Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry, founders of the Personal Democracy Forum, call for the first tech president. They list six requirements:
1. Declare the Internet a public good.
2. Commit to providing affordable high-speed wireless Internet access nationwide, along with protecting and expanding unlicensed spectrum for public use, and make the Internet a reliable part of our infrastructure….
3. Declare a “Net Neutrality” standard forbidding Internet service providers from discriminating among content based on origin, application or type.
4. Instead of “No Child Left Behind,” our goal should be “Every Child Connected.”
5. Commit to building a Connected Democracy where it becomes commonplace for local as well as national government proceedings to be heard by anyone any time and over time.
6. Create a National Tech Corps….
(Crossposted from Prezvid)
Danah Boyd, one of the great students of online interaction, is speaking at PDF and suggests that candidates leave their digital spaces and reach out to their MySpace friends (or equivalent on Facebook or YouTube or blogs) and leave a comment there: interact. But, she hears, as do I, the candidates do not have time to do this. I hear is said they don’t have time to blog, either. Or vlog. And that seems to make sense.
But as Danah points out, candidates go to events — fish fries, coffees, churches — where they shake hands with a few people people and that’s important because it’s real. Well, the equivalent now is to reach out “and it’s about literally going and digitally shaking hands.”
And there are more advantages: The handshake lives on. It’s visible and linkable.
(Crossposted from Prezvid)
Google’s head, Eric Schmidt, is talking with the New York Times’ Tom Friedman at PDF.
Schmidt says the most obvious use of the internet in politics is as a truth detector: We can look up what politicians have said and we can refute fact.
He also says that voters will become much less likely to believe the first thing that comes at them because there is so much more coming. This is the model of news going forward as it becomes more universal and instantaneous.
Friedman quotes a friend who says that a young George Bush would never get elected today — no, not for the obvious reason — because if there would have been cell phone cameras and pictures of his wild days at Yale. Friedman says that when people our age go for jobs, we present our resume: our proxy of ourselves. Now that identity is online and out of our control. Schmidt says that he thinks there should be a law allowing us all to change our names at 21: everything before is erased.
I think there is also an issue of mutual assured destruction: Let he who has nothing embarrassing searchable on Google cast the first stone.
Friedman also tells a story that in essence makes us all politicians, all public figures: He was at an airport newsstand and a woman thought he cut in front of her and she snarled, “I know who you are.” He says today he’d buy the woman’s magazine hoping she wouldn’t go blog the episode, creating a reputation for that rude guy from the New York Times.
Friedman tells the story of how in a recent Bahraini election voters used Google Earth to take pictures of what was behind the walls of the palaces and estates of the ruling family. Schmidt says the government tried to shut down Google Earth but there was a backlash and they had to turn it back on again, all of which only drew more attention to it. Online, as in the White House, the coverup is worse than the crime.
(Crossposted from PrezVid)
I am at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, starting off with Prof. Larry Lessig, creator of Creative Commons, making a rousing case for opening up the debates. He says that giving copyright control over the debates and speech like it is insane. So we should not give the debates to proprietary, closed networks. There are so many open networks now: public broadcasting — see the post below — and now CNN, which promises no restriction on the use debate video. Three of the Democratic candidates have joined this call. And Lessig calls on Hillary Clinton to join.
With bloggers and even candidates making liberal use of debate footage on YouTube and the internet and with at least one network — Fox News — relying on fair use as a standard, I ask Lessig what the defense of these remixers is today. He says that fair use is really the right to hire a lawyer. Such cases can drag on forever and middlemen — e.g., YouTube — cannot live with uncertainty. So, of course, the cleanest thing to do is not to give our debate over to proprietary, closed networks in the first place.
(Crossposted at PrezVid)
I’ll be going to the Personal Democracy Forum on Friday. The lineup looks great. And I haven’t gotten a bit of spam.