Internet Freedom

Jan 22, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Hillary Clinton has received wide acclaim for articulating and defending internet freedom. The full text of her speech is available here. "The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly in cyber space. It allows individuals to get online, come together, and hopefully cooperate in the name of progress. Once you're on the internet, you don't need to be a tycoon or a rock star to have a huge impact on society." I want to state clearly that we cannot simply leave these freedoms to the whims of the marketplace or the caprice of corporations. Our investment in this technology - for certainly, it have been a society-wide investment - should not come to be owned and managed by a select few. It is easy to focus on governments as the locus of oppression, but it is essential to understand that a declaration of internet freedoms applies not only to governments but to all agencies and stakeholders. Schools, corporations, societies, governments, religions - all need to respect the right of the members of humanity, as a whole, to interact with each other, without fear, without barriers, without oppression. In the meantime: Kudos to Hillary Clinton.
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