Monday, April 02, 2007

Back in the U.S.S.R. or Back to the Future?

Interesting article on what's happening in Russia regarding the reigning in of the media freedoms that happened after Soviet collapse. I think Putin outsmarted us, and I think we may have to start worrying about them again. Excerpt:

Some 10 years ago, when liberty seemed on the march around the world, many optimists claimed that, contrary to George Orwell's gloomy 1984 vision of a technologically empowered omnipotent superstate, new technologies were actually empowering the individual and subverting central authority. It was argued that, in the electronic age, government control of information would become impossible, and dictatorships would crumble.

But dictatorships, like individuals, can be highly adaptable. Technologies that make it easy to disperse information can be thwarted by technologies that make it easy to track communications. True, even in an unfree society, the Internet can give individuals greater access to unauthorized facts and ideas than a typewriter and a radio. But ultimately, technology's liberating potential would still run into the barriers of society's political structure. Sadly, in the years to come, Russians may discover that the Internet can in fact coexist with an authoritarian regime—and even become a tool in its hands.

Kid Handsome



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