Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Future of Freedom in the Internet Age

The free flow of information and ideas over new digital technologies is in our national and global interests: it is important for economic growth; for U.S. diplomatic relationships; for building sustainable democratic societies; and for meeting global challenges in the years and decades ahead.

The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are working with a wide range of partners outside of government to support these principles. They are pursuing an active agenda to promote Internet freedom, to boost online access across the developing world and to train civil society activists in online organizing.

Five Key Freedoms of the Internet Age:

  • Freedom of Speech: Blogs, emails, text messages have opened up new forums for the exchange of ideas.
  • Freedom of Worship: The Internet enhances people’s ability to worship as they see fit.
  • Freedom from Want: Online connections expand people’s knowledge and economic opportunities including locating new markets.
  • Freedom from Fear: Those who disrupt the free flow of information threaten individual liberties and the world’s economy and civil society.
  • Freedom to Connect: Connecting with others near and far offers unprecedented opportunities for human cooperation.
The following link includes lectures that address information accessibility issues, especially those involving open media and the web.

Audio presentations on future of information:

Free Digital Library Brewster Kahle is building a truly huge digital library -- every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history ... It's all free to the public -- unless someone else gets to it first.

Open Source Learning: Richard Baraniuk explains the vision behind Connexions, his open-source, online education system. It cuts out the textbook, allowing teachers to share and modify course materials freely, anywhere in the world.

Open-source economics: Learn about the impact of technologies like Wikipedia and Linux that allow free exchange of information and how they're affecting the way business is conducted.

Future of Digital Commons: Music, writing and images are discussed in this talk on the world of free information on the web.

The Future of American Libraries: How new technologies and the changing needs of patrons will shape the library of the future.

Open Media in Iran: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are making it easier for people to share information quickly and accurately over the web, something that becomes especially relevant in tumultuous situations like the recent protests in Iran.

Internet Censorship and The Great Wall of China: What happens if one of the largest economies in the world doesn't have open access to the web?


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