10. February 2010 · Comments Off on Schneier vs. Ranum: Should we (can we) ban anonymity? · Categories: Security Policy, Theory vs. Practice · Tags: , ,

The February 2010 issue of Information Security magazine has a face-off between Bruce Schneier, the realist, and Marcus Ranum, the dreamer, on the topic of anonymity on the Internet. 

Schneier says attempting to eliminate anonymity cannot work. More importantly, he goes on to say:

universal identity and attribution is the wrong goal. Accept that there
will always be anonymous speech on the Internet. Accept that you'll
never truly know where a packet came from. Work on the problems you can
solve: software that's secure in the face of whatever packet it
receives, identification systems that are secure enough in the face of
the risks. We can do far better at these things than we're doing, and
they'll do more to improve security than trying to fix insoluble

Schneier's piece is so good, you must read the whole thing.