The Bewildered User at the Center of the Legal Firestorm

firestorm.jpg

Reading TechMeme and HackerNews this morning, you’ll find more stories about legal issues relating to technology than stories about innovation: the PRISM affair, the DoJ’s suit against Apple for anticompetitive ebook pricing, Samsung’s win of a sales injunction banning iPhones and iPads, Chinese hacking of US assets, patent trolling and reform and so on.

It’s frustrating. But this isn’t a trend that will reverse its course.

In the center of this firestorm is the user and his data, bewildered by the scale and magnitude of these confrontations.

Given the upheaval happening at the intersection of technology and government, the best thing we can do as a society is to educate the electorate and actively participate in the creation of legislation and regulation of the tech industry and work to create laws that reflect the values of the people.

But when 28% of Americans don’t use the internet and 32% lack broadband access and our elected officials lack the depth of knowledge to grok tech, we have to start with computer literacy. Only then will we able to move in the right direction.

And in the short term, it has to be tech community that takes the initiative because we have the most to lose.

07 June 2013

Y

Read this next: