“The real risk here is the second-order effects,” Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said. “The Court may have established a perfectly reasonable test in this case. But then what happens if the Brazilians come along and say, ‘We want only search results that are consistent with our laws’? It becomes a contest about who can exert the most muscle on Google.” Search companies might decide to tailor their search results in order to offend the fewest countries, limiting all searches according to the rules of the most restrictive country. As Zittrain put it, “Then the convoy will move only as fast as the slowest ship.”
If we have kill switches on consumer products, why don’t we have them on military weaponry? Jonathan Zittrain is the Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and he argues we should have a way to disable dangerous weapons at a distance.
Internet scholars and activists gathered at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard on Tuesday to discuss the right to choose how identity is presented online. The discussion was led by aestetix, an activist for pseudonymity on the Web.