Ethics of Creating Secure Anonymous Communities

March 2015 · 1 minute read

Back in college I took a course called ‘Professional Responsibilities’. We discussed ethics and codes of conduct pertaining to software engineering. For my final paper, I took on discussing to ethical implications of building software to provide security and privacy to online communities.

This evening I watched Citizenfour. It got me thinking I should put this paper up online. Though it’s 10 years old, it certainly still seems quite relevant.

Some observations after more than 10 years of technology development?

The Carnivore system allows the FBI to be stricter about what they see so as not to accidentally violate the privacy of others.


As technology continues to spread and develop, infringing on privacy will become easier[ACLU, 1993]. The temptation to violate privacy by automated monitoring of all domestic electronic communication may at some point be too great.

with the use of anonymous digital cash [Chaum, 1992], entire underground economies could flourish.”

It’s a hefty 4k words and includes such college paper mainstays as a bibliography (but I did at least drop the double spacing).

Please enjoy, Ethics of Creating Secure Anonymous Communities.