In which I agree with a Tory

October 25th, 2012 § 3 comments

Well, suck my stump and call me Susan, I agree with a Tory*!

(*update: may not actually be a Tory)

A senior government official has sparked anger by advising internet users to give fake details to websites to protect their security.

Andy Smith, an internet security chief at the Cabinet Office, said people should only give accurate details to trusted sites such as government ones.

He said names and addresses posted on social networking sites “can be used against you” by criminals.

Quite fucking right too. Who the fuck needs to know anything about you, unless you decide they should know?

There’s commercial sites that need genuine information, but it isn’t going to be plastered all over the place for everyone to see, there’s government sites, like ones for tax returns as Smith suggests later in the article, and er, that’s about it.

Every other one can fuck the fuck off if they’re going to make all your details public without your consent.

Shadow MP Helen Goodman is shocked. Shocked, I tell you…

His advice was described by Labour MP Helen Goodman as “totally outrageous”.

Ms Goodman, shadow culture minister, told BBC News: “This is the kind of behaviour that, in the end, promotes crime.

“It is exactly what we don’t want. We want more security online. It’s anonymity which facilitates cyber-bullying, the abuse of children.

“I was genuinely shocked that a public official could say such a thing.”

The problem isn’t the use of pseudonyms or anonymity that lead to bullying abuse of children. It’s being a cunt that leads to that. What does she expect? Does she want every website that you have to log in to see you’re passport or two recent utility bills?

To turn things the otherway round, it’s the use of anonymity and pseudonyms that prevents even more crime. A cyber bully might have a go at User123, but it’s the very fact that User123 is using a pseudonym that makes it harder for his cyber-bully to ‘take it offline’.

Mrs Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, in the North-East of England, said she had been contacted by constituents who have been the victims of cyber-bullying on major social networking sites by people hiding behind fake names.

By ‘major social networking sites’ I’m guessing Goodman means Facebook and Twitter. Well, Facebook can do a fuck of a lot to help there by making its’ privacy setting a fuck of a lot simpler. Even just easier to find would be fucking start.

There is more to cyber-bullying than just privacy settings and pseudonyms, but the squeal of “totally outrageous” is over the top and needs to be kicked into touch straight away. The balance between the need for people to know who you are, your traceability, and your ability to be anonymous is a much more nuanced issue than Goodman would have you believe.

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