The Internet, Land of the Free

Everyone can remember the Wikipedia blackout earlier this year, bringing awareness of internet freedom to browsers all over the country. Wikipedia joined many other well known names on the internet like Google and Reddit to protest the SOPA and PIPA acts. While websites and online services that people use several times daily started taking a very visible stand in favor of internet liberties, it became hard to ignore the issue. With services like Wikipedia down, you start to realize how dependent you are the magical powers of the internet and just how precious your internet freedoms are. The freedom of the internet, or lack thereof, could drastically change the role of the digital marketing agency. With this budding feeling of personal investment, you begin to think that maybe you should take a stand on the issue as well.

The internet has thrived for so long largely because no governing bodies have intervened, but now members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations organization, are pushing for more regulation. Many proposals are focused on more control and potential economic gains that can be a realized through this international regulation. The issue obviously gets more complicated than just the worrisome idea that Russia and China are looking for the United Nations to take control of the internet and steal all the control from unsuspecting citizens. No reason to freak out just yet, just an opportunity for the internet to further develop since these issues should be dealt with sooner or later. Some suggest that a dialogue between proponents of internet freedom and internet regulation advocates would give all parties an opportunity to voice their concerns. Some reform to the internet could be made, but it’s pretty unanimous that moving the internet towards a bureaucracy would do much more harm than good. For the digital marketing agency, internet freedoms would be best left alone to ensure an open line of communication between both the client and its audience.

The United Nations has declared that internet access is a human right, but this increased regulation is still up for international debate. It should be an interesting line of stories to follow because not all countries’ experience with the internet have been created equal. Countries with different levels of development and countries with different politics really will bring diverse opinions to the discussion.

I think as a person growing up in this digital age (especially in America), it’s hard not to see the value in internet freedom. In my opinion all the good that the internet can do easily trumps the scary feeling that political leaders must feel when the internet is used against them as one of many tools of freedom of speech. The internet has been an outlet for fun, health improvement, increased communication, and the source of new jobs. The digital marketing agency depends on an open and free internet to optimize its clients’ performance. I also have a soft spot for entrepreneurs and social justice advocates. The internet has given people pursuing these types of careers a way to mobilize their causes in a way that was no where near possible 20 years ago- heck even 5 years ago.

As always, there’s more than one side to every story. So, is internet access a human right or not?