The Internet is slowly becoming a less anonymous place. YouTube has a new policy encouraging commenters to use their real names, and many news sites have switched to a login system run by Facebook.
News sites that still allow anonymous comments are finding there are legal risks. The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash., has spent the last few months trying to protect the identity of a reader who saw a photo of a Republican Party official in Idaho named Tina Jacobson, and then posted a disparaging comment.
Congress is considering legislation allowing the government to search through Internet traffic for early warnings of cyberattacks. The bills are controversial — worries about government surveillance have led to protests online.
The government does have a tool that could calm fears about this kind of legislation — it just doesn't use it.