I recently presented at the14th Annual Privacy and Security Conference held in Victoria, British Columbia. There were several things which I took away from the meeting.
The first takeaway is that even though the three keynote speakers all looked at the issue of security and privacy from different perspectives – they all agreed that the level of interest in these two areas is growing as governments begin to recognize that the World Wide Web crosses borders with impunity.
The second takeaway was that standards creation is largely ignored. Mostly, the discussion was on standards and regulation implementation not on the act of creation. My presentation – “Whose Internet is it?” – focused on the groups that create basic Internet and telephony standards. The intent of the presentation was to convince people that they can (and should) get involved in creating the standards that drive the Web.
The final takeaway was that the distinction between standards and policy is becoming very blurred and the implications for national governments and for commercial providers are significant. On one hand, a nation has the right (and sometimes the duty), to protect itself and its citizens. For this, there exists the traditional standardization venues. On the other hand, there is the growing realization that these traditional bodies are ill equipped to deal with the increased pace of technology change that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) world is experiencing. Throw into this mix open source and IPR, social change, and increasingly, mobile telecommunications, and you have a volatile mix.
This is an interesting, challenging, and confusing time for those involved. The collision of regulations, innovation, policy, technology, and a host of other factors, of necessity, make the issue complicated and complex – but very relevant to how the Web will evolve. Adobe will continue to follow this issue as it unfolds, and we welcome your perspectives and comments.