FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Tech at Night: Thailand succeeding, Anonymous failing, Ben Howe asking a fair question about Google
I’m constantly pointing out how New Zealand is making it itself into a bit of an anti-American legal haven, but they’re not the only ones who have a history of that. Thailand has had issues, so many that the government had to declare a Year of IP Protection, with renewed enforcement to go with it. And as it turns out, they have a long way to go, but even US industry groups recognize the progress. That’s good to see.
I imagine they don’t harbor fugitives like Kim Dotcom, either. Who may or may not drink 10 liters of Coke every day, then blame the eeevil Americans for the consequences.
Major failure of the Anontards this week, as their promised blockade of the State of the Union address was about the biggest fizzle it could be. “We will form a virtual blockade between Capitol Hill and the Internet. … There will be no State of the Union Address on the Web tonight.” Uh… right.
Which isn’t to say Cybersecurity isn’t an important issue. It is in fact important enough that we need to handle it correctly. House Republicans are going in the right direction, opposing White House unilateral, cowboy Executive Order action, and supporting useful information sharing legislation like CISPA. It is in fact important that the legislation not be coercive of private industry, and not hinder innovation. Innovation is critical to our security online.
Legislative update: The drive to give a special legislative break to Pandora continues, as the drive to try to pass IRFA this time continues. I say we let Pandora succeed or fail on its own merits. Let them negotiate with copyright holders instead of getting government coercion in their favor. And make no mistake: this is about the big boys like Pandora. Action in the regulatory-industrial complex always is.
The Internet Sales Tax compact is back, too. If they want to pass though, they need to ditch the terrible, obnoxious language being pushed by the big box retailers like Walmart. This isn’t about fairness. This is about helping Republican governors collect taxes legally owed, instead of having to pass new taxes.
We’ll finish with a little Google. Let’s be clear: Ben Howe raised a legitimate point at RedState this week. Yes, it’s true that Team Romney left a lot on the table tech-wise, that Team Obama picked up. But it’s also legitimate to ask about a firm with a history of privacy failings, including the Safari privacy hack (which resulted in an FTC fine), and the WiSpy mess (which resulted in legal action worldwide). Was it possible for either Obama or Romney to build things on their own? Sure. Was it possible for Obama lovers inside Google to give Obama inappropriate help? Of course, it’s a fair question, and Ben Howe is right to raise it.