Over the years the Deep/Dark Web has been a topic on the media that’s been gaining popularity and with that popularity, it has also gained a pretty bad reputation. Sure, there are a ton of bad things that are swimming around in there.

But there has to be an upside, right?

And there is, and you just need to know where to look. The Deep Web is also used by governments to exchange documents secretly, for journalists to bypass censorship and also dissidents to avoid the control of authoritarian regimes. These are a few examples of the Deep Web being used for acceptable reasons.

Every day, all our web actions leave traces of ourselves and of our way of life through the storing of massive amounts of personal data in databases on the internet, all these information composes our digital identity, our representation in the cyber space.

Users are “entities” in the cyberspace, built also with the correlation of data that increasingly escapes the control of the owner, anyone can theoretically “expropriate” of our digital identity.

Today tracking user activities on internet are one of the primary interests of private companies and Governments, business and political motivations are pushing for the development of monitoring and surveillance systems.

Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse, many individuals desire to hide their identities because they may be concerned about political or economic retribution harassment or even threats to their lives.

Anonymity is derived from the Greek word anonymia, meaning “without a name”, in the common usage the term refers to the state of an individual’s personal identity, or personally identifiable information, being publicly unknown.

In internet the anonymity is guaranteed when IP addresses cannot be tracked, due this reason it has been assisted in the creation of Anonymizing services such as I2P – The Anonymous Network or Tor address. The anonymizing services are based on the concept of distribution of routing information, during a transmission in fact is not known prior the path between source and destination and every node of the network manage minimal information to route the packets to the next hop without conserving history on the path, the introduction of encryption algorithms makes impossible the wiretapping of the information and the composition of the original messages.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

Many institutions and foundations, such as The Electronic Frontier Foundation, are spending a great effort to protect the rights to on-line anonymity.  As one court observed in a case handled by EFF along with the ACLU of Washington:

“[T]he free exchange of ideas on the Internet is driven in large part by the ability of Internet users to communicate anonymously.”

US First Amendment settled that the right to speak anonymously, the Supreme Court has held,

“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority,” that “exemplifies the purpose” of the First Amendment: “to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation…at the hand of an intolerant society.”

Court pronunciations establish the duty of government to guard against undue hindrances to political conversations and the exchange of ideas, a vigilant review that

“must be undertaken and analyzed on a case-by-case basis”.

US laws establish a right to Speak Anonymously on the Internet and also right to Read Anonymously on the Internet, ensuring the principle of free internet ideological confrontation and the right to free movement of information.

 “People are permitted to interact pseudonymously and anonymously with each other so long as those acts are not in violation of the law. This ability to speak one’s mind without the burden of the other party knowing all the facts about one’s identity can foster open communication and robust debate.”

The technological developments of recent years caused high attention to the legal and technological possibility to maintain the online anonymity, especially in the face of the multiplication of resources internet monitoring.

The right to privacy is now essentially the individual’s right to have and to maintain control over information about him.


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