From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Concept.png Internet/Anonymity 
Online anonymity.png

Anonymity on the Internet is obviously of great interest to would be whistleblowers, and those interested in their revelations:- dissidents. As of 2019, it is increasingly under threat by measures both legal and technical.


From 1993 to 1996, privacy advocate Johan Helsingius ran a widely used internet remailer,, which received emails and forwarded them, allowing people to comment anonymously on Usenet. After leaks by use "-AB-" about the Church of Scientology, in 1995, Interpol contact the Finnish Police, which demanded Helsingius turn over his data, which would have revealed over 300,000 identities. He reached a compromise with them, and turned over only the identity of "-AB-", Tom Rummelhart, a Scientologist and computer operator responsible for some of the maintenance of the Church of Scientology's INCOMM computer system. Helsingius shut down after further pressure from the Church of Scientology.[1]

Recent developments

A 2019 login request from YouTube

In recent years, large technology companies are using a range of measures to encourage users to login and provide identifying data.

In 2019, the Austrian government was reported to be considering attempting to outlaw internet anonymity due to concerns about "hate speech".[2]

In 2021, the Online Safety Bill will undermine online anonymity in the UK.


Related Quotation

Piers CorbynPiers Corbyn is a danger to our families, teams + to the people who believe the garbage he bangs on about. People may not agree with all their MP does but threatening to hammer us to death and burn down our offices is vile. Anonymous online trolls aren’t the major problem here.”Piers Corbyn
Sarah Owen
18 December 2021


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Someone said they wanted to see me trapped in a burning car and watch flames melt my fleshArticle22 October 2021Nadine DorriesAfter the murder of MP David Amess, a crackdown on "internet trolls" is being demanded by most politicians. The UK's new Culture Minister Nadine Dorries is pursuing new overreaching legislation regulating Big Tech. The "Online Safety Bill" will abolish online anonymity and empower internet censorship. There are fears that it will be the end for freedom of expression in the UK.
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.