Spotlight on net neutrality and privacy

By | October 19, 2009

Did anyone read the latest interview with Eugene Kaspersky, creator of the world famous Kaspersky antivirus software? I just read it, and in the interview Kaspersky mentions that the root cause for all security problems is – Internet anonymity. For those of you who haven’t read it, the interview is here.

The Internet has always held an attraction for many because of 2 basic things, which are net neutrality and privacy, along with being one of the last bastions of free speech left in the world. Sure, the threats are there because of the ability to be anonymous, but even if it was controlled and regulated the way Kaspersky describes, my question is, can we trust the new Internet gatekeepers to have our best interests at heart then, and after?

big-brother-internetKaspersky has a point, the gist of it being that security problems mostly stem from the ability of attackers to conduct attacks anonymously and anywhere. This has always been the problem. But Big Brother style control (Internet passports/Internet police) is not exactly something that most of us who regularly surf the Web would consider the ideal model is it? Restricting Internet access to a paid subscription model limited to zones and controlled by telcos or some other conglomerate is something that should concern every Web citizen (if it hasn’t yet).

Another recent development that should be of concern for bloggers who endorse products for compensation is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announcement that they are setting up endorsement rules for blogs. I’m not sure when this ruling came into effect (if it actually did), but in a nutshell, the ruling stipulates that bloggers who endorse products need to disclose whether they receive any compensation from the subjects of their endorsements. Failure to do so will result in punishments ranging from warning letters up to a fine of $11,000 per violation. Whoa!

I just wonder how the FTC is going to police the Web with the millions upon millions of sites out there (and more coming everyday). Also, how many bloggers out there are actually aware of this ruling right now? While it makes sense to push ideals of transparency and credibility in the blogging world (it probably is a little insane right now), it is another thing to make such a move stick. Will there be further announcements/news by the FTC on this (if they are really serious)? I’m keeping tabs on this.

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