Gathering privately online: the key to democracy


lock

The door has a lock for a reason. Inside there is a group discussing their political choices and potential actions. In the US, this group has a right to assemble guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. However, this right is also contingent on the ability of group members to meet in private. And so the right to assemble also requires that the government not record who has assembled and what was said.
On the internet, there are few ways of hiding one’s identity (as this might be matched to the use of a computer) when you are conducting a virtual meeting. For virtual democracy to flourish, we need to find more ways to protect our presence online. This remains a software problem beyond the choices that people might make to reveal or conceal their identities. We need some sort of “anonymizer” service.
The EFF has also noted that we are physically tracked by the same devices we use to establish locations (the iPhone’s location services is a good example).  Check out this discussion of the EFF site.

Let’s find a way to lock the door on the internet!

photo credit: Doggie52 on Flickr, used under CC license

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