The anonymity of these people is what allows them to violate our privacy.
Errr, technically, it can be argued that it's the failure of system admins to apply security patches as they become available that nakes these things possible.
As an example, we can consider the classic DoS - Smurf. The bug that makes smurf attacks possible is something that was fixed a long time ago ( literally years ago ), but the list of smurf amplifier sites is still huge ( last time I tried to download it, I simply cancelled the request. It's three times the size of the Pamela Anderson mpg ;)).
This is the fundemental drawback to the argument that "IPv6 will fix all of our security problems". It won't and it can't. Untill the commercial sector learns to accept that Internet security is an ongoing thing, these things will continue to be a constant problem for everybody.
If you want me to respect the GPL (or any other OS license) you'd better be prepared to respect my non-open license.
I think the problem here is that privacy and copyright keep getting bound up in the argument together. There are very few people that I know who will insist that copyright laws don't serve a valid and useful function. Their purpose is to encourage peoples creative endevours.
For that matter, Linus Torvalds reaction to the current Napster situation was basically "Yay Metallica! Boo RIAA!".
In short, his personal opinion on the matter is that Metalica has every right to enforce their intellectual property rights, but that the RIAA does not have a right to use the case to furthur their own agenda ( which is basically that they are trying to prevent alternative distribution models from ending their effective monopoly of music distribution ).
For the record, I tend to agree with him. For that matter, this is a point that Richard Stallman also keeps stressing to people ( though for somewhat different reasons ). If you aren't prepared to pay for what you want, then you should stick to public domain / freeware /open source. The same applies to anything else, be it music, porn or discussion forums.
The problem in this respect is trying to find balence. As it currently exists, the Internet was not intended to be used for financial transactions. Neither did anyone really consider that it would become such a popular medium with the general public. Because of this, you have neither the confidentiallity of a real world financial transaction, the privacy of a snail mail letter or the ( relative ) anonynimity of just being another face on the street in a big city.
Solutions will eventually be worked out. For the moment though, we can expect some fairly extreme growing pains. While this is unpleasant, it's important that we keep our sense of perspective or else things way tilt too far in one direction or the other.
You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.
[ Parent ]