The right to anonymous exchange of information and communication is in an odd state of paradox and flux. While the formal legal protection of this right appears at an all-time high, developments in both the public and private sector show a growing number of legal and especially technical means to undermine anonymity. Also, it is still difficult to oversee the exact implications of the new political climate introduced after the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Nevertheless, anonymity is still considered to be a cornerstone of our democratic society.
With the advent of cyberspace, the means of and the opportunities for anonymous communications have changed radically. Thus, the new environment has also fuelled the dialogue on the beliefs and values behind anonymous communication. Debates rage about how, by whom, and to what extent cyberspace anonymity should be controlled. This book aims to gain a further insight into and an understanding of the concept of anonymity. The authors of the various chapters in this book discuss technological developments and subsequently analyse anonymity from various different angles, interests, responsibilities and developments. Thus it includes US and European court-sanctioned procedures to reveal identity, privacy interests, the right to anonymous speech, implications of the Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention, European data protection and data retention provisions, consumer protection and the private law implications of anonymous transactions by means of the Internet.
The Information Technology & Law Series is an initiative of ITeR, the National Programme for Information Technology and Law, which is a research programme set up by the Dutch government and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in The Hague. The Series deals with the implications of information technology for legal systems and institutions.
This is Volume 2 in the Information Technology and Law (IT&Law) Series