Anonymity on the Internet makes it...

... a more dangerous place. However, this same anonymity can assure us all, as a whole, greater security.

Why and why?

On the one hand, the fact that we're usually not absolutely sure who we're communicating with may put us in difficult positions, especially when the subject of the communication involves confidential information, be it personal or professional. If we're not aware, at all times, that we may be the target of a fraud, if we lower our defenses, we may become the victims of significant impact attacks. This, of course, in a very broad sense.

On the other hand, if we cannot communicate in an anonymous way, we may be the targets of a different kind of attacks, different but no less relevant. Whether by government agencies or by employers, or even by friends or acquaintances. The immediate consequence of living in this context is self-censorship, of course, with all its implications for individuals and also for the society as a whole.

So where do we stand? If we could choose, what would be our choice?

Should we guarantee the anonymity on the Internet and defend the freedom of speech and communication, and in a deeper and more global way, our freedom and our security? And what will we say, then, to our children? That they mustn't communicate with strangers? Who are the strangers? Who will they know for sure?

Or, alternatively, should we ensure the identification and authentication of all people, reducing the likelihood of attacks by impersonation, limiting fraud and attacks on the more naive? What if a real Censorship is instituted? What will we do then?

What is the most important value, the broader, the more far-reaching?

This isn't an easy question. And a perfect technical implementation of any of these is extremely difficult to achieve (!) Actually, it'll never be perfect.

Food for thought.