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Do We Need Anonymity For Surfing Like The Laws For Phone Tapping?
The recent phone tapping issue not only closed UK’s paper, News of the World, and left its innocent workers at disarray, but it also incited a clash between the border disregarding merchants (Rupert Murdoch's empire) and the border defending politicians. Almost reminding one of Clash of civilizations, a Hindu could easily see a clash between Kchhetrias and Vaisyas. Although the paper died, after the clash, BSkyB suddenly survived. Although exposure through phone tapping has grabbed headlines in the surviving papers, ‘human nakedness’ during surfing the Net has never grabbed much. The biggest lie, ‘Surfing the Net in private’, still mimics Gospel truth. Although we cherish our privacy and the explosion of the Net and concepts emerging from it have partly come through the privacy that it offers us, it is essentially ‘pseudo privacy.' In fact, it is almost reminiscent of replacing God. Big Brother sees all that we do in that ‘private’ moment. Suddenly we have never been so much exposed in our entire history, even when primitive tribes are included - as a dismayed Pakistan has come to know. This Big Brother has octopus like tentacles: 1. The visited websites and their cookies 2. The Internet service provider 3. The Hackers 4. PC repairer or buyer. Although our credit card details are secure, our IP addresses (the place from where you are surfing), personal emails, visited pages, the details in the filled forms, buying details, and the stuff downloaded in our PCs are all ‘captured.' Unprotected data transfer is a feast for hackers. Although downloaded data preserved in our PCs helps in catching law breakers, beyond exposing our hypocrisy, they damage us in more ways than one. Although these make us look so vulnerable, it is not that safeguarding factors aren’t available. 1.Proxy address use: In this method, surfers use proxy IP address instead of their own IPs. The visited site sees the proxy IP’s location and easily gets fooled. 2. Anonymous search: Although search engines keep our search data (that is how you get previously searched keywords in their pages), uniquely deletes data after 48 hours. 3. Encrypted data transfer: While use of a wired modem is safer than a wireless one, unprotected data from the latter is extremely dangerous - more so when bank transactions are done. While username and password protects data from routine offenders, a tunneled data transfer through the Net avoids prying eyes of both ISPs and hackers. Encryption of data offers the better protection. Credit cards use 28 bit encrypted data transfer and even a 3D system for added security. Next
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