The Internet on Balance: Oppressor or Liberator?

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All told, is the Internet "a tool for political liberation or for political oppression"? Last month, The Atlantic's James Fallows hosted a panel discussion on this question for the New America Foundation, and has now posted video of the event. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Alec Ross of the State Department, and Timothy Wu from Columbia Law School debate the subject.

Schmidt believes that, on balance, "the Internet is the strongest force for individual empowerment and therefore for freedom that has yet been invented." Wu points out the chilling example of radio "completely becoming the tool of tyranny and dictatorship" in Germany and the Soviet Union. "The Internet's doing better than radio so far," he concludes, looking at the timelines of the two technologies. Have a look at the rest of the discussion:

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