Print Friendly and PDF
only search openDemocracy.net

The (un)freedom of the networked

The web has a dual nature - it promotes some freedoms and endangers many others. Making the most of it will mean fighting for it (from the archive, 2008)

In 2008, I was invited by a free market think-tank to present something about the Internet and freedom. I published it back then on openDemocracy in 3 parts (over here). At the time, I'd been a bit disappointed in the piece. It didn't come off the fence - so what would the web be doing to liberty? There just were these great opposing forces - there would be a rebirth of collective organisation, especially small-scale. And the huge databases would attract corporations, states and would build some kind of Kafka/Orwell hybrid. The Snowden revelations reminded me of the piece, and comforted me that whatever else was wrong about it, it truly demonstrated this dual nature of the web. Social media played a part in the Arab Spring. And our intelligence services are feasting on the data trail we willingly leave everywhere we click. And since the old version of the piece had suffered decay at the hands of a cloud service that I'd used to host all the visuals that went bust, I thought I'd re-issue a brand-new version. Thank you Scribd.

The freedom of the networked. (2008)  (Reload the page if the embed does not appear below)

 

About the author

Tony Curzon Price was Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy from 2007 to 2012, where he is now contributing editor and technical director. He blogs at tony.curzon.com


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the
oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.