Privacy for People Who Don't Show Their Navels

By JONATHAN D. GLATER The New York Times January 25, 2006

IT may be easy to forget that there are people who want to remain anonymous on the Web while the online world is full of those who happily post pictures of themselves and their navels for all to see. But interest in software that allows people to send e-mail messages that cannot be traced to their source or to maintain anonymous blogs has quietly increased over the last few years, say experts who monitor Internet security and privacy.

"People in the world are more interested in anonymity now than they were in the 1990's," when the popularity of the Internet first surged, said Chris Palmer, technology manager at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group in San Francisco dedicated to protecting issues like free speech on the Web.

Increasingly, consumers appear to be downloading free anonymity software like Tor, which makes it harder to trace visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages and other communication forms back to their authors. Sales are also up at companies like, which among other things sells software that protects anonymity.

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Monty Solomon
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