The internet needs to serve not enslave citizens.
As I type this governments and corporations are not only monitoring but also censoring freedom of speech, the free flow of information, and blocking with whom you can connect. The reasons for this are many and varied, but most are excuses that in the end maintain power and/or favor their own self-serving interests. No matter how well meaning or how it is packaged these actions limit free speech and the right to connect with and learn about any and all topics.
The topic of internet freedom becomes more important daily, especially with the internet tools used to access and run the internet are owned and controlled by governments and multinational technology companies. Governments use such powers to suppress unrest when they should be instead actively trying to address their concerns and the corporations horde or block information to further their commercial interests, with little or no consideration of privacy rights.
Rebecca MacKinnon gave a great talk on the subject during a TED talk
“Let’s Take Back the Internet”. She highlights the current struggle for freedom in cyberspace and suggest that we need a “Magna Carta” that applies to the internet.
(Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Duration: 14:52)
Sadly since Rebecca MacKinnon’s speech was given Governments and corporations throughout the world have increased censorship and surveillance of internet users to the highest levels in history.
A comic by Gary Markstein published in MIT’s The Tech sums up the situation very clearly. The majority of people have been far too complacent as to what entities have access to their personal information and how that information can legally used or sold by other parties, without consent.
It is most certainly time to do something along the lines of what Rebecca MacKinnon suggests and to “take back the internet” and your personal internet privacy as soon as possible.
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years.