It’s kind of ironic – Julian Assange, the man behind Wikileaks, has been quoted today as saying that the Internet “is not a technology that favours freedom of speech”, when it was the internet that allowed him to both access and distribute the millions of cables that have made Wikileaks a household name.
Assange was speaking at Cambridge University when he made the claim, and was making a point that the Internet isn’t all rosy and flowers and open information, but a tool governments and oppressive regimes use to spy on people. Or, in Assange’s words, “greatest spying machine the world has ever seen”.
While that’s a valid assessment, the thing is that you can’t have it both ways. if you want the internet to be open and transparent, then you can’t restrict who can access that information, whether they be the lowliest housewife or the harshest African dictator.
Regardless, the Internet is here to stay. How it plays its role in the future of the world is going to change and adapt just as quickly as we do. What do you think?