Anonymity on the Internet—A False Sense of Security

I read an article and decided to post about it since it is related to Internet security, cyberlaws, and cybercrimes — topics I have recently considered to blog about. The article talks about Internet defamation and libel which are common occurrences in the Internet nowadays. This is probably because those who are not familiar with how the Internet works think that the anonymity afforded by the Web is sufficient to shield them from any liability arising from cyber bullying, libel or defamation. Unfortunately, hiding under a screen name does not afford you the protection you thought you had—specially if you use that anonymity to defame someone who decides not to let it pass.

Even for hackers, the most difficult part of compromising the security of a system is NOT the breaking in part but the covering-your-tracks part. Why? Because anonymity is nothing but a false sense of security. If the hacker decides not to cover his tracks thinking that it is unnecessary as he is already anonymous anyway, then it won’t be long before he hears the Feds knocking on his door with a warrant to serve for his arrest.

In a post I just came across, Andrew Kameka said that if you are to defame someone on the Internet, be sure to have a team of expensive cyber-lawyers and a couple million dollars or so. You might also need a lot of paperbacks just in case you are given some years after the gavel falls instead of simply being asked for some loose change. (A few million of them)

Rosemary Port learned that the hard way. She thought that lambasting Liskula Cohen and calling her names on her blog without revealing her real identity is safe. She thought wrong. A US court forced her blog host, Google, to reveal her identity. The next thing she knew, she’s already a star. If big G could be asked to cooperate, any other blog host would also be as cooperative as not one of them has a choice on the matter.

If you are reading this and you happen to be a blogger, always be mindful of the dangers of Internet or online defamation and libel. It could land you in places you don’t want to be.

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