Microsoft Exec: Create Global Organization to Secure the Internet

Lora Bentley

The same day that Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and his colleagues on the Senate Subcommittee for Human Rights and Lawheard testimony about Internet censorship and other human rights violations that U.S. companies doing business overseas often encounter, Microsoft's corporate VP for Trustworthy Computing, Scott Charney, delivered a keynote at the RSA Conference.

 

He suggested forming a global organization - on the order of the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control -- responsible for securing the Internet. He then tossed around ideas as to how the organization could be funded. BetaNews quotes Charney this way:

Well, maybe markets will make it work, but if not, there are other models: use taxes for those who use the Internet. We pay a fee to put phone service in rural areas, we pay a tax on our airline ticket for security. You could say it's a public safety issue and do it with general taxation.

 

BetaNews' Scott Fulton notes that although human rights legislation and securing the Internet would not generally fall into the same category, they will overlap where privacy issues come into play. And that will make things interesting for lawmakers if such an organization is created at some point. After all, Sen. Durbin has already promised legislation that would fine U.S. companies overseeas who do not stand up against human rights violations.



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