'm probably not going to do it thereby denying the speakers free speech right.

    We have had anonymous speech in the United States for over 200 years. the most common form of anonymous speech prior to the electronics era has been pamphlets and posters. Law enforcement agencies have routinely violated anonymity and speech rights by photographing people in crowds and then publishing those photos trying to identify the "perpetrators"

    Anonymity has nothing to do with cowardice or irresponsibility. It has everything to do with being able to speak against the more powerful foe and hopefully survive any retribution for speaking out.

    anonymity can be abused by many people ranging from sociopaths, /. Users, and those in power but used appropriately, it's a wonderful tool

  • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:42AM (#29777541) Homepage
    Yes, I know this too. The problem is that the First Amendment's scope is really only limited to the Federal government. The First Amendment doesn't protect you from being fired by your boss if your boss is a private individual who disagrees with your public acts of free speech. The First Amendment doesn't protect you from the Mafia. It doesn't protect you from a lynch mob. It doesn't protect you from the court of public opinion. It doesn't protect you from being ostracized by your peers. All it means is that the Federal government isn't supposed to pass any laws that abridge your freedom to speak your mind, and to assemble into groups, and to freely practice the religion of your choice. And by and large, State and Local levels of government tend to fall in line with this as well. Of course, the government does try to pass these sorts of laws all the time. Usually because they're "thinking of the children" or have prioritized national security over everything, including common sense. Often without recognizing that some law they're passing will have just these sorts of consequences.
  • by BlueParrot ( 965239 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:06AM (#29777689)

    In order to actually enforce what he is suggesting you would have to effectively ban or censor all private individuals and companies from using protocols not endorsed by the government, all countries would have to agree on the bans and rules, and you would have to block traffic from non-cooperating countries.

    However that is not enough, because some of the countries from which you want to allow traffic may be allowing proxies used by countries that don't cooperate. So if Switzerland were to allow the Swedish to use Swiss proxies, and if the US didn't like Sweden's way to do things, then not only would they have to refuse all traffic from Sweden, they would have to refuse all traffic from Switzerland too. And if the UK allowed the Swiss to use UK proxies, you'd have to ban the UK too.

    Then there is the practical problems. How do you stop people from stealing each others "passports"?. How do you stop people peeking over each others back when they type in passwords ? How do you stop man in the middle attacks? Are you going to encrypt every single transmission ? And all countries will agree to encrypt all their traffic too? How do you manage the keys across international boundaries? What happens when I go on vacation in a country that doesn't agree with your rules ?

    Now what about compromised systems? What do you do when you get packages from Russia, Nigeria and China flooding your key servers with false requests? What do you do when the attacks come from compromised systems in Australia, Norway, Israel and France? Do you block all those countries, do you disconnect all your citizens that can't access your key servers? Do you allow everybody access if the key-servers are flooded? Do you cut foreign countries off from your citizens thereby screwing over all your international trade?

    Somebody didn't think this through...

  • Follow the money. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:08AM (#29777703) Homepage

    Such a program would need to be administered, of course, and who's better qualified to do so than "security" companies? A billion or so Internet licenses at maybe $5/year with a buck or two in "adminstrative expenses": do we see a financial interest here? Naw. I'm sure he has only the best interests of the Internet community at heart. No CEO would ever be influenced by the prospect of increased revenue for his company.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:13AM (#29777725)

    Fool. Do you really think you'd see less ads?

    All marketers must be shot.

    Captcha: disallow

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:18AM (#29777765)

    "the internet was designed not for public use, but for American scientists and the US military."

    IMHO, the internet was not designed as someone designs a wheel or a building. The internet grew out of an idea of interconnectivity between people. As such, the internet has grown because people choose to use it. Had the internet not been anonymous, its growth and prosperity would not have necessarily been the same. In any case, the internet is not a network. The internet is people. The moment you put restrictions on the internet, you will see people stop its use. I for one welcome the return of a sneaker net.

