State of the Net West 2008 Recap

By Eric Goldman

Earlier this month, the High Tech Law Institute co-sponsored “State of the Net West,” an event designed to facilitate a conversation between DC policy makers and Silicon Valley technology folks. We had a terrific turnout (especially given that we held it during peak vacation season) and some stimulating conversation. We recorded the discussion, so take a listen [these are at iTunesU, so you need the iTunes client to access them]:

* Welcome and Panel 1 on reputation, anonymity and social networking

* Panel 2 on 47 USC 230. See Larry Magid’s writeup of this panel.

* Panel 3 on cloud computing and the privacy of remotely stored information. See a writeup of this panel.

Some interesting tidbits from the day:

* Rep. Goodlatte’s son now works at Facebook

* Rep. Lofgren called the decision a “real stretch”

* Michael Fertik said that it only takes 20 minutes to ruin someone’s reputation online while it can take 20-200 hours to repair the damage

* there was some discussion about ways that copyright law attempts to protect individual privacy. Copyright law wasn’t designed to do that, so it functions poorly in that regard (and probably others). If you’re looking for a paper topic, there may be some merit to exploring copyright’s role as a privacy protection tool.