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Specifically, in 2015: But because the Internet is global, these domestic activities are insufficient to suppress freedom.
[T]he nature of the technology itself has opened up a space of much greater democratic possibility.” As it’s turned out, “greater democratic possibility” is not universally admired.
Authoritarian regimes find their positions of power threatened by the disintermediation of the Internet, just as have previously protected businesses.
As scholar Christopher Walker wrote: "The focus of such efforts is not merely defending authoritarianism at home, but reshaping the international norms that stigmatize such governance. Behind the smoke screen of “Internet sovereignty” and “Internet security,” authoritarian regimes are doggedly working to neutralize democratic discourse and organization in cyberspace.
Oppressive governments now routinely seek to apply repressive local standards to platforms such as Facebook, Google, and You Tube, with the aim of constraining the free flow of independent information and quarantining democracy." Freedom on the Internet presents thorny policy issues, even for democratic countries.
Garton Ash, in a book of nearly 500 pages, struggles to compose a set of guidelines for free speech in an Internet age. In the short term, increased Internet access has led to more attempts at government repression, but, in the long term, there’s reason for optimism. As the economic and cultural benefits of the Internet reach practically all citizens, it will be difficult – impossible, even – to take that connection away or even limit it. For that reason, physical access should be one of the two goals of global Internet policy for the United States. government has championed for the past 20 years: the right to connect as equivalent to the right to assemble and speak freely. and other democracies must use all opportunities to advocate Internet freedom, condemning and undermining attempts to abridge access and speech, including providing training and technology to help people in authoritarian countries navigate around obstacles presented by their governments. The worry is that the Internet will become fragmented, and its greatest asset – immediate global connectivity – will be sacrificed.
As the economic and cultural benefits of the Internet reach practically all citizens, it will be difficult – impossible, even – to take that connection away or even limit it. For that reason, physical access should be one of the two goals of global Internet policy for the United States. Cultural differences in the definition of free speech will be difficult to reconcile, but those differences can’t be an excuse for repression. And, again, it’s not just the authoritarian nations, like China, that are talking about their own internets.
In the end, however, the Internet could still prove Barlow correct – but only if technology’s pursuit of freedom receives a big helping of will, moral support, and good policy.
Use of internet has become a normal day to day activity in the world.
What it has not brought – despite early predictions – is more global freedom. In the 1990s, the Internet made its critical transition, expanding from a network mainly scholarly to a network mainly commercial and personal. “The first principle,” Magaziner wrote, “is that, in general, the Internet is a medium that has tremendous potential for promoting individual freedom and individual empowerment.
The annual Freedom House report, “Freedom in the World,” has found a “10-year slide” in freedom, as defined by factors in two dozen categories. President Bill Clinton’s advisor, Ira Magaziner, established a credo that has guided U. Therefore, where possible, the individual should be left in control of the way in which he or she uses this medium.