Jonathan Zittrain on Privacy - Dictionary of Arguments
Privacy/Internet/Zittrain: the blacklists of objectionable Web sites maintained by commercial filtering programs are consistently overbroad, erroneously placing Web sites into categories to which they do not belong.62 For example, when the U.S. government sponsored a service to assist Iranians in overcoming Internet filtering imposed by the Iranian government, the U.S.-sponsored service in turn sought to filter out pornographic sites so that Iranians would not use the circumvention service to obtain pornography. The service filtered any site with “ass” in its domain name—including usembassy.state.gov, the U.S. Department of State’s online portal for its own overseas missions. (1)
Some users have begun to deploy tools like Blossom, whereby individual PC users can agree to let their Internet connections be used so that others can see the Internet from their point of view. (2) As states increasingly lean on their domestic ISPs and overseas online service providers to filter particular content, a tool like Blossom can allow someone in China to see the Internet as if he or she were a New Yorker, and vice versa.
The essence of Privacy 2.0 is that government or corporations, or other intermediaries, need not be the source of the surveillance. Peer-to-peer technologies can eliminate points of control and gatekeeping from the transfer of personal data and information just as they can for movies and music. The intellectual property conflicts raised by the generative Internet, where people can still copy large amounts of copyrighted music without fear of repercussion, are rehearsals for the problems of Privacy 2.0. (3)
Who could be found near the entrance to the local Planned Parenthood clinic in the past six months? The answers need not come from government or corporate cameras, which are at least partially secured against abuse through well-considered privacy policies from Privacy 1.0. Instead, the answers come from a more powerful, generative source: an army of the world’s photographers, including tourists sharing their photos online without firm (or legitimate) expectations of how they might next be used and reused.
Privacy 2.0: The central problem is that the organizations creating, maintaining, using, and disseminating records of identifiable personal data are no longer just “organizations”—they are people who take pictures and stream them online, who blog about their reactions to a lecture or a class or a meal, and who share on social sites rich descriptions of their friends and interactions. These databases are becoming as powerful as the ones large institutions populate and centrally define.
1. OpenNet Initiative, Unintended Risks and Consequences of Circumvention Technologies (May 5, 2004), http://www.opennetinitiative.net/advisories/001/.
2. Geoff Goodell et al., Blossom: A Perspective Access Network, http://afs.eecs.harvard.edu/-goodell/blossom (last visited May 15, 2007) (describing the philosophy, design objectives, and implementation of the Blossom network, which seeks to allow users to specify the perspective from which they view Internet resources).
3. The largest difference may arise from the fact that invasions of privacy implicate the dignity of individuals rather than firms’ profits, and thus there is no natural lobby to organize against this personal intrusion._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It New Haven 2009