Digital Execution for the Living

Do lifetime Internet bans on individuals (as part of a sentence for breaking the law) amounts to “digital death”? Check out this interesting article by Andrew Moshirnia at Citizens Media Law Project about how the court is using bans as part of sentencing.

We’ve been talking about digital death (and afterlife) in context of the physical death of the individual. But the idea that the court could execute your digital identity is fascinating and potentially scary. Here we are, barely 15 years into the modern Internet, and we considering the revocation of Internet privileges.

But there are greater problems that arise here. The Internet is now breaking away from personal computers, and is finding it’s way to public spaces. It’s also found it’s way to mobile devices. So would this ban VOIP, Internet enabled iPhone apps, and Netflix? Where does it end?

I think that access to the Internet will become more of a right, than a choice. I also expect to see a lot of legislation surrounding this issue in the coming years.

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One Response to Digital Execution for the Living

  1. Evan Carroll August 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    While I’m all for providing the appropriate punishment for crimes, it seems senseless to ban individuals from the Internet. When the Internet was in vogue it was one thing, but now it’s how we do business. Imagine not being able to buy something on eBay or use your bank’s automated services. The punishment is more severe than it sounds. Let’s consider something like Internet filtering or a lifetime ban from social networks. Provided that you can define the latter.

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