Category Archives: privacy

Cyber Policy – Tracking law breakers

Seems some folks in Congress believe that all access point providers should maintain a log of users to be accessible by law enforcement.

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

…Translated, the Internet Safety Act applies not just to AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and so on–but also to the tens of millions of homes with Wi-Fi access points or wired routers that use the standard method of dynamically assigning temporary addresses. (That method is called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP.)

Good synopsis by DeClan McCullagh.

And this headline sums up the Congressional approach to problem solving that the two bills above represent:

New Congress SO last century

And one last comment, taken from Scott Cleland at precursor, indicating where policymakers should be focusing their energies:

Out of sight — out of mind.

It is very troubling that in all the public discourse about the future of the Internet, cloud computing, and appropriate Internet public policy, there is so little discussion or coverage of the real and growing threat of Internet cyber attacks on our people, economy, government, and network-infrastructure.

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Filed under federal cyber security, Policy, policy tools, privacy

Evolving governance issues

BBC story on the Facebook policy dispute is interesting from a policy perspective.  First the chronology:

  1. Facebook publishes a change in terms regarding Facebook’s “ownership” of individual data published on the site
  2. Individuals protest via social network tools
  3. Organizations, mainly nonprofit groups focused on privacy issues, raise the stakes, threaten action via judicial and regulatory (FTC) venues
  4. Facebook withdraws proposed terms
  5. Facebook creates online group to discuss “Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
  6. Organizations withdraw their threatened legal/regulatory actions

And this happened within a week.  Is this a new “governance” paradigm that can resolve societal issues within short periods of time, with little “old” government interference?

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Filed under cyber policy, privacy