Accessibility of anonymity networks: How can Web accessibility policies promote the usability of darknets for persons with disabilities?




web accessibility, anonymity networks, privacy, social regulation


Public and private interests concerned over the right to privacy and freedom of expression on the Internet have contributed to the creation and adoption of anonymity networks. Previous research has yet to examine fully the accessibility of anonymity networks for persons with disabilities. Thus, I ask, “To what extent can existing policy approaches to Web accessibility promote the usability of anonymity networks by persons with disabilities?” Using the U.K. and Norway as examples, I argue that existing self-regulatory approaches to Web accessibility policy may provide a useful basis for promoting the accessibility of anonymity networks.

Author Biography

G. Anthony Giannoumis, Oslo Metropolitan University

Anthony's research focuses on technology law, policy and practice. He is currently researching the implementation of laws and policies aimed at ensuring equal access to technology for everyone including persons with disabilities. His research interests include universal design, political participation, social innovation, participatory design, international governance, sustainable development, social regulation, standardization, assistive technology, and intellectual property.

He is currently an assistant professor of universal design at the Department of Computer Science at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) and an international research fellow at the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and the University of Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. He additionally collaborates extensively with the United Nations International Telecommunications Unionwhere he acts as the Vice Rapporteur for "Question 7/1 – Access to telecommunication/ICT services by persons with disabilities and other persons with specific needs" and the Access Coalition Liaison for "EQUALS: The Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age". He also serves as a member of the board for the Global Universal Design Commissionand the Gender Equality in Technology student organization at OsloMet and acts as a Taskforce Member for the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Task Force on Diversity and inclusion.

Anthony acts as a principal investigator for research, development, and innovation projects focused on applying universal design principles and practices in interdisciplinary projects focused on sustainable development, learning,e-government, child online protection, and virtual and augmented reality.

Anthony currently leads and participates in several large-scale research and innovation projects in Norway, Mozambique, Ukraine, Italy, the United Kingdom, Macau, and the United States. He was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship in 2011.




How to Cite

Giannoumis, G. A. (2018). Accessibility of anonymity networks: How can Web accessibility policies promote the usability of darknets for persons with disabilities?. First Monday, 23(6).