BIG BROTHER

Fed Planning Watchdog to Police Internet Privacy

Time to start rethinking those drunken tweets? President Obama will be creating a new federal office to oversee Internet privacy, The Wall Street Journal reports. The new branch will be recommended in a forthcoming U.S. Commerce Department report—but sources warned that the report isn’t yet final, and could be altered before it’s unveiled in a few weeks. If created, a watchdog office dedicated to Internet policy would be the first step the U.S. has taken toward privacy regulations similar to ones in Canada, Germany, and the U.K. So far, the U.S. has taken more of a “Wild West” approach to Internet policy, under the principle that enforcing privacy regulations would hinder research and innovation. The new office is expected to be similar to the privacy office set up in the Office of Management and Budget by President Clinton in 1999, which crafted regulations for medical and financial data.