I've always told my customers that whatever they do on the net is not
annonamous. And that they should assume someone is watching and is
I've kinda described privacy on the net is like being blindfolded at the
local football stadium and thinking nobody is there, but then to find
out after you take the blindfold off that the stadium is full and
everyone CAN see you. They just might not be looking at you at the moment.
You know, we can all think we have a right to privacy, but I think our
rights to privacy for whatever reason we might believe we have them is
When you step out in the public domain, there is not much privacy that
you are entitled to.
As time moves on and the sophistication of our society increases we have
to adjust our thinking.
I still think we need to keep this discussion going for a bit. I have a
question for you guys. Which do you think is better for all concerned.
Do you think we should portray a false sense of security and anonymity?
Do you think we should tell our customers, "Hey do whatever you want
online, nobody is tracking anything". Then when a customer trips up on
an online resource that is a trap by the feds they get a court order and
beat on us with subpoenas and the like until we give them whatever data
we might have.
I can tell you what I do online and on the telephone. I assume I am
being monitored all the time. (No...not in that paranoid "they're out to
get me" sort of way). Why should anyone think otherwise? It is not as if
the legal system cannot listen in or watch if they really want to. All
it takes is a court to approve a tap. It is not that big a deal to the
I am not advocating that we help the government strip away our civil
liberties. If I did not think they were part anti-Christ I would likely
join and support the ACLU because our government is chiseling away at
our civil liberties one by one, a piece at a time, slowly and
methodically and none of us are really doing anything but watching it
happen and whining about it occasionally. Just like that boiling frog
analogy someone expressed on here recently (I really liked that analogy
by the way).
What I am saying is it would probably be a better service to our
customers if we simply tell them the facts. Let them know that if they
do something out of line on the Internet that there is a very good
chance they will be tracked and caught. There are in fact legal efforts
online setup to trap folks who are doing bad things. They exist and they
catch lots of people doing bad things. I cannot help but think that part
of the reason for this increase in criminal behavior is born from a
false sense of security people have that they can go do things on the
Internet that nobody will ever catch them or see them doing. They think
they are invisible or somehow that the laws do not apply while they are
Maybe if we warn our fellow citizens of the false sense of security
about anonymity then maybe they will curb some dark repressed desire to
go find little girls to chat with or try to setup that date with the
hooker or download that bootleg copy of Snakes on a Plane. I do think
people need to start using a little more self-control or they will
actually bring on more erosion of their civil liberties. If we all work
toward a better culture online then maybe the government will have less
grounds to erode the open nature of this wonderful medium. This all has
very little to do with how we might lobby for our own objectives
involving the tracking of online activity but it makes for good debate
none the less.
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