A United Nations agency is quietly drafting technical standards, proposed by the Chinese government, to define methods of tracing the original source of Internet communications and potentially curbing the ability of users to remain anonymous.
The U.S. National Security Agency is also participating in the "IP Traceback" drafting group, named Q6/17, which is meeting next week in Geneva to work on the traceback proposal. Members of Q6/17 have declined to release key documents, and meetings are closed to the public.
As the source points out, in the US this will be sold (assuming anyone even knows about it) as a means of going after terrorists, identity thieves, and Lori Drew-style internet sociopaths. Internal UN documents, however, clearly indicate the real focus:
A political opponent to a government publishes articles putting the government in an unfavorable light. The government, having a law against any opposition, tries to identify the source of the negative articles but the articles having been published via a proxy server, is unable to do so protecting the anonymity of the author.
In China, an anonymous political critic is the same or worse than a terrorist, an identity thief, or a Lori Drew-style internet sociopath. The end goal, for both China and the US, is intelligence and data mining for more or less unsavory purposes. On general principles, I oppose both, and am ashamed that the government is cooperating in this.
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