Changing Internet and Privacy Erosion


God, how I miss Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems co-founder & former CEO, and his off-the-cuff but often prescient quotes. Back in 1999, much to the chagrin of privacy advocates, he quipped, “You have zero privacy anyway… Get over it.” Recent developments only give credence to his flippant observation from almost a decade ago.

  • There is legislation in front of the Senate that will pretty much require payment systems to report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government. This is going to impact eBay, Amazon and Google, along with credit card companies. The requirement is buried in Senator Christopher Dodd’s 630-page Senate housing legislation
  • The U.S. Congress has worked out a deal that gives phone companies immunity from participating in warrantless eavesdropping.
  • Sweden recently passed a new law that allowed the Swedish government to eavesdrop on Internet traffic as it sees fit.
  • France is banning illegal Internet downloaders, according to Times UK Online, following some other bans.

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