Monday, September 22, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Paul OhmUniversity of Colorado Law School
Abstract:Nothing in society poses as grave a threat to privacy as the Internet Service Provider (ISP). ISPs carry their users' conversations, secrets, relationships, acts, and omissions. Until the very recent past, they had left most of these alone because they had lacked the tools to spy invasively, but with recent advances in eavesdropping technology, they can now spy on people in unprecedented ways. Meanwhile, advertisers and copyright owners have been tempting them to put their users' secrets up for sale, and judging from a recent flurry of reports, ISPs are giving in to the temptation and experimenting with new forms of spying. This is only the leading edge of a coming storm of unprecedented and invasive ISP surveillance.
This Article proposes an innovative new theory of communications privacy to help policymakers strike the proper balance between user privacy and ISP need. We cannot simply ban aggressive monitoring, because ISPs have legitimate reasons for scrutinizing communications on an Internet teeming with threats. Using this new theory, policymakers will be able to distinguish between an ISP's legitimate needs and mere desires.
In addition, this Article injects privacy into the network neutrality debate - a debate about who gets to control innovation on the Internet. Despite the thousands of pages that have already been written about the topic, nobody has recognized that we already enjoy mandatory network neutrality in the form of expansive wiretapping laws. The recognition of this idea will flip the status quo and reinvigorate a stagnant debate by introducing privacy and personal autonomy into a discussion that has only ever been about economics and innovation.
The author's homepage: paulohm.com/
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
"Oh lord, not another Vista article!" Like me, I'm sure many of you might be thinking something along those lines whenever you see an article with the word 'Vista' in the title these days. We've had what can only be described as a plethora of articles on Windows Vista, almost all of them repetitive, one-sided and of little practical use. Some of them have bordered on the absurd, such as Infoworld declaring Windows Vista to be the second biggest tech blunder in history, giving as its reason a one paragraph description that serves more to highlight the author's ignorance than provide any actual logic for their decision. We've been suffering under the weight of these nonsensical, sensationalist and opinion-laded pro- and anti-Vista articles for far too long."This is a very interesting article, and one which does offer some quick fixes to Vista annoyances.