Political affiliation and rhetoric aside, there is an undeniable excitement underlying this election cycle. The political process has finally found the alchemy of the Internet that has eluded all previous attempts and found a way to draw in voters.
The Internet is largely responsible for putting a sense of empowerment for people back into the political process and that comes not from just being an active part of the whole process but from a sense of being able to drive it, mold it, and actually impact the end game. That’s heady stuff for what has been an apathetic electorate.
We often take the Internet for granted. In a short time, it has become a powerful engine for innovation, economic growth and democratization. The Internet has changed the way we “do” politics. Ordinary Americans are making their voices heard and organizing online. Political candidates are building networks of supporters, raising unprecedented funds from small donors, and educating the public on their policies and visions.
That’s why it’s vital that our political leaders and lawmakers pay attention to the challenges – both domestic and international – confronting the Internet today.
Although technology and the Internet have been woven into this election process as indispensible tools, there has been little attention paid to the policy issues affecting this critical aspect of our lives.
With gas prices soaring, the economy at risk and the debate over the Iraq war still raging, we don’t expect to see a robust debate about the future of the Internet taking center stage in this election. But with a change in political leadership on the horizon, we need to be ready to tell the next administration and Congress what they must do to keep the Internet open, innovative and free.
That is why CDT earlier today released version 1.0 of “Internet in Transition: A Platform To Keep the Internet Open, Innovative and Free,” which outlines a set of recommendations for the Internet and technology policy. Along with the document, CDT has created a Web site that allows users to review and comment on the draft. After evaluating those comments, CDT will, if appropriate, incorporate them in the document’s final version, which will be presented to the next administration and Congress.
We invite you play a part in the process and help us make this document better, sharper, by providing your own unique insight.