Saturday, April 20, 2013

Germany: Internet Commissar

An internet commissar for Germany?  Recommendations are going to the Bundestag to form up a position would be the watch-dog for Germans....protecting them from the terrible things around the internet.

For three years....there's been this committee working around all the various issues confronting Germans and the internet.  Their recommendations this week.....rounded up to around 1,300 pages.  Who would read the document?  No one.  Someone simply pulled out the bits and pieces to discuss in public.  I'm guessing the document will quietly disappear into a couple of libraries and never be mentioned again.

As for the commissar position?  There's anger and hostility from the youth of Germany over anti-pirating measures and the unfairness of someone knocking on their door to claim a thousand Euro in fines.  There's anger over Google and its imagery of neighborhoods....with massive invasion of privacy.  There's frustration over how private data is shared or used from company to company.  There's an effort to go anti-Facebook because of their rules.  The commissar would be the focal point to fight the bad evil internet for Germans.

Who would end up in such a job?  I could see the political structure going in three ways.

The first pick for the job would be some inside guy who grins for the public but secretly and quietly works for Google and Facebook.  The political guys would just see this as the best practical pick.

The second pick would be some professor from a university who has simply observed everything from a distance and commented publicly on the terrible things of the internet.  The truth is.....he'd just listen and do mostly nothing except write reports.

Finally, the third draft someone who has never really used the internet, and maybe works up an internet sweat for thirty minutes a week.  A grumpy old guy with no agenda and no passion for the internet.

You'd have to accept living in Berlin, accept a salary of probably 140k Euro a year, get a government car, and agree to monitor Google, Amazon, Facebook and a host of evilness in the internet world.  And you'd have to be agreeable to show up for TV appearances and discuss the modern era of technology.  Maybe along the'd actually educate people to accept the evil internet, because society is moving on and it's part of our bold new world.

I wish the guy well....but I suspect that he'll last twelve to eighteen months, then retire quietly.

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