Just a bit ago, Erick Schonfeld over at Techcrunch posted a public call for a Digital Bill of Rights. Unlike Steven Hodson, I won’t say that this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, but only because I had a very similar idea myself when I first logged onto the net in the 90s and saw all it was capable of.

The difference was back then it was the 90s, I was a 14-year-old, and I had very little wisdom or life experience to give the ideas I had any sort of meaningful perspective.

I had intended to do a video on it this evening, but my computer’s acting up – just as well, since Steven grabbed me for an episode of his discussion points podcast.

Download the MP3 here.

I’ll break it down in text for those of you without 23 minutes to spare:

Most of what Erick said is pure puffery. Many of the things on his list are mutually exclusive from one another. Others don’t need to be rights because they aren’t things that could be legislated away. The list is far too US-centric – the Internet is international.

Most importantly, asking for these things to be guaranteed as rights is tantamount to trampling the rights of others. If I start a website, and there is codified law that says I must follow certain laws to say, guarantee privacy of folks who may leave a comment, doesn’t that impede the free exchange of information (another thing he calls for)?

It delves down a rabbit hole of complete contradictory nonsense. None of it appeared to be very well thought out.

In other words, it’s perfect for Digg. I imagine it should be showing up on the front page there in a couple of hours.

At the end of the podcast, Steven and I brainstorm a little bit on a solution that would go towards providing us some of the things on this list we do want while still respecting rights and privileges we enjoy on the web.

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