    For this individual, who happens to be from the higher class of the world economy, to feel he has the right to dictate policy on something which is everyone's business, is presumptuous at best. As most IT professionals know, the security of a system does not depend on how well the system recognizes the person, but on how secure the system itself is built. For as long as companies feel they have something to hide, people will continue trying to break down walls. Knowing the identity of those individuals will not help the cause, mostly because ghosting your identity is common practice anyways.

    In the end, nobody is any safer with the internet knowing my name or not. My ip address can be traced to my identity just as easily by "government" security agencies (since we the people should be the government, I don't necessarily deny this as a good thing for national security), which he fails to mention.

  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:28AM (#29777819)

    Though, on the other hand, they make a good product, and just because the figurehead is a dumbass with some things doesn't take away from that fact.

    Except that by buying and recommending his product you are giving him money which he will use to promote his dumbassery.

  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:34AM (#29777839)

    Though, on the other hand, they make a good product, and just because the figurehead is a dumbass with some things doesn't take away from that fact.

    Then you just have to decide which is more important: that the product is good, or that buying that product funds War on Freedom.

  • by FrozenGeek ( 1219968 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:47AM (#29777919)
    Clearly Mr Kaspersky does not understand what the internet is today. He clearly does not understand how people want to use it today.
    That, in and of itself is not a bad thing. However, combine it with the fact that he wants to sell software to help internet users do so securely, and you've got a problem. I won't be using his software for two reasons:
    1. I do not wish to support his viewpoint.
    2. Since he clearly does not understand the internet as it stands today, I do not believe he is competent to help secure my computers.
  • incentives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:57AM (#29777979) Homepage Journal
    Great. Everybody must have an Internet Passport. Just great. The spammers will have an incentive to steal those. It's bad enough now when somebody steals your identity. Takes years, sometimes, to clean up after that. Imagine what it will be like when somebody steals your Identity and the next step is for your Internet Passport to get shut off, for months, while a retrained electrician cum Internet Passport Agent from Xe (née Blackwater), Haliburton, or KBR sorts it out.

    Next, some genius will get the bright idea to bring biometrics to the Internet Passport, surely *that* will stop The Bad Guys. At that point, spammers have an incentive to kill you and cut off your hand, which they'll attach to a little machine to keep it at the right temperature and perspiration level, so they can send V1@gra spam.
  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:58AM (#29777991)

    The US Consitutional right to free assembly also embues a right to anonymity.

    Kapersky is just looking for a new revenue stream. Indeed there ought to be a way to partition out obvious malware sites and even those that are infected because their management didn't patch them.

    But you'll not get rid of anonymity. It's the human condition.

  • by peterindistantland ( 1487953 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:01PM (#29778023)
    In this way virus writers would be accountable for their activities and be arrested, provided that non-anonymity is enforced rigorously and the amount of work needed to bypass the system is prohibitive for someone who just wants to spread some virus. There are an outrageous number of viruses in the wild but millions of criminal programmers escape punishment.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:11PM (#29778069)

    His company is probably going to get a nice contract from Kremlin in exchange for his beautifully "patriotic" words (disclaimer: I personally consider the actions of the likes of him - the network, as you called it - as unpatriotic and harmful to the future of Russia). China is a another potential customer, which would appreciate these kinds of suppressive words. In fact, I think the target customer is quite likely China in this case.

  • by MikeURL ( 890801 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:46PM (#29778287) Journal
    It is already virtually impossible to "hide" on the internet IF you want your activities to benefit you in the real world. If you just want to surf anonymously that is possible but that doesn't hurt anyone.

    There is this common misconception that the TCP/IP allows people to do things anonymously with impunity. Tracking down bad actors is more a lack of political will than a lack of the technical ability to do so. If the various government and quasi-government agencies used all the tools they already have they would be able to shut down botnets overnight. That would turn off the vast majority of the space that allows for phishers, et al, to operate.

    Going after end users to try to make them even more identifiable is like the EPA going after carmakers while they ignore the MUCH larger problem of legacy diesel engines.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:06PM (#29778419)

    But most of the people it is a threat to, frankly deserve to live with being threatened.

