Scott Charney, Microsoft’s vice president of Trustworthy Computing today made a statement that could lead to the government licensing the Internet. The statement he made is as follows:
“If a device is known to be a danger to the internet, the user should be notified and the device should be cleaned before it is allowed unfettered access to the internet, minimizing the risk of the infected device contaminating other devices”
Although this statement sounds logical and as if it is not that big of a deal, it’s really has deeper meaning to how much control the government should have over Internet access. This proposal would open the door for government licensing to access the Internet and grant it the power to block individual computers from connecting to the world wide web in order to “prevent malware attacks”.
Charney made this statement while speaking at the ISSE 2010 computer security conference in Berlin. He also said that cyber security should mirror public health safety laws, with infected PC’s being “quarantined” and prevented from accessing the Internet. He feels that the monitoring would be a “global collective defense” run by corporations and government that would “track and control” people’s computers similar to how government health bodies track diseases.
To these statements all I have to say is WOW! Can you imagine your computer being controlled by the government and accessed at any time? How scary. Under the new proposals, not only would the government cite the threat of malware to prevent people from visiting certain sites but have the power to dictate whether people can use the Internet and effectively opening the door for a licensing system to be introduced. Whats funny about this discussion is that regulation over the Internet by the government will most likely cause more harm than good as people try to avoid being watched. Malware will still be created since most of it most likely is created by unregulated foreign countries.
So what do you think? Do you want Uncle Sam deciding where and when you can surf the web?