Local Connection: Website Privacy

By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)  - A few weeks ago, congress almost passed a bill to protect copyright holders from theft.

They held off after legal and technology experts explained to them that the bill did something very different. Because copyright law has lots of gray areas, and big media have lots of lawyers, it gave more power to the powerful.

Small websites would have been at risk of being shut down during protected court battles. Now the Hawaii legislature has extricated itself from a similar situation.

It tabled a bill to make internet service providers keep records of all website visits by all customers.

What one sponsor described as a consumer protection bill was actually invasion of privacy on a massive scale.

We all know, and lawmakers themselves know, that it's all too easy to draft a bill with good intentions and wind up messing things up. In technology issues especially, a little more care seems to be in order.

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