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Anonymity in Cyberspace: Finding the Balance

Date: July 09, 2006
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Mohamed CHAWKI

... available at (visited 15/02/2006);
P. SCHWARTZ, Privacy and Democracy in Cyberspace (52 VAND. L. REV 1609), [1999].
47 Ibid.
48 Ibid.
49 The word phishing comes from the analogy that Internet scammers are using e-mail lures to fish for passwords and
financial data from the sea of Internet users. The term was coined in 1996 by hackers who were stealing AOL Internet
accounts by scamming passwords from unsuspecting AOL users. Since hackers have a tendency to replacing “f” with “ph”
the term phishing was derived. Available at
(visited 15/02/2006).
50 Ibid.
51 See S. BRENNER, op. cit. p. 19.
52 See M. GOODMAN and S. BRENNER, The Emerging Consensus on Criminal Conduct in Cyberspace (UCLA J. L. &
TECH.), [2002], 3, 4-6.
53 In 2002, Rep. Howard Berman introduced the Peer-to-Peer Piracy Prevention Act (2002), which would have protected
copyright owners who engaged in acts of self-help to protect their works, H.R. 5211, 107th Cong. (2002), 18 U.S.C.A. §
1030; see also H. BERMAN, The Truth About the Peer to Peer Piracy Prevention Act: Why Copyright Owner Self-help Must Be Part of the P2P Piracy Solution, available at (visited 15/02/2006). During the summer of
2003, Senator Orrin Hatch proposed destroying the computers of individuals who illegally download material, pointing out
that damaging someone’s computer “may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights.” Senator Takes
Aim at Illegal Downloads, AP ONLINE, June 18, 2003 (on file with the Yale Journal of Law and Technology).
Representative John Carter (R-TX) also suggested that jailing college students for piracy would deter other infringers.
Katie Dean, Marking File Traders as Felons, Wired News, Mar. 19, 2003. In 2004, Congress considered the Inducing
Infringement of Copyright Act of 2004, which aimed to hold software creators liable for the infringing activities of their
consumers. See 2003 CONG US S. 2560, introduced [ June 22, 2004] X. JARDIN Induce Act Draws Support, Venom,
WIRED NEWS [Aug.26, 2004], at (visited 15/02/2006).
K . DEAN Copyright Proposal Induces Worry, Wired News [Sept.11, 2004] at http://www.wired.com/
news/politics/0,1283,64870,00.html; K. DEAN, Big Anti-Induce Campaig Planned, WIRED NEWS [Sept. 14, 2004] at :
(visi ted 15/02/2006) .
Eventually the Induce Act was shelved, ostensibly due to the outcry among technology companies. See K. DEAN,
Senate Shelves Induce Review, WIRED NEWS, [Oct. 7, 2004]
at . Just a week later, however, former Attorney General John
Ashcroft vowed to “build the strongest, most aggressive legal assault against intellectual property crime in our nation’s
history,” see Katie DEAN, Ashcroft Vows Piracy Assault, Wired News, Oct. 14, 2004,
d i s p o n i b l e a t < http://www.wired.com/news/politics/ 0,1283,65331,00.html>.
54 See S. LEVY, Grand Theft Identity (N.Y., Newsweek), [September 5, 2005), pp. 41.
55 Ibid.
56 See S. LEVY, op. cit.
57 Ibid.
58 Ibid.
59 Privacy Rights Clearing House (UCAN), [Feb. 2005].
60 Ibid.
61 See J. PALME and M. BERGLUND, Anonymity on the Internet, p. 4.
62 See Three EU governments - UK, France and Belgium - press ahead with 12 months retention of telecommunications data
- ditching citizens’ rights on data protection and privacy under EU law. Available at:
(visited 13/02/2006).
63 See A. STILES, Everyone’s a Critic: Defamation and Anonymity on the Internet [2002], Duke L. &Tech. Rev. 0004.
64 Ibid.
65 See M. HOMSI and A. KAPLAN – MYRTH, Online Anonymity and John Doe Lawsuits? [ 19 Jan 2005] University of
Ottawa Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (visited, 14 August 2005).
66 Directive on Data Retention (2005/0182/COD); V. SQUARCIALUPI, Lutte de l’Europe contre la Criminalité
Economique et le Crime Organisé Transnational, Progrès ou Recul ? (Conseil de l’Europe), [6 avril 2001].
67 See EU Data Retention Directive Gets Final Nod, available at (visited 03/03/2006).
68 See N. FERQUSON, Practical Cryptography (N.Y., John Wiley), [2003], p. 8.
69 See Aldesco, The Demise of Anonymity: A Constitutional Challenge to the Convention of Cybercrime, available at
(visited 05/03/2006).
70 Ibid. See also S. HOPKINS, Cybercrime Convention: A Positive Beginning to a Long Road Ahead (Journal of
High Technology Law), [2004], p. 105.
71 See Convention on Cybercrime, available at (visited 05/03/2006).
72 See generally Mike Godwin, International Treaty on Cybercrime Poses Burden on High-Tech Companies, IP
Worldwide [Apr. 4, 2001], at (explaining that this treaty would permit extradition of computer users
in other countries); see also S. BRENNER, Cybercrime Metrics: Old Wine, New Bottles (Virginia, Virginia Journal
of Law and Technology), [2004].
73 Council of Europe, Convention on Cybercrime, European Treaty Series (ETS) no. 185, at:

74 Cybercrime Convention, arts. 2 – 6.
75 Cybercrime Convention, arts. 7 – 8.
76 Ibid art. 9.
77 Ibid art. 10.
78 Ibid art. 20.
79 Ibid art. 21.
80 Ibid art. 22.
81 Ibid art. 35.
82 See Convention on Cybercrime , Explanatory Report.
83 See Convention on Cybercrime, Explanatory Report.
84 See Convention on Cybercrime, Explanatory Report.
85 Cybercrime Convention, art. 19.
86 Ibid.
87 See C. NICOLL, Digital Anonymity and the Law: Tensions and Dimensions (NOW, the Hague), [2003], p. 294.
88 Ibid.
89 Ibid.
90 See A. STILES, op. cit.
91 Ibid.
92 See C. NICOLL, op. cit. p. 295.
93 Ibid.
94 See A. STILES, op. cit.
95 Ibid.
96 See R. GASPAR, Looking to the Future: Clarity on Communications Data Retention Law, cited in Ibid.
97 Letter from J. ABBOTT, Director General, National Criminal Intelligence Service, to Guardian [June 15, 2000], cited in
Ibid.
98 See D. BLUNKETT, Democracy Must Be Vigorously Defended, Tribune, Oct. [26, 2001].
99 Home Office, Retention of Communications Data.
100 See P. HEWITT, Labour E – Minister, available at .
101 See
102 See A. STILES, op. cit.
103 Ibid.
104 Ibid.
105 Ibid.


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2008-06-09 11:46:24 - Interesting read, for the... Albert Nonymus
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2008-06-09 11:45:37 - Interesting read, for the... Albert Nonymus
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2006-08-10 22:16:48 - I agree with you that anonymity should not... Marianna
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