This summer, one of the hottest issues in technology is online anonymity. Specifically, do users have a right to hide their identity behind pseudonyms, or should they be required to use a real name? The answer is especially important to free and open source software supporters – the Linux community – for whom the rights of users are central issues.
The issues that surround anonymity are as old as the Internet. In fact, in the early 1990s, nicknames were part of the fun of being online -- an attitude that persists today in IRC and Instant Messaging, as well as on some sites and mailing lists.
However, at least two recent events have revived the old issues. To start with, after lengthy debate, the House Judiciary Committee recently approved bill H.R. 1981, which requires Internet service providers to keep a record of their customer's activities for twelve months.
Friday, August 5, 2011