Theterms of citizenship and the social life is drastically changingespecially in this digital era nevertheless, privacy and securityissues are a foundation of the digital world. One of the basicprinciples of internet is anonymity it can be said to be one of thegreatest gifts of the internet as well as it allows people to expressthemselves freely and without fear of intimidation (Strykerp122-131). Internet anonymity has been taken as a response to theinternet users desires to keep their personal information private aswell as prevent search engines, governments and huge corporationsfrom using personal data for commercial or even their politicalagendas.
Thereare different and varying views on internet anonymity some advocatefor anonymity on the basis of privacy while others who happen to besecurity conscious especially the law enforcers do not advocate foranonymity. Some of the benefits of internet anonymity includepromotion of freedom of speech as well as protecting democracy. Thesupporters of anonymity also provide that political debates would beimpossible without anonymity and that whistle blowers are a perfectexample of why anonymity is important. In this regard they providethat anonymous sources are important to law enforcement officials asthey are able to attack and curb organized crimes.
Thoseagainst anonymity argue that even in fighting organized gangs,anonymity is used illegally to spread false information thus ruiningeven the innocent people. This means that anonymity is quiteunreliable and is dangerous in its usage as an informational network.
Passinga law that all internet communication will now be untracked andanonymous an advocacy of privacy in the internet platform. In thepresidents bid of passing this law he would be acknowledging thatanonymity is crucial for on line discussions involving many issuessuch as minority issues, political debates, report illegalactivities, sexual harassment and many other things that bring ondiscussions in the internet. In making it a law then it means thatthe internet users can express themselves without fear of retributionor any other harm that results from such social intolerance. In thisregard everyone would air their opinions however controversial theymay be because anonymity on the internet is legit.
Insuch a situation such a law would obviously have its own highs andlows. First of all, it would be recognizing that the society we livein is quite conservative and that anonymity in life has and willalways be unavoidable. For instance, anonymity has been recognized injournalism where journalists are not required to reveal their sourcesof information and that people may send unsigned letters or even makeanonymous phone calls (Choi,p 5).
Inessence anonymity on the internet has been said to be the drivebehind some of the most difficult debates arguably, it is said tohave promoted democracy and that people are in a position to knoweach other mentally by the way they express themselves. In thisregard, people would gain more than lose by passing the law to allowanonymity.
Arguably,anonymity on the internet can lead to unusual acts of generosity andkindness by the way it lifts inhibitions. This is done where peopleuse anonymity protection to discuss unpopular opinions that areactually used positively by other internet users, for instance artwork, exchanging help and support and so on.
Onthe other hand, anonymity has its own drawbacks in that it would beused to abuse and for illegal activities. This law would be a leewayfor the sociopaths who would use it to make abusive, frivolous andillegal deals for instance it could be used to accelerate terrorism,kidnaps, personal threats, financial scams as well as disclose tradesecrets. In this regard, anonymity would not be protecting theAmerican citizens instead it would be ruining their lives. In regardto this, I would mean that the perpetrators of these heinous actionswill never face the law and their victims will never receive justicedue to their anonymity. It has been established that internet basedcrimes are on the rise and as such anonymity would just acceleratethe rate at which they are committed given the fact that theauthorities are not able to track the criminals down.
Anotherdrawback of anonymity law would be the fact it is encouraging peopleto hide their beliefs for instance if it’s an issue in thesociety, some people use anonymity to attack their opponents withimpunity. In this case, anonymity does not provide a solution butinstead causes intolerant conditions in the on line society. Societalproblems would be better solved through direct discussions as opposedto anonymously.
Ido agree with Eugene Spafford that “Freedom of speech without anycost can be freedom from thought.” In my opinion though internetanonymity may be beneficial it should be limited to a certain extent.People use internet to attack others putting their lives in danger. In this case, anonymity masks unwarranted behavior which causesmisery, murders, and could even lead to war. In this regard, passingthe anonymity law should be done with some regulations to limit thecontent in place. I believe that the best that can be done in bid toprotect the American citizens is to protect each and every oneagainst hate speech and other kinds of abusive usage of the internet.Teaching the American citizens on how to use the internet responsiblyotherwise some measures will be taken if one crosses a certain linethat is perceived to be intolerable in the on line society (Bailey, p78-82) This basically means that though there is freedom of speech,there are other rights that could be injured by extreme freedom ofspeech thus speech should have limits as well.
Inconclusion, it has been established that anonymity has its good sideand its bad side it can be a tool for the shy people to expressthemselves, it can be used to show acts of kindness, and it can alsobe used to expose the wrongs doings that otherwise would never havebeen know. On the hand it can be used to perpetrate bad behaviors,can be used as a channel for cyber bullying as well as scams. It isthrough all these divisions that the law on anonymity should havemeasures of limitations.
Inthis regard, if the law allows anonymity fully then the Americancitizens would not live peacefully due to the rise in crimes,nevertheless, if the law was to disallow anonymity fully, then thiswould also see online commerce and banking businesses go down as someactivities such as these require identifications to a certain extentboth for the businesses and their clients. This means that if the lawwas to be passed then limitations should be in place as well.
Stryker,C. (2012). Hackingthe future: Privacy, identity, and anonymity on the Web.New York: Overlook Duckworth.
Choi,Bryan H. "Anonymous Internet, The." Md.L. Rev.72 (2012): 501.
Bailey,M. (2015). Completeguide to internet privacy, anonymity & security.Place of publication not identified: A Nerel publication.