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 listening.

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 limited.

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.


 Scrivner wrote:
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 legal system.

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 online.

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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