The United States of Anonymous

The United States of Anonymous

Jeff Kosseff
Show Date
March 27, 2022
First AmendmentTechnology
United States Naval Academy

In the years leading up to the American Revolution, a pseudonymous writer who called himself β€œJunius” came under scrutiny for his letters protesting the abuses by the Crown against his fellow Englishmen. Professor Jeff Kosseff recounts the myriad motivations Junius had for remaining anonymous (his identity is still not known to this day) in his new book The United States of Anonymous. From there, Kosseff explores β€œhow the right to anonymity has shaped American values, politics, business, security, and discourse, particularly as technology has enabled people to separate their identities from their communications.”

Who are the Junius’s today whose anonymity requires protection?

Jeff Kosseff is an Associate Professor of Cybersecurity Law at the United States Naval Academy. He is the author of Cybersecurity LawΒ (Wiley), the first comprehensive textbook on U.S. cybersecurity laws and regulations, and in Spring 2019 he published The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet (Cornell University Press), a nonfiction narrative history of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Jeff has practiced cybersecurity and privacy law, and clerked for Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.Β He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Michigan. Before becoming a lawyer, he was a journalist for The Oregonian and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.