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Cyber Safety vs. Internet Freedom


June 10, 2010

Concerns about the potential for nations to use the Internet to secretly declare "cyberwar" on each other are bringing to light the challenge of balancing online privacy with public safety. NPR reports that while security experts focus on the "attribution problem" of identifying and tracking down the source of cyberattacks, privacy advocates fear the loss of anonymity for Internet users. Security experts suggest that deterrence in the form of knowing where an attack comes from is needed to prevent countries from secretly using the Internet to disable their rivals' power grids, telecommunications, transportation and banking systems. Privacy advocates, meanwhile, question whether the security benefits will justify the cost to privacy, especially in countries where dissidents depend on anonymity to raise awareness of human rights issues.
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