As more communities become service providers in order to provide a needed service to local businesses and residents, they are taking on an important responsibility to safeguard the data and privacy of subscribers. Unlike big providers like AT&T or big cable companies, municipal providers tend not to engage in data mining or violating their users' expectation of privacy.
But given that issues of privacy and surveillance are becoming so important, we wanted to talk with Corynne McSherry, Legal Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that champions liberty on the Internet.
In our conversation, we discuss what motivates EFF, why they support municipal networks, and what advice they have for local governments that have become ISPs. Perhaps most important, Corynne repeatedly advises local governments to be transparent with subscribers regarding their policies and encourages municipal ISPs to call EFF if they have questions about their responsibilities under the law to protect subscriber data.
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Thanks to Persson for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Blues walk."