Remember it was days without the internet? Showing your IP-adress is good for surveillance but not for your personal freedom like the right to be anonymous. If you´ve been discussing "sensitive" issues or just not mainstream issues, it might be a good idea to be anonymous. Maybe your employer don´t like you to discuss some issues or groups who don´t like your arguments would like to threaten you…many reasons to have the possibility of FREE speech.
In the EU it is a framework agreement, 2006/24/EG for storage of all electronic data for at least 6 months. The EU has problem getting this practical through because it is a offense to privacy. Supreme court in Germany supported recently the file made by 35.ooo people and stated that the implementation of this framework and the way it was made is in offence to public liberty. Sweden have just not implemented this ( all though this is from 2006, and they get a penelty for this, as so far non economical).
In Britain they started just a week ago with a national police campaign to "prevent terrorism" by Metropolitan Police. I really couldn´t believe it at first ( I live in Scandinavia), but it is true. Have we really forgotten history allready?
The famous professor Gellately have said: "There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn't the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors." (…)"They began with small violations of the rights of Jews and other minorities, and then ratcheted up their racism and persecution only when they saw implied consent from the German people." Gellately says. "Many Germans disapproved of Hitler's fascism and brutality, at first. But after the long economic depression following the First World War, the German people allowed the thriving economy and return to law and order under Hitler to mute their concerns. People had jobs and the streets were safe. Hitler was managing a fine balance of consent and coercion."
The UK have the "best" surveillance that is. Counted by cameras, far better than China, though Oslo, Norway seems to beat London.