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OneWebDay 2008: An E-Democracy Time Capsule

We’re just under a month away from OneWebDay 2008, and the Washington, DC OneWebDay planning committee would like to invite you to participate. Susan Crawford, an Internet legal scholar and CDT Policy Fellow, started OneWebDay four years ago to promote the Internet and keep it vibrant, in the same way that Earth Day promotes taking care of the environment. The Internet is under a lot of pressure, from inadequate connectivity and the digital divide to censorship. When the Internet is in the news, it is usually to highlight one of the feared aspects of the Internet, rather than the positive transformative power of the Internet. OneWebDay is intended to create a town square of sorts where people far and wide can come together to celebrate and protect the Internet- keeping it innovative, open and free.

On September 22nd, there will be events all over the world, from London to Melbourne to Tunisia and all across the United States, in honor of OneWebDay. The Washington, DC   group working on OneWebDay has been creating an E-Democracy Time Capsule, and we are looking for your help finding the best of the political Web. Washington, DC is an ideal place to talk about e-democracy, and highlight that e-democracy is a national and international issue. There’s no reason that democracy and government needs to stay centered in DC online. This year, the election is showing the power of the Internet in democracy. Most people do not have easy access to their government, and the Internet allows users to get information and often to influence policy in a way that citizens would not otherwise be able to do.

DC OneWebDay planning committee has been working hard to create the time capsule, and get features in place for the launch. Although the time capsule is a product of Washington DC, it is intended for a national and international user base. The E-Democracy Time Capsule will let anyone submit their favorite online political tools, write a letter about e-democracy, profile e-democracy heroes who use the Internet to make democracy happen, and comment on bills in Congress at the state level and talk about policies that we’re worried about and policies that we think are important. The goal is that on the 15th OneWebDay in 2020, we can look back and see where we have made progress in e-democracy, and where we’re still working.

The DC OneWebDay group will have an event on September 22nd to celebrate OneWebDay and the e-democracy time capsule, and I hope some of you will be able to both contribute to the time capsule and come to the event in DC. If you can’t, then check out all the other ways that you can get involved in OneWebDay, and make the Internet that much better for everyone.