It is encouraging that the United Nations General Assembly this summer passed a non-binding resolution that declares that people should have the same human rights online as they do off-line. The Snowden revelations and other disclosures about National Security Agency spying on leaders of such countries as Brazil and Germany led to widespread outrage and to calls from some countries to circumvent U.
S.-based Internet services -- or, in the case of Chancellor Angela Merkel, to create a separate European Internet.
By most standards, the Internet is a raging success.
There are now more than three billion users, a figure that’s tripled in just 10 years.
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.
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.
Thanks to the Internet, billions of people have access to an unfathomable amount of information in their pocket.
But the full potential of the Internet won't be met if governments act to limit freedom online to protect their regimes.