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Privacy United States Government Security Politics

Most Americans Want Gov't To Make Internet Safer 439

aicrules writes "Despite the constant prattle of privacy groups and individual privacy advocated, according to a poll reported on by CNN most Americans want the government to be heavily involved in securing the Internet. They want to eat their cake too, though, as those polled also don't trust the governmental bodies charged with such security. They also found that more people trust Microsoft with security. From the article, 'I don't think the public knows what it wants Congress to do, but it wants Congress to do something,...They don't have a lot of confidence that Congress will do the right thing.'"
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Most Americans Want Gov't To Make Internet Safer

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  • What people want... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jhon ( 241832 ) * on Friday June 17, 2005 @02:57PM (#12844854) Homepage Journal
    Most Americans Want Gov't To Make Internet Safer
    Actually, most Americans want an intact Constitution.

    If "most" American's really want the "government" hover over the internet and potentially tramp on rights, there is fairly simple way -- amend the Constitution. It's not EASY, but it is a simple solution.

    My personal favorite from TFA:
    "I don't think the public knows what it wants Congress to do, but it wants Congress to do something," said Dan Burton, the senior lobbyist for Entrust Inc
    How can the "public" know what it wants to do when most people don't even know how congress WORKS? Most don't even know the name of their own representatives. Besides, my understanding of TFA was that it WASN'T a poll of MOST Americans, but of "LIKELY VOTERS". Always need to read the 'fine print'.
  • I don't... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ilyanep ( 823855 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:02PM (#12844932) Journal
    I don't want anyone to make the internet safer except myself. I installed the Firewall. I installed the AV. I installed all the other safety stuff. Not the government, and I don't want them to bud in.
  • This just in... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:06PM (#12844984)
    ...American people don't know what the fsck they want! Story at 11...

    Seriously though, there's a little truism that goes something like "In democracy, people get exactly the government they deserve", and I'd say it's quite true. We don't know *what* we want, and as such, we end up with crap.

    Once people figure out that they have to be engaged with the issues to vote intelligently, then we'll see some change. Maybe a few more centuries of societal progress and we'll get there...
  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:09PM (#12845027) Homepage
    What I don't get is what the article had to do with privacy. People, according to the poll, want the government to help stop spam, spyware, and viruses. I.e., they want them, to if anything, help protect their privacy.

    Since when are federal attempts to track down and prosecute spammers, for example, a bad thing? I mean, unless you think that everything the government does is always bad...

    Now, if this were a poll about whether the government should mandate censorware, block pornographic content, support more strict intellectual property enforcement, etc, that would be a completely different issue.
  • by freeclimber ( 812767 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:13PM (#12845098) Homepage
    I work for an online retailer and we lose thousands of dollars every day to fraud. We have attempted to get the government to intervene but unless it is over $50,000 they don't tend to help us. We had a case where a guy stole $25,000 worth of goods from us using fraudulent cards. We knew where he lived but the police/feds refused to do anyhing about it.
  • Insightful (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bob_Robertson ( 454888 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:14PM (#12845108) Homepage
    Well said, TripMaster. I'd mod this up as "insightful" if I had any mod points.

    I know people on the "No Fly List" merely because they speak out on the net against government intrusion. Heck, I could easily be on the list myself, but since I haven't tried flying since the list was invented I don't know. ...since there is no way to find out if you're on the list until you TRY to board a plane. Idiots.
  • by RickPartin ( 892479 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:17PM (#12845154) Homepage
    But most Americans have no idea how the Internet works or why it is so vital. They see the Internet as an entertainment device. Like the TV, just another thing. They don't see it as the most amazing medium for free speech humanity has ever seen. Just like in the real world if we want to keep our rights and privacy we will have to put up with some crime. The internet is no different.

    They don't realize that making the internet "safe" will just cripple and ruin it.
  • But then again... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Sensible Clod ( 771142 ) <> on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:23PM (#12845244) Homepage do we know they didn't deliberately skew the results?

    We hear all the time, 'polls show this' and 'the majority of Americans say that', and we don't know that's how the poll *really* came out, or even if there *was* a poll.

    Just something to think about.
  • by NetNifty ( 796376 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:30PM (#12845339) Homepage
    Wasn't it Winston Churchill who said "The best argument against democracy is a five minute chat with the average voter"?
  • by mapmaker ( 140036 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @03:44PM (#12845512)
    Actually, most Americans want an intact Constitution.

    Actually, all that most Americans want is a big screen TV and a PicnicPak bag of Doritos. As long as the government doesn't take their cable away they don't give a rat's ass what it does.

  • by MythicalPuma ( 881502 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @05:05PM (#12846487)
    I think someone once said "The person who is willing to give up freedom for security deserves neither" Oh wait that was the founding father Benjamin Franklin. Maybe we should heed his advice.
  • by psyberjedi ( 650736 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @05:22PM (#12846683) Journal
    The truth is...

    Yes, you are responsible to check on a store's security policy to the best of your ability. Obviously they are not going to give you their router config to look through for mistakes or give you a glimpse at their overall security infrastructure, but you do hold final responsibility. Watch your credit card statements.

    I admit that this is a large responsibility and not simple to do. I do not pretend that I do this myself. The fact is that my lack of effort does not excuse the store from its due diligence to protect my data. They hold the blame for the theft. I still hold the responsibility to make sure I know when my information has been misused.

    When a big bank swallows your little bank, it is your job to know their practices, WITHIN REASON. If you do not do your job, and read the relevant data then you can not complain at the misuse of your information. Of course, there is a measure of responsibility held by both banks to notify you of the merger and any potential changes to the personal data policy within a reasonable amount of time so that, if you disagree with that policy, you can remove your funds and find a new bank.

    Our lax societal efforts to ensure our own security do enable cheaper and faster methods of doing all kinds of things, but we are the ones demanding these faster services.

    If you are in a car on a rainy night and the driver tells you he can go faster, but he may lose control; he can go slower, but it will take longer to get to your destination; or he can stay the same speed and take a mix of risk and time, your choice comes with a certain amount of responsibility for the outcome. The driver holds the responsibility to be able to handle the car at a reasonable amount of speed without endangering the passengers. If you demand he speed and he crashes, you share the blame. If you demand he slow down and you are late, you share the blame.

    Simply because it is inconvenient or difficult to perform your responsibility does not mean you are excused from it.

    Perhaps the real need is to demand that the companies make the crucial information we need to make a decision more available and more understandable.

    Then again, it is our responsibility to demand it.
  • Re:Insightful (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jimhill ( 7277 ) on Friday June 17, 2005 @05:48PM (#12846927) Homepage
    "I know people on the "No Fly List" merely because they speak out on the net against government intrusion."

    I discovered about a month ago that I'm on the TSA watch list. Sure, they'll let me get on a plane but only after special screening. As for printing a boarding pass from the Web, forget it. I don't know if it's really me, or just the name (firstname lastname...that ought to be enough to identify terriss uniquely!) but I do know that I've been very outspoken on- and offline. My first letter to my Congressional delegation went out on 9/14/01, begging them not to over-react with liberty-gutting legislation. I guess I should have included a sack of cash with that.

    The delightful thing is that all the administrative shuffling by the government after 9/11 has led to a state of affairs in which one hand still doesn't know what the other is doing. One branch of the government says I'm a threat to civil aviation and another gives me a TS clearance to work with special weapons. Sheesh.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.