Computers, Freedom, and Privacy

Originally posted as 9.5 Theses for Technology Policy in the Next Administration by Laura DeNardis on the CFP08 blog as "rough ideas intended to spark further debate and discussion and fleshing-out and shuffling and addition". Laura commented:

The theme of the 18th Annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference is "Technology Policy '08." To help shape public debate in this election year, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School recommends the following policy principles

A series of threads will discuss the principles, and this page will track their evolution as part of the discussions. At the conference, we'll be using the revised version as part of the soon-to-be-announced Letters to the next US President project.

1. Privacy. Protect human dignity, autonomy, and privacy by providing individuals with control over the collection, use, and distribution of their personal information and medical information.

2. Access. Promote high-speed Internet access and increased connectivity for all, through both government and private initiatives, to reduce the digital divide.

3. Network Neutrality. Legislate against unreasonable discrimination by network providers against particular applications or content to maintain the Internet’s role in fostering innovation, economic growth, and democratic communication.

4. Transparency. Preserve accountability and oversight of government functions by strengthening freedom of information and improving electronic access to government deliberations and materials.

5. Innovation. Restore balance to intellectual property rules and explore alternative incentives to better promote innovation, freedom, access to knowledge, and human development.

6. Democracy. Empower individuals to fully participate in government and politics by making electronic voting consistent, reliable, and secure with voter-verifiable paper trails.

7. Education. Expand effective exceptions and limitations to intellectual property for education to ensure that teachers and students have access to innovative digital teaching techniques and educational resources.

8. Culture. Ensure that law and technology promote a free, vibrant and democratic culture, fair exchanges between different cultures, and individual rights to create and participate in culture.

9. Diversity. Limit media concentration and expand media ownership to ensure a diverse marketplace of ideas.

9.5 Openness. Support innovation and fair competition by stimulating openness in software, technological standards, Internet governance, and content licensing.