Opinion: Internet-anarchy

POSTED: 01/26/12 11:46 AM

Here is something to think about for our decision makers while they are contemplating the new civil code. European citizens will get the right to remove personal information from the internet if European Commissioner Viviane Reding gets her way.
Reding, whose portfolio is basic rights, presented her plans for improved protection of personal information this week. The plan allows internet users to remove provocative pictures from social network sites. The commissioner calls this the right to be forgotten, adding that personal information belongs to individual citizens. Only if there is a well-founded reason to keep information on the net, it will remain there.
Reding is obviously on a slippery slope with her initiative. While the commissioner considers it a way to offer citizens more protection and to stimulate the digital economy, critics say that executing the plan would be far too expensive for certain companies.
One of the arguments is that small companies should not be subjected to the same rules as internet giants like Google or Facebook.
Complicated or not, the commissioner’s initiative is understandable. It is all good and well to promote absolute freedom on the world wide web, but we all know that there are excesses. In St. Maarten the internet is a free for all, because there is no legislation at all to enable law enforcement to act against for instance slander and defamation.
Freedom is precious, and internet-freedom ought to be protected to the max. At the same time it cannot be so that the internet becomes a safe haven for cyber terrorists who feel untouchable due to the lack of legislation.
The way things go in St. Maarten, it could be long time before there is something in place to deal with these issues. Until that time it makes sense to follow closely how far Reding will get with her initiative to give citizens the right to remove their personal information from sites if they don’t want it to be there. It’s a first step in the right direction, though it should not lead to a new order that stifles the freedom we all love so much. But the current state of anarchy that others love so much) simply cannot remain in place forever.

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: Internet-anarchy by

Comments are closed.