The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'anonymity'
The Zuckerberg Doctrine has its fans: in the Chinese Communist Party:
China passed rules yesterday requiring people to identify themselves when signing up for Internet and phone services, as the Communist Party tightens control over the world’s largest population of web users.
Under the law, people must give their real names when they sign up for Internet, fixed-phone-line or mobile-phone services. Providers must also require people’s names when allowing them to post information publicly, it said.Meanwhile, an Oregon woman found a note from a Chinese labour camp inmate in a package of Halloween decorations:
Oregon resident Julie Keith was shocked when she opened her $29.99 Kmart Halloween graveyard decoration kit to find a letter, folded into eights, hidden between two Styrofoam tombstones.
Coming all the way from unit 8, department 2 of the Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, China, the letter written mostly in English read, "Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever."
Researchers at Columbia University have developed a new system for protecting the privacy of people who appear in photographs. Rather than blurring or erasing faces, the new software replaces facial features with others from a library:
The software randomly selects 33,000 photos of faces from picture-sharing sites like Flickr.com, then picks the most suitable faces for each person in shot. Only the eyes, nose and mouth are used, resulting in a composite image of the two people. "It matches subject pose, lighting conditions and image resolution," says Kumar. "The selected faces are aligned to common 3D coordinates, corrected for colour and lighting, and blended into the target image."
Aside from Street View, the system could be used to obscure the faces of military personnel or eyewitnesses to crime. It could also allow amateur photographers to improve group shots, by replacing frowning faces with better photos of the same people.
(via Boing Boing)
The US Department of Defense recently investigated ways of redesigning the Internet to eliminate that pesky anonymity that allows terrorists, paedophiles, drug traffickers, Green Party activists and evil, evil people to go about their dastardly deeds undetected. After attempting to fudge a politically expedient result (or at least one likely to get money thrown in its direction, in the name of "national security"), they concluded that it was impractical and scrapped the idea.
I wonder how long until the MPAA/RIAA revive the idea and start pushing hard for Internet protocols to be rewritten to stamp out this un-American "file sharing" idea and protect their business models, late capitalism and the American Way.
Anonymity is useless; your language patterns are as unique as your DNA, and words serve as a memetic sample that can be used to identify the author. Or so says Don Foster, the English Literature professor and investigator who identified the author of Clintonian roman à clef Primary Colors, helped track down the Unabomber from his writings and proved that a forgotten poem had been written by Shakespeare. Foster is the author of a new book titled Author Unknown, which (judging from the review) looks fascinating.
Liquor bootlegger turned recording/film empire Seagram declares war on Internet anonymity: (press release, via Slashdot)
Let me now turn to my fifth point. We must restrict the anonymity behind which people hide to commit crimes. Anonymity must not be equated with privacy. As citizens, we have a right to privacy. We have no such right to anonymity.