Due Process? Not How US Congress Sees the Internet

How’d you like to live in a country where you had no right to due process under the law? You know: a place where some government official decides you’re naughty and punishes you on the spot, with no chance to defend yourself.

A place like: The United States?

It’s not a law yet, and given how little time there is left in the current session of Congress this bill, like this one, almost certainly won’t become a law, but the United States Senate has before it a bill that would make it possible for your web site to be taken off line immediately if the US Attorney General decided you were participating in “infringing activities”.

As I said, it’s unlikely this law will be passed. Disclaimer: I am not an attorney

Most of us aren’t running the kind of web sites that would attract attention under a law like this one. But remember what the very idea of due process is about: unless you’re doing something that makes you a threat to people around you (a “Criminal Offense”), thereby making you subject to arrest (at which point you STILL have the right to a bail hearing and to be free pending the action’s due process – driven resolution) then the presumption under law is that you are to be left alone until that due process has run its course.

This bill represents the opposite. This is government at its most uninformed, caving into the demands of lobbying groups. And destroying due process for the benefit of those groups and their clients. THIS IS BAD.

When Amazon.com reached inside your Kindle and censored its contents, you yelled, and they responded. When Apple decides to censor what’s in their app store you have the option of using an Android phone instead.

And the United States Senate is supposed to uphold due process, not squash it.

What do you do? Aside from my righteous indignation-driven position and the suggestion that you contact your senator to tell him or her what a bad idea you this this is, the lesson remains one about business change. You need to be on top of the kinds of things that are happening around you and have contingency plans in place. You need to manage your business change.

Yeah, yeah, yeah; I want you to hire The Answer Guy to help make that happen. But even if we never get to speak, please understand the importance of keeping up on the changes happening around you. And speaking up, too.