Lessons From The First Internet Ages
from the interesting-discussions dept
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I’m excited to be participating in an event that the Knight Foundation is putting on, curated by law professors Eric Goldman and Mary Anne Franks, entitled Lessons From the First Internet Ages. The event kicks off with the release of reflections on “the first internet age” from various internet luminaries who were there — but also, most importantly talking about what they might have done differently. I’m going to have a writeup at some future date on my response to the pieces, but I highly recommend checking them all out. In particular, I’ll recommend the pieces by Senator Ron Wyden, Nicole Wong, Brewster Kahle, Vint Cerf, Reid Hoffman, and Tim Berners-Lee. I also think that the interviews Eric Goldman conducted with Matthew Prince and Nirav Tolia were both fascinating.
Just to give you a snippet, Wyden’s article really is excellent:
I firmly reject the notion that improving our national discourse requires changing Section 230 or the First Amendment to give the government more power over speech. Instead, I wish I had been equally successful at protecting the other essential elements of the open internet: access, competition and personal privacy.
One of the internet?s strengths is its ability to give a megaphone to new voices that don?t own a television station or printing press. Digital activism has made grassroots, progressive politics a stronger force than we?ve seen in more than half a century. It has put a spotlight on police violence against Black Americans and allowed LGBTQ+ communities to organize in ways that weren?t possible before. It has allowed journalists of color to call out their own organizations? coverage of race. But unless all Americans have the underlying infrastructure they need to access these communications tools, their promise falls short. And right now, far too many Americans still lack reliable, affordable high-speed internet access.
Anyway, for the next two days, there will be some really fascinating panel discussions on these reflections with a bunch of other great and thoughtful folks, including Julia Angwin, Esther Dyson, Daphne Keller, Chris Lewis, Evelen Douek, Jonathan Zittrain, Cory Doctorow, Alex MacGillivray, and many more. It should be a really fascinating for anyone interested both in the history of the internet, as well as its future.