The internet, bulwark of liberty

by on November 18, 2010 · 3 comments

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I’d like to remark that the [popular revolt](http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/business/16road.html) against intrusive TSA searches would not have been possible without the internet and digital technologies.

- It was John Tyner’s cell phone video recording of his encounter with TSA, which he posted to his blog, that really galvanized folks to take action.

- The [Fly With Dignity](http://flywithdignity.org/) campaign was [conceived and organized](http://flywithdignity.org/about/) by folks collaborating on the Reddit community.

- It is through online social networks that the meme of Nov. 24 as [National Opt-Out Day](http://www.optoutday.com/) has spread.

Without the internet, we would have been at the mercy of the news media to get the word out about citizen frustration. Complaining would have been relegated to writing your congressman. And organizing a wide-spread protest would likely have been impossible.

Instead, we’ll hopefully see Americans engaging in peaceful civil disobedience comforted by the knowledge that they’re not alone. So with a nod to Evgeny Morozov’s critique, it makes me happy to see that the internet can still serve to empower the citizens of a democracy to tell its government, enough is enough. This moment should also remind us why we should not ever cede to government [the ability to control](http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/technology/17wiretap.html) the flow of information.

Previous post:

Next post: