The Internet Bill of Rights

Oct 22, 2018

The Internet Bill of Rights

US Rep. Ro Khanna unveiled plans for an internet Bill of Rights earlier this month (October 2018) and introduced what he believed was some of the basic principles to be proposed in the legislation.
The article first surfaced in the New York Times on the 4th of October 2018. Khanna several principles for the proposed internet Bill of Rights.
Of importance, Khanna wishes to limit the reach of the National Security Administration (NSA). He cites this as a critical first step.
His proposed six principles are to ensure net neutrality, protect citizens from warrantless government mass surveillance and provide consumers with more control over their personal data.
He further goes on to state that the purpose of the six principles will help to mend the trust deficit between the people and their government, as well as between consumers and service providers.

However, Khanna’s proposed internet Bill of Rights is not novel and as far back as February 24, 2012 the Obama Administration called for stronger privacy protection for consumers as mobile gadgets, internet services and other tools were able to do a better job of tracking what we do and where we go. The Obama administration as a result outlined a proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights as voluntary guidelines for companies.
However the guidelines as proposed by the internet Bill of Rights and the Obama Administration are just that – guidelines and are far away from becoming legislation.

The principles outlined do appear to be non-controversial and could easily attract majority public consensus. Even although there have been positive steps by blue-chip Silicon Valley corporates to tighten activities that inadvertently infringe upon the consumers’ rights, there is a still a great need to solidify these with stringent legislation which is both clear and concise to both the consumer and the business world alike.