Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 9 September 2002
Note: the comments below are the unabridged
submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.
From: Dennis For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Online ID I'd be happy to use an online ID card if it worked as you suggest. I have nothing to hide and, if it came to it, I'm sure there would be ways of remaining anonymous for some 'net usage From: Tom V For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: ID "Would you accept some form of mandatory online ID system if it meant an end to spam, kiddie-porn, credit-card fraud, cracking, denial of service attacks, viruses and cyberterrorism? " No I got an idea Bruce. What about we all carry mandatory chips embedded under our skin that track our location at all times. Would you support that in the interests of stopping all crime? After all you have nothing to hide....right? From: David French For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: License to Surf vs "It wasn't me" While not wishing to comment directly on the question that you pose, I'll leave the gnawing of that bone to others who will no doubt come up with far better points for & against than I can! What does concern me is the prospect of "Identity Theft" were this to become mandatory. How then could you prove “you were you”.... or “it wasn't me that” ..... Once the inevitable "hijacking" occurred Especially were “the powers" not willing to accept that this "hijacking" could, did or even had occured. My reasoning is driven by the fact that "The more valuable the prize, the greater the attraction that it has for those who either seek to gain or devalue it" Along the same vein as "Locks are for honest people, they merely inconvenience the dishonest" From: Ben For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: On-line ID Chill out for a minute Tom V and think about it. Ever used Eft-Pos or an ATM..? Big Brother is watching you sometimes whether you like it or not... Step up to an ATM and you'll be monitored, and I damn well hope so. I wouldn't like to have my money in a system that had no means of tracking people that tried to break into it. I don't see why I shouldn't be recognised and accountable for the information I submit and request from the web, it's a small price to pay for access to the biggest source of information on the planet. Security restrictions will hamper some freedoms on the web, but at least when you step away from that machine you're back into your own little world and it's arbitrary freedoms. The Matrix was just a movie, my friend. Sure, with I.D. verification, I might not be so tempted to post up my "Guy's who like to wear pantyhose" newsletter on the net, but then there's always surface mail for that... The web is a broadcast medium and those using it should be able to be held accountable for their usage of it. I don't advocate total control of humans' every day activities, but live in a world of total freedom and you would have total chaos, unfortunate but true. Maybe one day the world will be an ideallic, peaceful place where everyone lives in harmony and there's no crime. Until that happens as far as I'm concerned, some rules are good rules. Would you keep your money under your mattress...? From: Brian Barlev For : Right Of Reply (for publication) Subj: Net Ids Have to agree with Ben wrt Tom chillin', as it's surely all a matter of degrees... ;o) Having nothing "substantial" to hide myself, I'd go along with the notion of some form of Net Id. But only after appropriate legislation was in place governing the extent and limitations upon its use by the authorities. Without that established first after thorough public debate and input, no way! From: Don McKenzie For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: ID SYSTEM Fully in favour of mandatory on-line ID system. A good thing, for sure From: Megan For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: On-line ID Dear Editor, There seems to be an assumption here that you'll either be anonymous to everyone or noone. I'm sure that there are ways that you can be anonymous (or not) to whom ever you choose. An idea may be having a physical "key" (in essense the equivalent of an ATM card) plus the usual username and password that will identify you to who ever supplied you the key. You could plug it into your usb port (and key in username+password) when you want to make a secure transaction on that website. The good thing is that you won't be tied to a specific computer (the way Microsoft seem to be heading if I understand things correctly). I'm sure there will still be issues with fraud (key copying etc) but if the banks can live with ATM cards then those issues must be well sorted! ;-> Aardvark Responds: Unfortunately, in order to be an effective tool against spam, porn, crime, cracking, etc, a valid, authenticated ID would need to be an essential part of all online activities. What good is an ID if you can turn it off when you want to commit a crime? The law demands that we carry an ID card (AKA drivers' license) every time we drive our cars, to be effective, a Net license would have to work in the same way with mandatory-carry. From: Michael For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Prerequisites Do I think this system is politically feasible? (I.e. could all the entities that will need to support it be convinced to do so?) No. Do I believe that, if it were implemented, this system would prevent the evils listed? No. From: Hamish MacEwan For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: No. Actually, no, I wouldn't even if it meant all those vile things were to end. I think the benefits of anonymity to *us* (rather than the selfish spin you have put on the matter) are of greater value to the many who don't commit the vilenesses you invoke, a number that it would do us well to recall is much larger than the people who do bad things. The freedom of anonymity in the hands of the good is able to contribute to the reduction of many of those abuses. Crimes can be reported, tips given, whistles-blown, judges named, Government criticised... So your question appears to me, "Would you impair the freedom of good people to do things in order to restrain the evil from doing wrong?" And that is an old old bargain. I think we know by now the notion of a flawless mechanism of identification will never exist, nor bring to pass the benefits you are discussing. In the meantime the cost of botched identification is high. I think it was LBJ who said something about considering not only the good that legislation will achieve if implemented correctly, but also the damage it may inflict if abused. Power corrupts, absolutely. Anyone who wishes to can enter into any number of cryptographic identity communities, and be protected no doubt from persons outside that community, perhaps even have a virtual firewall/gatekeeper. Go there for the benefits, rather than require it to be enforced. And as for copyright enforcement..., > Aardvark Responds: > Unfortunately, in order to be an effective tool > against spam, porn, crime, cracking, etc, a > valid, authenticated ID would need to be an > essential part of all online activities. It couldn't be better for enforcing pay per view on everything they "own." From: Robert Hoare For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Internet Identity Cards There's little point in any western government trying to force internet users to identify themselves. Anybody who wants to hide (or simply does not like their government telling them what's best for them!) will just access the internet via another country. Proving identity for commercial or government transactions online is fine (credit cards work well in many cases). Needing to prove identity for all online access is unworkable, unless you also control all international phone lines. Come to think of it, it's possible to use a payphone anonymously. Perhaps you should be forced to put your ID card in the slot when using a payphone - won't affect those with "nothing to hide" (apart from being a real pain) and will cut down on those anonymous harrassing calls...Hit Reload For Latest Comments
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