Blogs & Comment

America's influence over the global Internet

Another Monday, another New York Times storythat’s got me thinking. This week, it’s an article examining U.S. Congress’s growing interest in how Internet companies collect and use the bread crumbs of personal information we leave in our travels through the Web. It is a major issue, and while it’s always a little disconcerting when a government decides to start sticking its nose into something so dynamic and innovative as the internet, it is encouraging to see some lawmakers try to wrap their heads around a topic thatimpacts anyone who goes online.
The Web, of course, has exploded because it’s so easy to usebut that’s only because a lot of things happen behind the curtain that we cannot see and therefore control. Greater transparency, not to mention awareness, is almost certainly in order when it comes to how our information is tracked, stored and used.
But is it for the U.S. lawmakers to decide? I might not have a lot of confidence in Canadian politicians to grab hold of these issues and craft regulations that will address them, but at least I could have my voice heard. Instead, what happens in the U.S. in regards to the Internet often becomes a de facto standard, and the same goes for many of the big Internet issues, like net neutrality.
Some (further) fracturing of the laws that govern the Web is probably inevitable. It will be up to surfers to know the companies behind the services they use, and what regulations, if any, apply.