The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity



Eric Schmidt against Anonymity

In this interview with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, comes out very strongly against anonymity starting at about 5:10 in the video. His argument is that: “If you are trying to commit a terrible evil crime it is not obvious that you should be able to do so with complete anonymity.”

The problem is that absolute and complete anonymity is easy for criminals. There is a robust economy in stolen account, botnets, stolen credit cards, open networks and other capabilities that enable absolute anonymity for anyone willing to violate the law. It is only anonymity for the law abiding that is difficult, and the reason Anonymizer exists. Arguing against anonymity is, for all practical purposes, only arguing against anonymity for legitimate purposes while it thrives for illegitimate purposes.

I will spare you the lecture on the history of anonymity and anonymous speech dating back to the founders of the United States.

BTW, this was delayed for a while while I struggled with getting embedding working within WordPress. It seems to be working now on FireFox, but not when I view in Safari. Please comment with how I am being stupid if you know what is going wrong.

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  • Matthew · August 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I think I know what is wrong:



    • Author comment by lance · August 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      Ha! It is interesting that the embedded video plays fine on Safari when I put the code in a flat local HTML file. It is the placement of the code within WordPress that seems to cause the problem.


  • Brian · August 21, 2010 at 7:19 am

    It works fine for me in Safari.


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