Welcome!

News Feed Item

NetChoice Names 2014's Worst Internet Laws

iAWFUL List Reveals Misguided Legislative Efforts that Will Harm Consumers

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, NetChoice announced the 2014 Internet Advocates Watchlist of Ugly Laws (iAWFUL) list, a collection of legislation that has the potential to undermine key elements of Internet freedom and commerce.

This year's list is full of legislative efforts run amok. As legislators and regulators fall over themselves in a race to regulate Internet services, many are doing more harm than good.

"Data breaches and privacy concerns have whipped elected officials into action, but as the 2014 iAWFUL list finds, elected officials are making things worse," said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice. "When consumers are harmed by misguided legislation it's time to sit up and take notice."

Legislative proposals that would eliminate free services and require businesses to cry wolf over data breaches top the latest iAWFUL.

Eliminating Free Services

Internet users are accustomed to free and easy access to a wide variety of resources for everything from networking with friends, to booking travel to checking the weather.  Advertisers, who pay to show ads to interested audiences, support all of these services.

Legislation introduced in California, Virginia and Missouri intended to protect consumer privacy would instead make it much harder for advertisers to pay for free online services and content.  If these proposals are enacted they will reduce the value of advertising for online marketers and ultimately reduce resources for free online services. With reduced funding, free services consumers take for granted today may shut down or require consumers to pay out of their own pocket.

Requiring Businesses to Cry Wolf

Recent, high profile data breaches from large retailers have grabbed the attention of lawmakers.

"It is understandable that action should be taken to protect consumers from harm, but once again, rushed legislation may be more harmful than the status quo," said DelBianco.

State legislators in ten states are considering legislation that would force businesses to issue broad and rushed notices that will impede ongoing investigations.  Even worse, the increased quantity of notices will desensitize consumers to situations that truly merit an immediate response.

Deluging consumers with notices of a potential risk before there is meaningful action will derail the important conversations that must take place after a serious data breach. Furthermore, the discrepancies among each state's proposal will create a patchwork of conflicting rules that invites lawsuits and missteps.

The remainder of the iAWFUL list identifies a wide variety of misguided efforts including attempts to tax the Internet, limit innovation in education, and impose new taxes on online businesses everywhere.

The full iAWFUL list for Spring 2014 is available below and at www.iAWFUL.com

1. Making it harder to get advertisers to pay for free online services and content.  States are considering laws to restrict interest-based advertising that today supports free online services and content. This would drive websites into showing a higher volume of low quality ads to make up lost revenue. If this trend continues, expect to see more pay walls in front of previously free websites.

2. Data breach notification - Following high profile hacking of data held by Target, states are rushing to pass new data breach notice laws.  However, forcing businesses to issue broad and rushed notices could impede investigations. Increasing the quantity of notices will also desensitize consumers to situations where a notice truly does merit their immediate attention.   Moreover, the divergence among state laws is creating an impossible patchwork for businesses that have customers in multiple states.  

3. Discouraging teens from thinking before they post - So-called 'eraser button' bills may actually encourage teens to be careless about posting inappropriate content because they mislead teens to think they can erase what others have posted too.  

4. Limiting innovation in education – Schools should focus on safety, security and educational innovation while protecting student privacy protection from actual threats.  But state legislation would make it harder for service providers to: identify students having difficulty learning; inform parents and teachers about bullying in school; and flag students that might pose harm to themselves or others. 

5. Internet Sales Tax - The ongoing threat of federal legislation would give new tax and audit powers to state tax collectors, threatening online businesses everywhere.

6. Requiring teens to get parental permission to use online services like maps and weather - Proposed bills would require parental consent before a seventeen-year old could use basic resources like Google Maps or Yahoo Weather.

7. Empowering courts over consumers - Allowing a court-appointed executor to counter your express wishes about how your online accounts are handled when you die does not respect consumer choice.

8. Scaring stores away from embracing pro-consumer mobile technologies.  Some state lawmakers want to mandate warning signs in stores that use new technology do analyze shopping habits and deliver discounts. These warning signs will alarm consumers and suppress adoption of new technology that helps stores send deals to returning customers -- even where the customer downloaded an app for that very purpose. 

9. New limits on First Amendment rights - New bills limiting digital photos of license plates would violate the first amendment and impair law enforcement investigations that save lives and solve crimes.

10. Putting children's privacy at risk with email registries – Bills creating a do-not-email registry jeopardizes the privacy of minors while imposing new fees on markets and restaurants using email marketing. 

NetChoice is a public policy advocacy organization that promotes Internet innovation and fights threats to online commerce at state, federal and international level.   See www.netchoice.org.   The iAWFUL reflects the editorial views of the Executive Director of NetChoice and does not necessarily reflect the views of all NetChoice members.

SOURCE NetChoice

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...