BY DANIEL J. WEITZNER, HAROLD ABELSON, TIM BERNERS-LEE,
JOAN FEIGENBAUM, JAMES HENDLER, AND GERALD JAY SUSSMAN
With access control and encryption no longer
capable of protecting privacy, laws and systems are needed
that hold people accountable for the misuse of personal
information, whether public or secret.
Existing legal and technical mechanisms intended to protect our privacy, copyright, and other important values have been overwhelmed by the increasingly open information environment in
which we live. These threats follow from the ease of information
storage, transportation, aggregation, and analysis. We face the real
risk that the technical laws spelled out by Gordon Moore (growth
in processing power) and Robert Metcalfe (network effects) will permanently
overwhelm our values as enshrined in society’s laws.