Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Avoiding a Precautionary Principle for the Internet

Thierer, Adam. "Avoiding a Precautionary Principle for the Internet." Forbes, March 11, 2012.

From the article: "What is likely to happen if fear-based tactics come to be taken more seriously by policymakers? Stated differently, if public policies are guided by highly pessimistic attitudes or panicky predictions, what course of action might we expect governments to pursue toward new digital technologies and online services?

The danger of technopanics is that they can lead to the adoption of a “precautionary principle” for the Internet and information technology. When applied in a public policy setting, the precautionary principle holds that, since every technology could pose some theoretical danger or risk, public policies should tightly control those innovations until their developers can prove that they won’t cause any harms. In other words, the law should mandate “play it safe!” as the default policy toward technological progress."  Read more

See Also
Thierer, Adam, Technopanics, Threat Inflation, and the Danger of an Information Technology Precautionary Principle, working paper for Mercatus Center at George Mason University, February 28, 2012.