I just did my first-ever podcast, in which I was interviewed about online anonymity by Jerry Brito. He is not only a Senior Research Fellow of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University but also an important contributor to the Technology Liberation Front blog, which is an essential provocation for anyone interested in cutting-edge issues about online freedom.
Jerry’s podcast series, which seems to feature a who’s who of people doing internet scholarship, is called Surprisingly Free; here’s the direct link to Brito interviewing Froomkin, and here’s his summary of the interview:
Michael Froomkin, the Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Miami, discusses his new paper prepared for the Oxford Internet Institute entitled, Lessons Learned Too Well: The Evolution of Internet Regulation. Froomkin begins by talking about anonymity, why it is important, and the different political and social components involved. The discussion then turns to Froomkin’s categorization of Internet regulation, how it can be seen in three different waves, and how it relates to anonymity. He ends the discussion by talking about the third wave of Internet regulation, and he predicts that online anonymity will become practically impossible. Froomkin also discusses the constitutional implications of a complete ban on online anonymity, as well as what he would deem an ideal balance between the right to anonymous speech and protection from online crimes like fraud and security breeches.
(I have not had the courage to listen to this yet. If you do, please let me know how I did. Unless it’s awful.)
It’s not awful; the sound quality is spotty at times but I’m assuming there’s some VoIP to blame (duplex problems mostly). I’m a bit surprised that CarrierIQ didn’t come up, particularly within the context of trusting phones, their code and providers, but it’s still early days in that fiasco…
I wonder if you should talk to the TOR Project at some point. They are the only organization working on real anonymity (not pseudonymity) online. It seems Wendy Seltzer is their only lawyer involved so far.