Anonymity as a Legal Right: Where and Why It Matters

January 27, 2015

This Article examines the legal status of the right to communicate political and social ideas and criticism anonymously online. As an inherently borderless platform for communication, the Internet has generated new methods for sharing information on issues of public importance among citizens who may be thousands of miles apart. Yet governments around the world continue to take markedly different approaches toward the regulation of anonymous online expression and the identification of online users, which has resulted in a patchwork approach.
This Article provides a more comprehensive understanding of the differences in international legal standards surrounding such communication and what should be done to resolve those
discrepancies. This Article also examines looming issues involving anonymity in an international context and offers suggestions for building greater global cohesion around a legally recognized right to anonymity in online expression.