For those conservatives fully aware of how the First Amendment works and who still call for government action against Facebook, I just say: Cut it out. The solution for conservatives’ concerns about social media platforms is to vote with your feet and use a different platform. Stick to your principles and forget about the temporary insanity of arguing to expand government regulation.
Conservatives value a strict adherence to principles because of what can happen when a society drifts from its core values. It’s crucial they remember these principles in the age of the internet.
As President Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
Government regulation of free speech online would not safeguard the future of conservative speech. It would endanger it.
If there is one word that could sum up the current political climate, it is frustration. And that frustration takes many forms.
There are, understandably, many Americans who feel frustrated about being left behind in the internet era, and fearful of being swamped by waves of emerging technologies.
But we also have many old-economy companies and bureaucrats who view new-economy businesses as a threat to their decades-long dominance of certain markets. And these legacy companies are doing everything they can to protect their privileged position in established markets.
A survey of over 500 law enforcement officials found overwhelming support for license plate recognition (LPR) technology and validated its effectiveness, while acknowledging that existing policy and laws protect the privacy of individuals.
Key findings are summarized below. Note that specific questions are referenced in the findings, while much of the related information and graphics are provided through cross-tabulation of responses.
We are once again seeing a witch-hunt against technology, this time in the shape of license plate reader (LPR) technology.
What is LPR?
LPR is technology that makes it easier to read and write the license plate numbers of cars on the street and then compare them. If murder suspect drives past a police car with an LPR camera, the camera reads the license plate, sees that number is flagged, and then instantly tells the officer. If a repossession officer drives past a stolen car, they get a similar response allowing recovery before the thief drives off with the car.
LPR also makes it possible to store the number and location. This allows police to identify likely locations of known criminals. And it gives repossession officers the likely location of stolen assets.
Congress may have gone home to campaign, but that hasn’t stopped bad internet bills and regulations from threatening to stifle innovation and limit online choices.
To highlight some of the gravest – and most imminent – legislative and regulatory threats to e-commerce, NetChoice today unveiled a special edition of the Internet Advocates Watchlist for Ugly Laws (iAWFUL).
This latest iAWFUL focuses on measures that pose an imminent threat to the internet in 2012, ones that lawmakers want to jam through legislatures, or rules already in effect and in dire need of repeal and redress. Read more
Yesterday, New Hampshire Governor Lynch vetoed SB 175 and pulled the state back from creating a law that is so broadly written that it threatened to undermine a number of currently legal, popular, and valuable services.
But it’s not over yet as the Senate could ignore the Governor’s lead and instead vote to override the veto.
SB 175 was written, in part, because the heir to the estate of New Hampshire resident JD Salinger complained that he was not contacted before his dad’s likeness appeared on coffee mugs and t-shirts. Riding on this understanding of the bill, SB 175 passed the legislature despite warnings of the unintended harms it would bring to New Hampshire’s online businesses.
Fortunately, Governor Lynch saw past the rhetoric, understood the harm to New Hampsire citizens, and vetoed the bill. Read more
As you can tell from all the noise, there’s a party happening on the Internet. Users and consumers are whooping it up over all the innovations, information, and choices available at new online services. In addition to millions of job driven by e-commerce, consumers are able to do more, from any location, faster than ever before.
But all this partying has got some neighbors on the block grumbling. Traditional businesses that are comfortable with byzantine laws that protect the status quo are increasingly flexing their muscle to keep new entrants out of the market.
Our March 2012 iAWFUL list finds that, instead of encouraging innovation, many market incumbents are using legacy laws created before the Internet’s arrival to slow down and eliminate innovation and competition. This practice is the top threat to online commerce this year.
Start-ups like Uber, Airbnb, and TrueCar — websites that connect consumers directly to service providers — are being stymied by long-standing taxi commission rules, hotel regulations, and dealer franchise laws. Read more
Partnerships are wonderful things. They allow you to off-load some of the burdens of running a service and enable each partner to focus on different aspects of a project. Kind of a “divide and conquer approach.”
Since its creation, the federal government has engaged in these types of partnerships with business. Rather than creating its own factories and labor force, the Pentagon hires Boeing to build its planes. Likewise, the government partners with businesses to distribute food to the homeless. Even Betsy Ross’s creation of the American flag was a partnership. Government and businesses use these partnerships to deliver quality services efficiently.
This tradition of government and business partnerships continues in the online space. Read more
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”.
Today we published our March 2011 “iAWFUL” list of bad Internet laws. We identified a surge in state and federal online privacy legislation that is threatening to tie the hands of online innovators. (iAWFUL was already picked-up in CNET, Politico, The Hill, and Siliconvalley.com)