Collage of Comment
The Interconnected Estate
is the CEO ofGoogle.
heads Google Ideas.
mountain view, calif.
—The advent and power ofconnection technologies—tools that connect people to vast amounts ofinformation and to one another—willmake the
st century all about surprises.Governments will be caught off-guardwhen large numbers oftheir citizens,armed with virtually nothing but cell phones,take part in mini-rebellions that challenge their authority.For the media,reportingwill increasingly become a collaborative enterprise between traditional news organi-zations and the quickly growing number ofcitizen journalists.And technology com-panies will ﬁnd themselves outsmarted by their competition and surprised by con-sumers who have little loyalty and no patience.Today,more than
percent ofthe world’s population has access to some com- bination ofcell phones (ﬁve billion users) and the Internet (two billion).These peo-ple communicate within and across borders,forming virtual communities thatempower citizens at the expense ofgovernments.New intermediaries make it pos-sible to develop and distribute content across old boundaries,lowering barriers toentry.Whereas the traditional press is called the fourth estate,this space might becalled the “interconnected estate”—a place where any person with access to theInternet,regardless ofliving standard or nationality,is given a voice and the powerto effect change.For the world’s most powerful states,the rise ofthe interconnected estate willcreate new opportunities for growth and development,as well as huge challenges toestablished ways ofgoverning.Connection technologies will carve out spaces fordemocracy as well as autocracy and empower individuals for both good and ill.Stateswill vie to control the impact oftechnologies on their political and economic power.
Internet Freedom Is Our National Brand
The following comments are excerpted from remarks by US Secretary ofState
on Internet freedom at the Newmuseum in Washington in January,
—The spread ofinformation networks is forming a new nervous sys-tem for our planet.In many respects,information has never been so free.There aremore ways to spread more ideas to more people than at any moment in history.Andeven in authoritarian countries,information networks are helping people discover
Today, more than 50 percentof the world’s population hasaccess to some combination of cell phones (ﬁve billion users)and the Internet (two billion).