    Here are a few things that are done, frequently, under the cover of pseudo-anonymity on the Internet:

    • Spamming
    • Phishing and identity theft
    • Malware distribution
    • Botnet management and extortion

    Please explain to me how a typical victim of these crimes deserves the consequences.

    Obviously there are many more illegal acts committed routinely under cover of on-line anonymity, particularly those to do with infringing intellectual property rights and defamation, but I'm omitting those because there is at least the potential for another side to many of those stories, while the examples I've given above are pretty much black-and-white bad things.

    Anonymity can enable online bullying or petty fraud, but those are nuisances on the grand scale of things.

    That's your opinion, and of course you're entitled to it. Still, I'd bet that you have never been on the wrong side of these "nuisances" to the point where they seriously screw up your life for months at a time. Not everyone is so lucky. Been there, done that, consoled the friends, been the guy who called the police.

    The people for whom anonymity is an actual threat are governments who want to monitor and control their citizens, unsavory groups such as the church of Scientology who want to harass their critics, and businesses that want to force consumption of their products in the way they demand they are consumed.

    There are much better solutions to those things than hiding behind anonymity: for a start, they include enforcing a healthy degree of responsibility and oversight within government, punishing harshly those who would harass others for their own benefit, and setting and openly enforcing (in both directions) a sensible legal framework for the relationships between producers and consumers.

    Part of the concern I have with on-line anonymity is that in the cases where it has legitimate merits—and I don't for an instant dispute that anonymity can be a force for good under some circumstances—it tends to be more of a sticking plaster that treats symptoms rather than a fix for the underlying causes of problems. As I've noted before, if you need to rely on on-line anonymity to fight against a government so corrupt that the people cannot openly challenge it, then there are much more important rights than on-line anonymity to protect, and the time for the use of words alone has probably passed. For threats below the level of corrupt government, any good legal system should protect the right of its citizens to speak openly and honestly on matters of importance without fear of reprisal, just as it should balance such rights with the protection of innocents from defamation and invasion of privacy. In short, anonymity shouldn't be necessary, and where it seems to be, I believe the benefits are often illusory.

    Meanwhile, the basic downside of anonymity remains: if freedom comes with responsibility, then how do you hold someone accountable for their actions if you can't identify them? The combined cost of the acts I listed at the start of this post, both to society in general and to effective use of the Internet in particular, is not trivial, and that's before you even get into less tangible damage as evidenced by the GIFT [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:17PM (#29778485)

    and what about vpns and proxychains?

  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:35PM (#29778607) Homepage Journal

    When anonymity is outlawed... Anonymous will be outlaws.

    Not all of us see that as being a bad thing. There is a very, very ugly side to the Internet, and it is almost entirely made possible by anonymity. Having a band of invisible vigilantes around (especially given the degree of sociopathic immaturity that is generally associated with the group we're talking about here) means that they can attack whoever they want, and if they can attack whoever they want, that also potentially means you or me, as much as it means governments.

    The argument that Anonymous should be allowed to continue to exist because they might potentially be able to fight governments or corporations for us, is a dangerous one. All we're really doing, potentially, is trading one tyrant for another.

    The very fact that I feel at least mildly afraid while posting this, proves that to me. I've been told about what they can do to people. They *are* terrorists, in the truest sense of the word. Just because they might be on our side in one particular case, doesn't for any reason necessarily mean that they're going to be next time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:36PM (#29778973)

    If ads were genuinely useful, there would be a way to subscribe to them and people would use it. They don't and there isn't. QED.

  • by layabout ( 1576461 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:45PM (#29779045)
    google SLAPP [], also look up whistle blower protections laws and see how well they protect people and keep their careers from being savaged.

    history shows that revealing identity is is a surefire way to silence or discredit a critic.

    one possible tool might be the use of pseudo-anonymity. A two-way untraceable path between you and the anonymous party. think of it as a disposable identity. The trick then becomes how do I remove any association between me and the pseudo-identity so it can't be traced back to me.

    The reason I suggest this tool is because true anonymity is a one-way communications path. Useful for broadcasting information but not interacting with any investigative authority. For example, I was working at a major film producer company that went bankrupt and we were working on a imaging device for nuclear medicine. since it was used a diagnostic setting, it had to pass certain FDA compliance regulations before could be used in a diagnostic setting.

