U.N. Attacks Internet Anonymity – VeriSign Lending a Hand?

by on September 12, 2008 · 8 comments

Declan McCullagh has done some great reporting this morning on an ITU plan to trace the source of all Internet communications. Meaning: no more anonymous speech online.

The U.S. National Security Agency is also participating in the “IP Traceback” drafting group, named Q6/17, which is meeting next week in Geneva to work on the traceback proposal. Members of Q6/17 have declined to release key documents, and meetings are closed to the public.

Read the whole thing.

It’s particularly interesting to note the role of VeriSign in developing this surveillance capability for the ‘net. McCullagh quotes Tony Rutkowski of VeriSign stepping up to defend the plan. Rutkowski published a summary of the plan in May.

Great reporting by McCullagh. Not a great thing for VeriSign to be doing.

  • http://www.techliberation.com Adam Thierer

    Wow, that is scary stuff. Of course, there are probably a number of Attorneys General here in the U.S. salivating at the prospect of instituting such a system:

    http://techliberation.com/2008/01/23/usa-today-

  • MikeRT

    Even today, speech is really not anonymous online unless you try really hard. I have a hard time believing this plan will be easily implemented and effective for two reasons:

    1) It'll probably require a lot of upgrades to infrastructure that many companies won't see a good reason to get, unless they come with future purchases.

    2) Someone will still find a way to create an anonymous proxy.

  • Tony Rutkowski

    This entire story is fiction. There is no such ITU-T document.

    The basis for work remains an array of documents and
    work that is all directed at effecting source authentication
    for an array of essential needs such as mitigating
    DOS attacks and SPAM, effecting settlements, adding
    consumer protection features, NSEP, and meeting legal
    and regulatory requirements. Similar efforts have been
    ongoing for decades.

    The most significant effort in this area in the
    ITU-T is actually Larry Roberts' specifications
    for authenticated IP streams.

  • http://www.loanmodifyexpress.com/ Loan Modification

    It can be more realistic or truthful if those people caught in the act. :)

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