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Debating democratisation and the Internet

Debating democratisation and the Internet

Dust off your British spelling guides. As part of the Berkman Center’s ongoing tenth anniversary celebration, Berkman@10 (conference and gala next week!), we’re retrieving some multimedia classics from our past.

To date, we’ve: re-presented Lawrence Lessig’s fall 2000 debate with Jack Valenti; brought back Charles Nesson’s framing of IS2K7, University: Knowledge Beyond Authority; re-produced John Perry Barlow's reassesment of his 1994 essay on the economy of ideas; re-posed the question: Will the Internet draft the next president? jumped back to Ethan Zuckerman's supercharged history of digital community; and replayed Mike Doughty's reflections on music, creativity, and technology.

This week, for the last in our series, we're linking to our colleagues and collaborators over at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) -- in the spirit of the (re)convergence of our far-flung network at the Berkman@10 events next week.

One year ago, the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) convened a conference, hosted by the OII, to discuss "The Future of Free Expression on the Internet" and to roll out the first global data set on Internet filtering, the raw materials with which Access Denied was built.

The ONI's ambitious, worldwide research succeeds in good measure because of its collaborative, four-institution team. Or, as Principal Investigator Jonathan Zittrain explains at the beginning of last May's conference: "Good morning; my name is Jonathan Zittrain, and, on behalf of the Oxford Internet Institute, and our good colleagues at the University of Toronto Citizen Lab, the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and the University of Cambridge Advanced Network Research Unit at the Cambridge Security Programme, we welcome you to the predicate of this sentence."

ONI will soon begin rolling out its new, greatly expanded (and highly anticipated) global data on Internet filtering. In the meantime, we invite you to jog your memory with the ONI 2007 Year in Review and enjoy this week's main multimedia classic:
As a finale to last year's conference in Oxford, three of the ONI principal investigators joined three other distinguished speakers in a debate at the Oxford Union...

Without further ado...
Motion: This House
believes that the Internet is the greatest force for democratisation in the World.

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