This is going to be a quick lesson to ensure we all understand the difference between privacy, anonymity and a few other terms.
Why is this important? Certain tools help you achieve certain objectives.VPN’s and encryption help with privacy / security, while Tor helps with anonymity. Just like in the Internet 101 lesson, you have to understand the digital battlefield in order to choose the correct security profile.
We all have an intuitive understanding of what Privacy versus Security means when talking about the physical world. Since 9/11, our right to personal privacy (physical as well as informational) has been under extreme and perverse erosion in the name of providing some fictitious national “security”.
Bruce Schneier, an internationally renowned cryptographer, security and privacy expert, succinctly said:
“The debate isn’t security versus privacy. It’s liberty versus control.”
And there you have it – Liberty v. Control – The People v. The State.
So, what does that mean for FreeFor Information Operations? First, break apart privacy from anonymity. They are not the same. Privacy is nobody seeing what you do, but potentially knowing who you are. Anonymity is nobody knowing who you are, but potentially seeing what you do.
In military terms, Anonymity is a Covert Operation and Privacy is a Clandestine Operation.