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    Opinion at Economist: Difference Engine: Nobbling the internet

    In an opinion column, the Economist considers two proposals that could affect the privacy of Internet users:

    TWO measures affecting the privacy internet users can expect in years ahead are currently under discussion on opposite sides of the globe. The first hails from a Senate committee’s determination to make America’s online privacy laws even more robust. The second concerns efforts by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations, to rewrite its treaty for regulating telecommunications around the world, which dates from 1988, so as to bring the internet into its fief.

    Many fear the ITU’s moves would curtail the internet’s freedom from government meddling, its end-to-end anonymity and its openness to all comers—to say nothing of the surge in commerce and innovation it has stimulated. Neither measure is yet set in concrete. Both have the potential to change the status quo considerably: in Washington, unquestionably for the better; in Dubai, assuredly for the worse.

    Read the full article for a discussion of how the two measures could affect individual privacy online.

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