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Internet Policy

The internet is an evolving way to communicate that is borderless and always expanding, not only in size but the potential uses are growing exponentially. The United States government has taken it upon themselves to introduce legislation to regulate, control, and attempt to censor the internet. Recent legislation such as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), and CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) have failed in congress, thanks to the people like Aaron Swartz, Larry Page, and other influential tech people that lobbied against any legislation that would allow government control of the internet.These bills would have invaded citizens privacy,  infringed upon their 4th amendment right and possibly allowed more legal intrusions into other communication processes of everyday citizens.

Bills like the Marketplace Fairness Act, that have more support, would set sales tax on anything you purchase online through  any online retailer. Though the government tries to censor the internet, it always  is trying to introduce legislation that would protect consumers internet purchases and consumer uses as in telephone and cable companies. Those attempts are stopped by internet providers like Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, and many other companies that want to keep price gouging consumers, as many consumers feel that cable, cell phone, and internet prices are excessively expensive . Not everyone wants to do ‘evil.’ Google’s Larry page recently said in a keynote speech at Google I/O that “There are many exciting things you could do that are illegal or not allowed by regulation,” Page said. “And that’s good, we don’t want to change the world. But maybe we can set aside a part of the world.” He likened this potential free-experimentation zone to Burning Man and said that we need “some safe places where we can try things and not have to deploy to the entire world.” Google’s motto is “do no evil” and Reddit Co-Founder who’s a leader in furthering technology related legislation.

New devices like Google Glass have stirred up privacy concerns. A camera on your head allows you to take pictures or videos without anyone noticing. The United States government attempting to regulate and control Glass. Congress wants to know if Glass will violate citizens privacy. New technology always arises concerns and fears about what new technology could cause. Movements to stop average Americans from filming police are on the rise, however many advocates argue stopping filming in public places infringes upon your rights. When you look at it from an outsiders perspective it can be scary to have someone taking pictures of you any time. It’s simple to take a picture with your phone without anyone noticing. Cities all over the world are installing security camera’s which watch your every move across a city. Glass would allow you to walk around take pictures or videos without anyone noticing.

Overall privacy is a high concern for the government although it seems to be a low concern for many consumers. Users put their information on Twitter and log their every step through Foursquare. Citizens are represented by an older generation that don’t understand how the internet works. Newt Gingrich is a representative for the average American and he wants to rename the cell phone. He’s a prime example of how the older generation still does not understand how social media like Twitter is the new way to get your news. Tell us what you think of the governments recent bills to attempt to shape the internet.