"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gibbs, Egypt, Internet Freedoms, and the US

Good to hear Robert Gibbs talking about the necessity of  "Internet freedoms" as a basic human right in Egypt.  This applies not only to Egypt, but every nation in the world, in our own right here in the USA.

Attempts of totalitarian and dictatorial governments to control their people by controlling their information usually fail, and even when they do not, they weaken the government attempting to impose such controls.  Samizdat video weakened the Soviet Union in the 1980s.   The White Rose did not overthrow the Nazi government, but they bravely defied it and put out the truth for several years with early photocopying machines.   The Iranian government was shaken by its people in an early use of social media in 2009.  China would do well to heed these lessons, too.

As should our own government.  The FCC has no business imposing any kind of regulation on the Web, and their fines of television stations for broadcasting content the FCC deems "indecent" are in blatant violation of our First Amendment.

Egypt does not have a First Amendment, and Gibbs and Hilary Clinton in an earlier statement today were wise to remind it about the importance of freedoms of speech, assembly, and the Internet.   We would be wise to heed that advice ourselves.

For further analysis and discussion of the importance of Internet freedoms and social media, see my New New Media.

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