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Radio Berkman 151: A Non-Unified Theory of the Internet

Radio Berkman 151: A Non-Unified Theory of the Internet

From the MediaBerkman blog:

Does the discussion of a free and open internet really have to be an ideological debate? Some would say the situation is black or white, open or closed. You are either for freedom of content, the right to post anonymously, and to opt out of having your data tracked, or you are in favor of censorship, filtering, and monitoring.

But delve deeper into the discussion and you’ll notice the nuance. In fact, if you don’t notice some caveats in the debate you’re probably not looking deeply enough.

One person who has spent a lot of time looking at those caveats is legal expert and Berkman Center fellow Donnie Dong. He says there is room for more than one perspective on how the net should work, and cautions against pursuing a common denominator along ideological lines. Culturally, linguistically, and individually we do not see a unified internet, regardless of the technological underpinnings that bring us together on the web.

Donnie says the multi-cultural web we are currently experiencing represents a kind of “cyberpluralism,” a phenomenon that would be good to acknowledge as we debate the future of the web.


Publications 03

Apr 1, 1997

Borders in Cyberspace: Information Policy and the Global Information Infrastructure

The contributors to this collection of essays wrestle with the emerging questions posed by a medium that defies national boundaries in ways previously unknown and woefully…

Apr 30, 2003

Be Careful What You Ask For: Reconciling a Global Internet and Local Law

As the Internet becomes part of daily living rather than a place to visit, its rough edges are smoothed and its extremes tamed by sovereigns wanting to protect consumers, prevent…

Aug 31, 2005

Local Nets: Filtering and the Internet Governance Problem

The Internet filtering problem, on one level, is an unattractive candidate for the Internet governance decision-makers to take up.