Internet, Freedom and Safety

Internet: the good, the bad and the disruption.

While talking about the Internet and the Web, I would like to focus on one detail which I find important. While using the Internet we want to be free and we want to be safe.

It is an old paradox: if we want to be safe, we want everyone to follow some rules and regulations. But at the same time, regulations often seem to interfere with our freedom.

So what we want to be free from while online, and what would we like to be protected from?

Can we find a common ground for our freedoms and safeties? How can it be put into the policy which is working for all?

That is what the latest conversations over the internet policy are about: SOPA, PIPA, Anonymous, Privacy, Sharing, Intellectual Property - all these buzz is about combining safety and freedom.

So what do we have now?

If I try compare the current situation with politics: internetwise, we seem to get stuck somewhere between anarchy and dictatorship, and we usually feel awkward about both extremes.

To create a clear and useful proposition for policy, which does make life of humans better it will be a good idea to define very precisely what do we mean by Internet Safety and Internet Freedom, and to see where do we agree, where do we disagree, and what, after all, do we mean by “We”.

I would like to end my report with a quote from Wikipedia

The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used in everyday speech without much distinction. However, the Internet and the World Wide Web are not one and the same. The Internet establishes a global data communications system between computers. In contrast, the Web is one of the services communicated via the Internet. It is a collection of interconnected documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs.[5] In addition to the Web, the Internet also powers a multitude of other services, including (among others) email, file transfer, newsgroups, and online games. On the flip side, Web services can exist apart from the internet, such as on a private intranet.

References and suggestions for further reading.

  1. Morozov, Evgeny The Net delusion, 2011, Public Affairs, New York.

  1. MacKinnon, Rebecca Consent of The Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom"

  2. Oxford Languages | The Home of Language Data

  3. Freedom - definition of freedom by The Free Dictionary

Who is “we”?

Hey Ksenia,

Safety and freedom to me are interesting, abstract concepts carrying many underlying assumptions, narratives and expectations. Which is one of the reasons I prefer to have a discussion on the basis of our own personal experiences. Several other Edgeryders have posted reflections  based on personal experiences which you may find of interest, maybe have a look and :

…and you can find my own reflections on the concepts of security and privacy in this context here:

How about you?

We are everybody

Hey Nadia,

I have to disagree with you here - these are broader concepts in which our own personal experiences are not so relevant. We happen to live in places where our access to Internet and our safety are relatively free - that is not the experience for many people around the world. Unfortunately we need tools and protocols to protect these freedoms as you point out in the conclusions of your excellent post.

Cheers for the comment!

Thanks for your feedback. I agree with both points, actually. Personal experiences have to be taken into consideration while developing policies. The step between personal experience and policies is considering shared experience, because policies are shared.

The question is, did I put this post in a right category on this website, so we can later on make sense of our shared experience?

i can move this from ‘missions’ into blog entries

Should I move this post or delete it and  write a post on my own Internet FreedomVSInternet Security experience?