Missouri Legislature Tells Teachers: “We Can Be Friends Now”

You remember that song, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” Missouri school teachers have been asking the state legislature the same question after it passed a law requiring schools to prevent teachers and students from being friends on any social network that is not dedicated for educational purposes.

But last Friday, the Missouri legislature saw the error of their ways, voted to repeal the law, and decided to let teachers be Facebook friends with their students. Read more

Giants Standing on NetChoice’s Shoulders to See the Impact of EU Regulations

The notion of standing on the shoulders of giants is often referenced.

At a Congressional hearing this past Thursday, academic giants stood on NetChoice’s shoulders to bolster their arguments against the US’s adoption of EU regulations by citing NetChoice’s analysis.

The Congressional Subcommittee convened this hearing to discuss how the EU privacy laws impact the US and whether the US should mirror the EU. Read more

iAWFUL: the 10 Most Awful Laws for the Internet

Today we published our September 2011 “iAWFUL” list of bad Internet laws.  The worst offenders are new burdens on small businesses using the Internet, plus a Puerto Rico bill restricting how 17-year-olds can use social networking.

Our Internet Advocates’ Watchlist For Ugly Laws (yep, iAWFUL is an acronym) is the 10 items of state and federal legislation that pose the greatest threat to the Internet and e-commerce. Read more

Indiana Law Might Result in Very Low NASCAR Viewership

NASCAR and other professional sports are littered with advertisements for beer and cars.  But a proposed Indiana law aims to prevent children from seeing these advertisements if contained in an email.  Which is it Indiana?  Do you not want children to see ads for beer and cars, or do you want to host the Sprint Cup Series?

Read more

For Privacy, “Where’s the Beef?’ becomes “Where’s the Harm?’

Remember that Wendy’s commercial asking, “Where’s the beef?” When it comes to proposals for new online privacy laws, we’ve been asking,”Where’s the harm?”

Today we put that question to FTC Chairman Leibowitz after he spoke to the Brookings Institute. Read more

New Rolling Stones Lyrics: Getting What You Want AND What You Need

The Rolling Stones said it best, “You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.”  But according to a new study, Internet users are getting what they need and what they want.

Read more

The Facts Speak for Themselves on Privacy for Social Networking Sites

Res ipsa loquitor means “the facts speak for themselves.”  However, for quite some time, it’s been difficult to obtain straight facts on privacy issues since they came from loaded questions.  But a new Pew Research Institute study shows that social networking sites provide significant public good, and that if consumers are concerned about using such sites, as privacy groups like Common Sense Media suggest, consumers’ actions do not reflect such concerns.

Read more

Gratitude for Golden State Senators

Kudos to the 23Thank-You-sign state Senators who stopped California’s misguided attempt to “save the Internet”.

Their votes to scuttle S. 242 is a welcome reversal of self-destructive behavior from a state that’s become its own worst enemy, in spite of having the world’s only real golden goose — the innovative and empowering companies of Silicon Valley. Read more

A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything

Today, a distinguished US Senator who was once concerned that the Internet had become the “number one national hazard” held a hearing on online privacy.   During the hearing, Senator John Rockefeller (WV) added these informed judgments on ad-supported Internet innovation and business models:

Read more

The Google-Buzz settlement: a buzzkill for online services

The comment period just ended for the FTC’s proposed consent decree with Google over privacy violations when Google launched their Buzz social network last year.   There were about 30 comments posted, but the most important comment we’ve seen is by reporter Grant Gross in his IDG News piece, “Google Buzz Settlement a ‘killer’ for E-commerce”.

Read more