An anonymous reader writes: Last week, when a Brazilian judge shut down WhatsApp, it affected roughly half of the country's ~200 million residents. It's not the first time — or the second, or the third — that WhatsApp has faced legal pressure, and Bruce Schneier says it's clear evidence of a "massive power struggle" between internet companies and traditional companies. Central to this struggle is the inability of our lawmakers to quickly and effectively regulate new technologies. He says, "Traditionally, new technologies were adopted slowly over decades. There was time for people to figure them out, and for their social repercussions to percolate through society. Legislatures and courts had time to figure out rules for these technologies and how they should integrate into the existing legal structures. ... This isn't a simple matter of needing government to get out of the way and let companies battle in the marketplace. ... We need a better way of regulating new technologies. That's going to require bridging the gap between technologists and policymakers. Each needs to understand the other — not enough to be experts in each other's fields but enough to engage in meaningful conversations and debates. That's also going to require laws that are agile and written to be as technologically invariant as possible."
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