Say Goodbye To Internet Freedom

Posted by Jason | Posted in Technology | Posted on 05-03-2010

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More and more government seems to be moving in on the freedom we have on the internet. Obama is pushing net neutraliy as a way to protect us from the evils of the companies who have already brought us ever increasing broadband and services. The FTC has begun cracking down on bloggers saying they have to disclose their relationships before blogging about a product. Police want warrantless access to your online data.

Now, the government is going to claim they need to protect us from internet attacks which have been around since the beginning of the internet. Oh no worries though, Microsoft, a company who’s having problems keeping up in the online arena, is backing the government.

A top Microsoft executive on Tuesday suggested a broad Internet tax to help defray the costs associated with computer security breaches and vast Internet attacks, according to reports. Speaking at a security conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Vice President for Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney pitched the Web usage fee as one way to subsidize efforts to combat emerging cyber threats — a costly venture, he said, but one that had vast community benefits.”You could say it’s a public safety issue and do it with general taxation,” Charney noted.

via Microsoft exec pitches Internet usage tax to pay for cybersecurity – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.

Ok, I’ve always stuck up for Microsoft as far as monopoly claims go, but now I see why everyone hates them. Here is a company, who’s founder has more wealth than many countries, and they are saying the public should have more money stolen from them to “defray the costs associated with computer security breaches”, which are probably made possible by the crappy software they write. Maybe we’d all be better off if we got Apples.

The public should not have to defray the cost for corporate America. Businesses should consider security as cost of business, which they have up until now. The customer ultimately pays, but they are the ones benefitting from security measures. If my bank puts in security software and hires security professionals, am I not the one benefiting? Why should the guy down the street defray my bank’s cost to which he is not a customer?

So what happens once the government taxes the internet and internet security becomes a public good? Well, what happens with everything the government gets involved it. It basically turns to garbage (keeping it clean here). Innovation is stifled. Costs skyrocket.

It is not hard to see what’s coming. The writing is on the wall. Governments absolutely hate freedom. If they see people having too much freedom, they must get worried that the people are consipring against their power. So they do whatever they can to insert themselves into this freedomfest to make sure the people don’t realize that “Hey, this freedom thing works without the government. What if the rest of our lives were like this? ”

But, as I said, the writing is on the wall.

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