Anonymous, United StatesJeff Kosseff discusses American values and politics through the lens of anonymity. He focuses on how technology has allowed people to keep their identities separate from their communications.
While legal and political discussions surrounding online privacy tend to focus heavily on the Fourth Amendment’s safeguard against unreasonable searches or seizures, it is important that we also consider the history of and the future of the First Amendment’s anonymity protection. Anonymous, United States features extensive and engaging interviews with people involved in the highest profile anonymity cases, as well as with those who have benefited from, and been harmed by, anonymous communications. Kosseff’s interviews explore how the courts have preserved anonymity over decades. Likewise, Kosseff discusses how technology and law have enabled individuals to limit how much identifying information they associate with communications. The courts recognize that anonymity, which is essential to our freedom of speech protections, has been recognized by authorities in a variety of ways.
Anonymous, United States weighs the tradeoffs between the right to hide identity and the harms of anonymity, concluding that we must maintain a strong, if not absolute, right to anonymous speech.
“From the world’s leading expert on Section 230, a new book with a balanced and insightful look at online anonymity—the good and the bad—that is required reading for anyone who wants to substantively engage in this debate.”
— Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
“This book is a comprehensive, indispensable look into the history and current of anonymity protections in American media, culture and daily life. Anonymous, United States will have resounding implications for the future of democracy.”
— Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist
“Providing both a great story and keen legal analysis, Jeff Kosseff examines what fuels our commitment to protecting anonymous speech in the United States—and the new and sometimes high costs of that unwavering allegiance.”
— Victoria Smith Ekstrand, author of Hot News from the Age of Big Data
In this timely and informative book, Jeff Kosseff seamlessly combines history, law, and public affairs. Anonymous, United States Should be mandatory reading for anyone involved in the debate about anonymity and identity in the internet age.
— Jeff Jarvis, author of Google: What would you do?
“Jeff Kosseff once more has spotted the next topic in technology law anonymous communication and illuminated its contours using his trademark skill. Anonymous, United States is a foundational dive into one of the toughest areas of speech, privacy, and identity today.”
— Kate Klonick, St. John’s University School of Law
This book is a masterpiece, and it’s well-written. It covers the history of anonymous speech, its interactions with the law, and the impact on the law. Jeff Kosseff created an important framework that will be used in any future discussion about anonymity.
— Anupam Chander, author of Electronic Silk Road
It is great to look forward for Prof. Kosseff’s posts.