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Dark clouds over the internet

If the global Internet is going to be warped to suit governments’ interests, we must ensure that it isn’t broken up into cantonized national networks with less privacy, less efficiency, less commerce and less speech. That means making it easier for foreign governments to get data when that access is justified and harder when it is not.

International agreements are one solution, and America and Britain are rumored to be negotiating such a deal. In the meantime, American technology companies should be free to comply directly with foreign government requests for data, as long as that access is warranted and meets international standards of due process and human rights. If America fails to allow such access, it will happen anyway in a brute and extralegal manner – and the result will be a less secure, less efficient Internet.

Hand over data, with all the privacy risks that involves, or the internet breaks up. Really? That’s the best we can? Those are the outcomes we have to settle for?

What a deception.

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