Thursday, April 08, 2004

1.”Internet easily escapes efforts at hierarchical control” (Froehling article). Do you agree? Is this statement an overgeneralization? Can the Internet be part of a containment environment? What about countries like China and Egypt where filtering or other forms of social control are used to control information? Mexico controlled past media, but how did it fail to anticipate and control the new infrastructure?
2. In the “Digital Divide” chapter on e-government, Norris notes “societies are experiencing a transition process where governments work simultaneously with paper and electronic documents, duplicating rather than replacing channels of information and communication” (129). How long a transition process will this be? Will it lead to more transparency? Currently, many government offices and even medical clinics are converting their paper records into electronic documents and this includes the daily mail. When will the electronic format dominate and will we truly overcome our dependence on paper? What will it mean when this duplication process ends?
3. Norris continually stresses the importance of transparent information on the Internet because it allows for an informed citizenry. Yet, how visible is the regulation of the Internet that affects what information can be posted? Doesn’t one affect the other? What about technical solutions? Can’t technical solutions elide the question of power? Isn’t this also an issue for open societies like the US?

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