TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Internet and Civil Liberties?

Re: Internet and Civil Liberties?

William Warren (
Sat, 11 Mar 2006 23:16:24 -0500 wrote:

> There's been a lot of press lately about dangerous people using the
> Internet to prey on others.

> However, technical weaknesses make it easy to forge someone else's
> identity. What protection is there if an innocent person is accused
> of being an identity thief, pervert, defrauder, etc.?

> Suppose some molester uses your identity in a chat to arrange an
> illicit meeting with a victim. Will cops come after you? How would
> you defend yourself?

> [public replies, please]


There has been a lot of press _lately_ because the networks were in
"Sweeps week", and the local stations were doing their bit to boost
ratings by sticking to the time-honored TV tradition -


Technical _devices_ may make it easier to produce the forged documents
needed to steal someone's identity. Technical _weaknesses_ don't make
it easy to forge someone's identity: in fact, it's much more difficult
to forge an electronic identity than a paper one. The weekness that
makes identity theft more believeable in the context of the Internet
is _human_ weakness, i.e., the tendency to give more weight and
attention to bad news than to good.

Innocent people accused of crimes have the same protections they have
always had -- the truth -- and the truth is that we all do very
predictable things at very predictable times, in full view of dozens, if
not hundreds, of witnesses. Innocent people seldom have trouble proving
that they are what they seem.

Now that the Television sweeps are finished, let's all take a breath and
hope for a collective attack of common sense.

William Warren

(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)

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