The Internet Freedom (iFreedom) Conference in The Hague kicked off today. Eric Schmidt, Hilary Clinton and several EU officials took the stage to express their opinions.
Not surprisingly, we didn’t hear much new. Everyone is pro openness, pro innovation, etc. Those are all easy words. The US Government actions with regard to IP enforcement online (SOPA) and Google making a distinction between broadband and mobile Internet with regard to Net Neutrality, clearly illustrate the debate is more nuanced in practice. Additionally, multiple privacy related scandals in 2011 (iPhone’s location tracking, Carrier IQ’s keystroke monitoring, the revelation of extremely intrusive surveillance technologies) have demonstrated the great power imbalance and only foster distrust in the government and private sector.
It will be interesting to see if the panels and debates tomorrow will bring to light new things. At the very least, these kinds of conferences bring together influential people in a pro-freedom environment. Let’s hope (positive) results will follow… .