posted Apr 30, 2001

Attorneys general: Law lagging behind technology Administrative4/30/2001; 10:37:51 PM 'States have fraud-protection laws they could use to pursue egregious offenders, but little for run-of-the-mill Web sites. Attorney General Janet Napolitano thinks having an Internet-specific privacy law would offer consumers basic protections and make prosecutions easier.''Other attorneys general echoed Napolitano's frustrations this past week at a National Association of Attorneys General meeting devoted to online legal trends. Their chief complaint: The law simply cannot catch up with technology.''"It's this unsettling feeling that the ground is shifting (from) under our feet too fast for us to understand what's happening," said William Sorrell, Vermont's attorney general....''How strong should any protections be? Should states move ahead of Congress? Should states retain the right to later pass tougher laws than whatever Washington ultimately decides?'Disconnect. The first three paragraphs are talking about specifics, the last one about generalities. There's nothing wrong with thinking about the two of them, there is a problem with mixing them up.I think what's really necessary at this point is a restatement of our root priorites. What rights do people have? Is the right to privacy real? Work out from there. (Forget corporations for a moment; compared to the harm done to people, there's no real way to hurt corporations in general.) We're spinning our wheels because we can't even agree on what copyright should be doing... what makes anyone think we can pass a decent law about the current particulars when we haven't got even a vague idea about the generalities?


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