Some in Congress would like to mandate that Internet service providers police the activity of their subscribers. They claim that this would greatly reduce the volume of illegal Internet activity, such as child pornography, copyright infringements, and terrorist communications.
However, I believe this a bad idea. Leave the job of policing the Internet to … well … the police. It has been proven time and again that people and entities (in this case, cable and phone companies) that are not in the law enforcement business do a poor job of it. For that very reason, citizens’ arrests are generally discouraged.
Besides, even though I never intend to participate in anything illegal while surfing the Net, I don’t want my ISP monitoring my activity or keeping records thereof. Monitoring of my Internet activity is okay at the office, since the computer I’m using there belongs to the company I work for. It also pays for the Internet connection.
However, when I’m at home (as I am while creating this post), I’m using a computer that belongs to me. And, to paraphrase a quote by the late, great Ronald Reagan, I’m paying for this Internet connection. So, my online activity is nobody’s freaking business but mine.
Internet subscribers in the U.S. should demand that their ISPs not comply with any future government’s demand that they spy on their subscribers’ online activities. Those who cave in to the government’s demands should be immediately dropped by each of their subscribers and forced out of business. Let’s keep Big Brother away from our home computers.