A Big Boost For Net Privacy

New software makes it easy to hide cyber-identities, aiding free speech--and crooks

I recently came across some software that lets you cloak your identity on the Internet. It got me thinking about the whole issue of anonymity on the Net. Suppose a political activist in a country with limited civil rights sends an E-mail to an American human-rights group describing dreadful working conditions in a U.S.-owned factory. The plant's owners have to make changes--but not before local authorities, who monitor Internet traffic, throw the activist in jail. There, anonymity would have helped illuminate a problem.

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