ISPs and Your Privacy

I think that University of Colorado law professor Paul Ohm's quote in your story about his study points out how his warnings about privacy loss on the Internet are overblown ["Do ISPs Pose a Bigger Online Privacy Threat Than Google?" Sept. 15]. Putting the specter of ISPs snooping at the public's browsing habits into perspective, Ohm said, "I'm not saying that they are invading your privacy right now. What the paper does is to play out the possibilities. ISPs have the power to obliterate privacy."

But the fact remains that ISPs have no incentive to "obliterate privacy." In fact, the incentive is just the opposite. If the public objects strongly to such practices, the ISP market will meet that demand and not snoop. It's the government solutions that Ohm desires that would present a real and lasting threat to Internet freedom.

James G. Lakely

Managing editor
Infotech & Telecom News
The Heartland Institute
Chicago
jlakely@heartland.org

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