    They shipped beta code to sites using the image printer for diagnostics with real patients. A few people complained including not one but two FDA compliance officers within the organization. these people, including the compliance officers are either marginalized or pushed out. If I had a good anonymous channel to the FDA, I would've handed them documentation in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, this company was really good at sniffing out leaks so I didn't dare.

    So for lack of true anonymity, a bunch of criminal behavior, or at least unethical behavior went unpunished.

    I am not so foolish as to extend a single case to the entire net but, it is a good example, and an extremely common example of not reporting corporate malfeasance because people are not willing to have their careers and financial well-being savaged. Good anonymity support could help that.

  • Rights (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @04:21PM (#29779635) Homepage Journal

    Free assembly today means you have the right to go stand in some official cage miles away (called the "free speech zone") from the real protest point you want to be at, and then if you decline to relocate to the "official" area or decline to provide ID or refuse to do either on demand, trying to remain both anonymous and to have your assemblage actually mean anything, you get arrested anyway, err, I mean "detained", if not also physically assaulted and punished on the spot, using a variety of blunt force trauma or chemical or electrical or sonic weapons and techniques.

    The bill of rights, the alleged born with freedoms that can't be abridged, are a very nice theory, but in practice, the state and their mercenary enforcers routinely violate any and all of those rights, and have, as far back as I can remember going back to racial civil rights protest days, also including the state insisting you need their "permission", a permit of some kind, for what should clearly be a born with right..

  • Re:Rights (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cosm ( 1072588 ) <> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @05:36PM (#29780091)
    I disagree. Americans (politicians in particular) do not have enough faith in the constitution. This mindset of it being a "living document"; continually editing, revising and reinterpreting the original message shows our lack of faith in it.

    Initially I suppose people invested their faith in the hopes of escaping tyranny, taxation without representation, quartering of troops and whatnot. As far as my faith in the constitution, I support it fully, albeit with continued changes, edits, and reinterpretations in the hands a the government that considers it a "living document" I lose faith in our ability to respect the wisdom in it. Don't blame the constitution or the bill of rights for human regression. Blame our government's own greed for powergrabs and overarching control.

    And yes, It's a travesty that the its creators kept slaves after its inception, I guess from that point on it became a "living document" subject to reinterpretation and selective application based on who you were and what political position you had attained.
  • by nacturation ( 646836 ) * <> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @05:48PM (#29780179) Journal

    Yeah, I could easily find several million people in the US who will agree with Mr. Kasperski. Some kind of a psychological analysis would be nice to look at. Or, the conclusions drawn by the psych people, anyway. Any takers?

    I agree with what I assume to be Kasperski's motive: without anonymity, we'd know who controls all these spambots or who is involved in identity theft, or who's writing all this malware, or who writes all those racist trolls on Slashdot. The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory [] is undeniably true... make someone attach their name to what they write and they're more civil, more reasoned, and they generally tend to take responsibility for their words. Throw anonymity into the mix with an audience and you get a total fuckwad.

    Imagine if people could drive a vehicle on the roads and be guaranteed that nobody could ever find out whose vehicle it was or who the driver was? Can you imagine the level of road rage that would result if someone pissed you off and you could simply ram them off the road with no repercussion? Today, the only anonymity we have on the roads is by walking, using a bicycle, or through a proxy such as a bus or taxi where someone else's identity is responsible for the driving.

    The problem with Kasperski's approach is that it's completely impossible to retrofit the entire Internet for this kind of identification. Not only that, but there's no technical way to guarantee that it's unhackable. Your computer gets compromised somehow and now someone has the ability to do anything using your identity. And it fails to take into account a family computer, for example. Did John Smith really write that, or was it one of his kids fooling around?

