Berkman's new Internet & Democracy blog
Two weeks ago, I mentioned the official launch of Berkman's Internet & Democracy Project, examining the relationship between the Internet and democratic norms. Today, I'm happy to announce the launch of IDblog, the official blog of the project. The blog will become one engine of building a community of people who are interested in helping to define the direction of this project. Please join us by sharing your thoughts in the IDblog comments section.
Our first post...
Myanmar's 'Dictator's Dilemma'
In 1993, Christopher Kedzie wrote that an increase in the relevance of digital/networked technologies will force repressive regimes to face a ‘Dictator’s Dilemma’, where they will have to choose between open communications (encouraging economic development) and closed communications (controlling ‘dangerous’ ideas). Based on last week’s events in Myanmar, where the Junta simply shut off the Internet in response to the worldwide transmission of words, pictures, and film of their repressive actions, it is easy to say that one of the worlds most repressive regimes has no qualms about shirking economic development in favor of complete control.
However, the events of the past few weeks have shown that a little online openness can go a long way. Activists used mobile phones and proxy servers to ensure that the world continued to get information about the country until the regime shut the entire network down (see Open Net Initiative’s detailed account of the tools used by online citizen journalists)
Labels: Internet and Democracy