A new CNN poll finds that 66 percent of American adults believe that it's "right" for the Obama administration to analyze and collect Internet data. Only 33 percent believe the action is "wrong," and 1 percent have "No opinion."
Governments everywhere are on the prowl for more revenues. French president François Hollande wants to tax incomes in excess of €1 million at a 75 percent rate. Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has jacked up VAT.
In an NBC interview, Google's Eric Schmidt reminded America that "It's important to remember these 5 billion people are just like us. They're just trapped in bad poverty and bad governance and so forth." The CEO of Google was referring to those in the world who don't have smartphones:
The United States announced today that it “cannot sign” a proposed treaty that would cede some control of the Internet to the United Nations. The details of the treaty have been the subject of more than a weeklong conference in Dubai.
In the middle of the night at a U.N. conference in Dubai, the presiding chairman of the International Telecommunication Union conference surveyed the assembled countries to see whether there was interest in having greater involvement in the U.N. governing the Internet. A majority of countries gave their approval.
Recently, Google unveiled a new feature on its website: the ability to tour, via “street view,” its Lenoir, North Carolina, data center, one of its numerous, highly guarded campuses. Google is attempting, at least partially, to lift the iron curtain—for which it has been much maligned—and show the world one of the physical strongholds where our personal data are stored. Might we trust the behemoth more if we can catch a glimpse of it from inside?
Two technology firms that monitor global Internet traffic report that Syria has been cut off from the Internet. Regular landline phone and cell phones services have been affected as well, Syrian opposition activist Ammar Abdulhamid told me. “Therefore, the possibility of accidental damage can be discounted,” said Abdulhamid. “This is something done intentionally by the regime, and reflects growing desperation on account of the recent advances made by rebels, especially in Damascus.”
Next week the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports.
Jen Rubin makes the case today that the anti-piracy bills pending in the House, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Senate, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), are likely unconstitutional.