Read a piece in the New York Times of June 12, 2011, entitled: U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors. Great story. Great reading. The ultimate point of the article is freedom of information, freedom of expression, freedom to participate in the 21st century communications revolution – the internet and all other forms of wireless communications technology.
President Obama and Secretary Clinton have made the vigorous defense of internet freedom a central element of U.S. foreign policy. This policy has nothing to do with a fascination with modern communications technology (although it is cool!) The policy is based on the simple realization that values first embraced by the young United States more than 200 years ago have found a new medium of electronic transmission. It bridges distances, borders, cultural differences, political repression and violence, and virtually all other obstacles, to lend a voice to freedom, a voice to people in many parts of the world who have been silenced for too long. “Let freedom ring!” has become “Let freedom byte!” That is of course why repressive regimes everywhere do what they can to control or even shut down internet access to anyone who opposes them. And that is why those of us who live in freedom must do the opposite by insisting on preserving unfettered internet access to all. The June 12 NYT article notes that is exactly what a group of smart geeks is up to.
So here is another great way for smart Americans and smart Estonians to work together in support of shared values! Soon after arriving in Estonia more than a year and a half ago, I invited this country’s IT community to work on internet freedom hard and software. Let me reissue this invitation. Please read the NYT article Estonia and lend your considerable IT prowess to liberation technology.