/>
X
Government

Would you march for Internet privacy?

The American reaction to such government actions is generally to engineer around them, or to laugh them off. My spam folder says they have apoint. Yet even here there are magic words that cause most voters to surrender any zone of privacy once offered by someone in authority.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

It's marching season again, time for the political opposition to take it to the streets, and show its strength in numbers. (Picture from CBS News.)

But this article is no tea party. It's about another march that happened over the weekend, in Germany. Over 10,000 people marched in Berlin marched for data protection.

They were protesting a new law meant to guarantee police the right to track back Internet traffic, with tamper-proof IDs and special police.

Germany has long been a world champion at seeking to monitor its citizens online, its avowed goal to make  online law conform to what is allowed offline.

So if the German law says the government has a monopoly on gambling, so should it be online. If German law says thou shalt not speak of Nazis, so should it be online. If sharing files is truly a copyright violation, the law must halt it, regardless.

The American reaction to such government actions is generally to engineer around them, or to laugh them off. My spam folder says they have apoint. Yet even here there are magic words that cause most voters to surrender any zone of privacy once offered by someone in authority. Watch.

Child pornography. (Open your laptop.) Terrorism. (Take off your shoes.)

The Internet, being based on computing, is a binary sort of place. To be effective, laws must become absolute. Which means, at some point, we're trusting the government with the medium's future.

In Europe, it should be noted, data privacy marches are the property of leftists, Greens, even pirate parties. In American, right now, it's the right that's out of power, fearful of an intrusive government.

Anyone expecting a tea party for the Internet?

Editorial standards