Over at Slashdot, some discussion of a …

Over at Slashdot, some discussion of a “Technology Bill of Rights”, which as far as I can tell is essentially just a way to get a bunch of nerd-friendly legal measures passed (they cite anonymity rights and net neutrality).

The problem is that they utterly miss the point of the original Bill of Rights: it was a statement of natural rights that has pretty good coverage of a lot of internet issues. If judges refuse to interpret the Fourth to include computer searches, it’s a good bet Senators won’t either.

I’ll grant them that net neutrality might be worthy of a law outside of this “bill”, but I haven’t really paid any attention to it since it dropped off the face of the earth a year or two ago, so, yeah.

But the real flaw here is that technology changes at a ridiculous pace. Imagine the “bill” that would have been proposed a decade ago. It probably wouldn’t have included, for example, net neutrality. In the same way that this bill won’t be able to anticipate whatever problems we’re going to be facing in 2019, which I’m pretty sure was one of the huge arguments against the original Bill of Rights (I don’t have my copy of the Federalist Papers handy): if you legislate by exception, you’re doomed to failure.

The problem isn’t that we don’t have a technology bill of rights. It’s that Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens lost re-election because he’d recently been convicted of crimes, not because he’s a giant ignoramus.It’s that we have a governing body that fundamentally doesn’t understand how the internet works.

Theoretically, this means that they shouldn’t be allowed to pass laws about it, but that never does seem to come in to practice. Which clause of the Constitution do they claim grants them powers over a vast, global network?

Whoa. Sorry. I kinda went off the rails there. Still. LOL at the whole new Bill of Rights thing.