Estonia's Internet Revolution

from the online-leapfrog dept

With all the stories about how third world countries are trying to figure out ways to connect to the internet, here’s the story of how Estonia went from a “backwards” province of the former Soviet Union to one of the most connected countries in Eastern Europe. Some say the country benefited from having such poor infrastructure a decade ago. It allowed the Estonia to leapfrog countries with legacy technologies and get people on the same page quickly. The government seems to have played a large role in all of this – adopting digital technologies at an astounding pace. Currently, the government does much of its internal work electronically – including cabinet meetings, which are held entirely online. They’ve also launched a website called “Today, I’m Deciding”, which lets the general populace comment on pending legislation. More and more Estonias own computers and mobile phones, and use them all the time. Some locals now say that communications technologies are becoming an integral part of “E-stonia”.

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Comments on “Estonia's Internet Revolution”

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dorpus says:

Serving larger interests

Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia have oppressed Russian ethnic minorities who are not given citizenship, cannot vote, are not given health care, education, or other basic human needs; polluting factories or power plants have been deliberately built next to Russian neighborhoods. It’s the kind of human rights abuses we would expect out of Middle Eastern countries. So far, the U.S. and EU have been willing to overlook this to win political leverage. The Baltic countries may provide a good test case of a new political paradigm where a society can feign “openness” via net access but oppress its have-nots through exclusion.

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