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Internet freedom is crucial for democracy

Comment 9th July 2010

The Internet was built as a tool for co-operation and has so far survived multiple attempts at regulation and control for political, idealogical and financial reasons . Decisions on issues limiting the freedom of users need to be public, informed and properly debated. Vested interests struggling to retain out-moded business models (I'm thinking of the music industry in particular) should be informed that they cannot have it both ways: if the market says that consumers (meaning us mugs) have found a more desirable way of doing things then the suppliers must adapt or perish, and that the public purse is not there to prop them up. It's a free market, isn't it, or is there something I've missed? Also government should not use the opportunity offered in order to impose political control at the expense of legal control.

Why does this matter?

The Internet is a channel of communication that has revolutionised politics, finance, business and ordinary life for all, by being open. Some monitoring and control of illegal and dangerous activities may be desirable but to create draconian legislation requiring service providers to police communications and threaten users with penalties without due process of law is an erosion of liberties that should not be acceptable in a modern liberal free society.

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