Facebook’s and Google’s Breaches Show It’s Time for a New Internet Bill of Rights

Our Founding Fathers drafted the Bill of Rights to safeguard our freedoms in the physical world. Today, as Americans are living more of their lives online, the digital age demands that we have new rights to protect our freedoms in the cyber world.

To secure these rights, we will have to overcome gridlock and a knowledge gap in Congress. Following the Equifax breach nearly a year ago and the Facebook hearings on Cambridge Analytica six months back, Congress still hasn’t acted. Besides a few hearings that exposed our Senators’ lack of knowledge of the Internet, Congress adjourned two weeks early to extend the midterm campaigns, instead of staying to work on passing an Internet-reform bill.

The lack of urgency in Congress has persisted even in the wake of recent revelations that a Facebook security breach exposed 50 million users’ personal information to attackers and Google let third-party app developers access information on users who did not give them permission. The truth is that most elected officials and their legislative staff on Capitol Hill simply lack the necessary expertise to write rules for the Internet.

Since I represent Silicon Valley, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi tapped me in April to draft a set of principles for an Internet Bill of Rights. Instead of only focusing on privacy and the right to protect one’s own identity and data, I included principles ensuring net neutrality and universal access to the Internet.

In total, with the help of consumer groups and World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee, we came up with ten principles that can help define rights in the digital age. I imagine thoughtful Republicans such as U.S. Representatives Mike …read more

Source:: Time – Technology


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