There’s an excellent article by Tom Steinberg on mySociety about how the government doesn’t understand the internet and what needs to be done about it.
The Internet has been relentlessly undermining previous practices in the running of businesses, dating, parenting, spying, producing art and many other areas. So, however, did electrification and shipping containers. From cheaper raw materials, to cheaper cars to have sex in the back of, economic and social change has always been driven by technological change.
While I’m sure some would argue that technological change is driven by economic and social change, that’s really not the point.
The point is that law makers, government officials and civil servants need to understand what the internet is all about. Instead of trying to protect old ways of doing business, they need to embrace the change that is coming. Instead of trying to apply laws and brick and mortar tax policies, new strategies need to be envisioned and implemented.
The article talks specifically about the government in the UK, but I think it applies elsewhere, and it would be great if the US government, at all levels, started thinking about these issues as well.