By Catherine Bracy, Director of International Programs at Code for America, December 31, 2012
…But even if they were politically savvy, the issues the technology industry would be pushing are a different set of interests than consumers (and by that I mean citizens) are concerned with. Which brings me to the second part of what I meant: those who have outsized power and influence through network technology to make their voices heard often put it to use in the most inane and self-centered ways. There was lots of talk after the Internet beat back SOPA and PIPA about the potential for networked models of citizen participation that actually WORKED. The so-far failed opportunity to realize that potential has been starkly revealed in the last few weeks: the tech-savvy in an uproar over Instagram’s terms of service while at the same time sitting idly by as FISA gets reauthorized, and staring helplessly from the sidelines as Congress bungles the fiscal cliff. …
For full text of this op-ed, please visit Silicon Valley’s Problem | BraceLand.
- BraceLand | Silicon Valley’s Problem (cbracy.tumblr.com)
by James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel, Harvard Business Review, January 18, 2012
… the purpose of this article isn’t to explain what SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act] and PIPA [Protect IP Act] will do. Instead, it’s about explaining what’s brought them about: SOPA and PIPA are prime examples of big companies trying to do everything they can to stop new competitors from innovating. …
So if “content” vs “technology” doesn’t capture what’s going on in this fight, what does? Well, SOPA makes much more sense if you look at the debate as big companies unwilling to accept change versus the innovative companies and startups that embrace change. And if we accept that startups are created to find new ways to create value for consumers, the debate is actually between the financial interests of “big content” shareholders versus consumer interests at large. …
Check out the full text of this interesting article at The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath – James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel – Harvard Business Review.
NOTE: If you want to learn more about the history of copyright law and the tug-a-war between big content shareholders and new innovators, check out Jessica Littman’s book Digital Copyright or her many articles on the politics of copyright and copyright reform.
Few Americans are aware that there is an active tech agenda pending before this Congress that carries enormous implications for technological innovation, for the privacy and free expression rights of Internet users and, ultimately, for the openness of the Internet. … I retired my crystal ball some years ago; I know better than to predict whether and when Congress might act on any particular measure. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take a moment to understand what is at stake and let members of Congress know where we stand — firmly on the side of the open Internet. So here are some of the top tech bills to watch:
- [Consumer privacy;
- Government privacy (ECPA);
- the Protect IP Act (PIPA);
- Data retention;
- Data breach;
- and net neutrality; GPS & LightSquared; and GPS tracking and the Fourth Amendment.]
For full text of the article, visit Tech Agenda: Bills Carry Enormous Implications for Technology – ABC News.
- What’s on Washington’s Tech Agenda? (abcnews.go.com)
- Op-ed: The shocking strangeness of our 25-year-old digital privacy law (arstechnica.com)
- Senators Call for Privacy Law Update (eff.org)
- Leahy Pledges Action On ECPA By End Of Year (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- Very Busy Agenda for Congress (politicalwire.com)