Report – Russian Police Chief Wants Internet Anonymity Abolished

On the heals of the first ever Russian raid against a BitTorrent site, the Russian interior minister is now demanding that an anonymous internet should be abolished according to one news source.

Mosnews is reporting that the Russian interior minister is calling for an abolishment of any forms of an anonymous internet. He suggests that businesses should monitor all of the internet registrations to reduce the number of anonymous internet users. From the report:

“Violators of the law should stop abusing the openness of the Commonwealth of Intependent States’ borders,” Rashid Nurgaliev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying Thursday.

“They should not hide in the territories where the legislation of the states pursuing them is not valid,” he said at the CIS Interior Ministries meeting in Yalta.

“Russia’s Interior Ministry has acquired enough experience fighting cyber-criminality to provide the necessary help to its CIS colleagues,” Nurgaliev said.

Of course, like the situation in pretty much every other nation around the world, tracking internet users and reducing online anonymity could prove difficult with the prevalence of services such as Tor and other anonymizing services available today.

Still, there’s an eerie resemblance to the often used argument in many other countries that says, “If you have nothing to hide, then you should have nothing to worry about.” While ignoring that there are legitimate reasons for people to use an anonymous service such as reporters covering sensitive issues, it also resembles the argument that only criminals would want to use such services. If this still seems to be an issue a world away from countries like the United States and bares little influence, there was a rather recent case known as the Calixte case might ring a bell where police seized someones computer on the basis of computer expertise – the police lost that case. To use an anonymous service does require a certain amount of expertise and just because you use such services doesn’t automatically make you a criminal.

While the student in the US can be thankful that his case won in the courts, it’s unclear whether Russian citizen rights will win out here.

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