    So unless we want to turn the Internet into a place as highly regulated and enforced as the average Western nation's public roads, mostly anonymous it is.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) * on Saturday October 17, 2009 @06:10PM (#29780325) Homepage Journal

    The fuckwad theory inaccurately assumes that we begin with "normal" people. I had decades of people watching behind me before the internet came along. Those "normal" people were ranting about their pet peeves way back in 19?? - before that, even. The only difference was, they couldn't be heard as far away as they are heard today. Smaller soapbox, smaller audience. But, they were just as "abnormal".

    If anything, the fact that those fuckwads are on the internet is a good thing. They run at the mouth here, instead of rounding up their favorite minority victims to dump on with a lynching, or whatever. Their public ranting should also have the benefit of showing more "normal" people just how retarded their neighbors might be. All of those whackjobs come from somewhere. Do you know how many of them live within a mile of your house? You might be surprised - it pays to listen. The next time some lunkhead starts with his racial jokes, or whatever, just answer with some noncommital "hmmm" and "uh-huh". Give him some rope, let him really get going. You could uncover a freaking serial killer who has been stalking the subhumans for years. Or, a child molester, or a serial rapist, or ANYTHING!

    If only .01% of the human population is a true fucktard, you can be sure that one of them lives near you.

  • Re:incentives (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mathfeel ( 937008 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @07:05PM (#29780679)
    Agreed. We have a de facto "ID" in America. It is called social security number. Originally only used to identify tax payer, look how much of every American's financial lives now actually ride on it. And it was not even designed to be secured in the first place.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @08:10PM (#29780977)

    "He calls anonymity 'the Internet's biggest security vulnerability' and thinks any country that doesn't follow this regime should be 'cut off.'"
              I view it as the opposite -- any country or locality that decides to "cut off" everyone else will simply be cutting THEMSELVES off. Everyone else will have a free, open, and vibrant internet.

  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paleolibertarian ( 930578 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @02:35AM (#29782325) Journal

    It isn't FUD at all. History provides ample evidence that whenever government or any quasi-government organization gets to regulate something there is always a political aim in doing so to the detriment of users and usually to the benefit of government or corporations.

    When there was a single provider of domain names in the U.S. they were very expensive. When the monopoly was broken domain names are now much cheaper.

    If a "passport" is required for internet access you can be sure that the hoops will be set in ways that prevent some people from having access. Even when they intend to do no harm at all. Convicted felons I predict would be the first group to be banned. Followed by children below a certain age. Then they will require that filters be put in place for some types of "passports" etc...

    The internet is a very public place for the practice of free speech and dissemination of all sorts of information, both good and bad. It has been said that the antidote for "bad" speech is not regulation but more speech. Only the individual is capable of determining what he gets from the internet is good or bad... for HIM, NOT the government. Governments will always want to regulate communications between individuals. Governments prefer ignorant taxpayers. A passport would provide the means to identify an individual so they could be readily punished or prevented from exercising the right to speak freely. This is ALWAYS a bad thing.

    The answer to the wild and woolly internet is for people to get more intelligent which is something the internet does very well in spite of all of the crap that is out there. Any regulation at all is a bad thing.

    Kaspersky is at best a fool.


  • by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) <> on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:58AM (#29782617) Homepage Journal

    That's right, I hope he really pushes his plan as far as he can.

    Because I've got a shit-ton of popcorn and a lot of time to kill. This should be a really fukking entertaining train wreck to watch.

  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nithendil ( 1637041 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @04:37AM (#29782731)
    Most of our founding fathers brought about the United States through anonymous papers. If the Supreme Court were to rule that anonymity was not a part of free speech, it would be flat out treason.
  • Re:"Papers Please" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Steve Franklin ( 142698 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @09:04AM (#29783603) Homepage Journal

    I point out the most blatant inconsistency in the entire 9-11 cover story and I become "an idiot" in the eyes of those who confuse advanced degrees with real science. Whether or not you think, or believe, or doubt, or reject outright that WTC7 was demolished, it was necessary on a purely scientific level to look for explosives. That would have been the scientific thing to do. SCIENCE DOES NOT ASSUME ITS CONCLUSIONS. If knowing that makes me an "idiot," then we need a few more "idiots" in this world and a few less smart guys like you, sir.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990