Trumping the Internet

The New Yorker, September 29, 2014

The Solace of Oblivion, by Jeffrey Toobin

In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet.

“The European Court ruled that Google must delete certain links that violate privacy…”

According to the article, “Despite the varied circumstances, all these people (among them are  U.S.actors, persons with criminal records, citizens with unwanted photos) want something that does not exist in the United States, the right to be forgotten.”

Actually, one could say that in the U.S., the right to free speech, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution, trumps the right to privacy.  “When it comes to privacy, the United States’ approach has been to provide protection for certain categories of information that are deemed sensitive and then impose some obligation not to disclose unless certain conditions are met,” says  Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Sanford Center for Internet and Society.” Examples of this are the disclosure of medical information (HIPPA), educational records, video-store rentals.  “Any of these protections can be overridden with the consent of the individual or as part of law-enforcement investigations.”

However, “the Internet’s unregulated idyll seems to be coming to an end, at least in Europe.”

A trump card is the most powerful card in Bridge and can take any other card.  To trump (verb) is to take a position which is superior and supercedes another position.  To see more of this idioms, please go to and type in “trump.”



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