Liberty, Technology and the Next U.S. President
One of the biggest mistakes a new administration might make in its first 100 days would be to ignore the impact technology has had on the privacy of our communications and the striking need to update the law accordingly. If the President fails to act early in his first term he will miss a window of opportunity that won’t soon reopen, and it will be to the detriment of the Internet economy and to privacy rights. Much of our personal information is shared--and stored--online; yet the laws protecting that information are outdated and haven't kept up with technological advances. Our information, often in the hands of third parties, looses much of the Fourth Amendment protection it enjoys when stored digitally at home or on paper.
In other words, current law discriminates against web-based applications in terms of the privacy they afford. This discrimination could put Internet technologies at a competitive disadvantage as consumers grow concerned about how private their information really is. The next administration should take immediate steps to address this issue, but it shouldn't stop there. For a closer look at the issues of security and technology the next president will confront, take a look at what the Center for Democracy & Technology has done in an effort to draft a kind of action outline for this issue and several others.