We need SOME regulation, Minister
How we might lose our rights is the real question. sir.
Here's a handbook for killing them:
1) Weaken data privacy rights.
Solution: Data laws against preventing cross-indexing, retention limits and consent to strengthen privacy. Tough titty if you must be careful with people's data.
2) Create draconian powers that can quickly fetter sites without due process.
Solution: Allow only when fettering is clearly in the PUBLIC interest (think child porn, clear and present danger....). Exceptions are defined by search warrants and court orders. The web is now the new media. Apply old-media rules/concepts that protect freedom of expression, access to information, and civil liberties when "regulating" the web. Don't burn media or printing presses (pun intended).
3) Prevent citizens from gaining access to their public record/biz-collected data.
Solution: Don't let it happen. Make personal data access easy and legal.
4) Prevent citizens from calling public officials to account when they champion narrow interests vs public interest.
Solution: Civic action, i.e. bitch and vote: And if the narrow/public distinction is unclear Congressman/Senator/Minister, please say and do nothing, that usually works best.
Remember that the public is watching.
So how is the US/UK doing so far on a scale of 1 - 5
(1: very bad ---- 5: very good).
Here's my entirely unscientific scoreboard.
1) I give us a 2. Will improve when data-retention and privacy laws are more universally respected, understood and applied
2) Jury is out but, I'll give us a 3 (neutral)
3) Another 3, maybe a 4
4) A little better, we could be holding onto a 4 (but for how much longer?)
Average score: 12-13/4 = 3 -3.5. Not brilliant, but holding neutral. I'd rather see a clear 4-5 world and leave that to my kids. nurtured with constant vigilance. What sayeth thou?
Your comments are welcome, and a little up and down voting never hurt anybody