Anonymity

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Anonymity

Postby The Omniscient One » Thu Jul 07, 2005 5:46 pm

A common question: "What are you trying to hide by not using your real name?"

Answer: My identity. It's called privacy and anonymity. It's one of the basic principles of a free society - that's why we have anonymous voting - to protect anonymity and be certain that I can think and do what I feel are right without someone like you being able to seek retribution. - anonymous

http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Anonymity/

Many people don't want the things they say online to be connected with their offline identities. They may be concerned about political or economic retribution, harassment, or even threats to their lives. Whistleblowers report news that companies and governments would prefer to suppress; human rights workers struggle against repressive governments; parents try to create a safe way for children to explore; victims of domestic violence attempt to rebuild their lives where abusers cannot follow.

Instead of using their true names to communicate, these people choose to speak using pseudonyms (assumed names) or anonymously (no name at all). For these individuals and the organizations that support them, secure anonymity is critical. It may literally save lives.

Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

    Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.
The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States. Founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius," and "the Federal Farmer" spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment.

The right to anonymous speech is also protected well beyond the printed page. Thus, in 2002, the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring proselytizers to register their true names with the Mayor's office before going door-to-door.

These long-standing rights to anonymity and the protections it affords are critically important for the Internet. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Internet offers a new and powerful democratic forum in which anyone can become a "pamphleteer" or "a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox."


For the libtards among us, anonymity means NOT using your real name or other identifying information in posts on the forum where anyone can read it. ALL members are required to disclose their identity to be selected for the Infantry.

Please read the following:

In Defense of Internet Anonymity
Si vis pacem para bellum!
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The Omniscient One
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