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#sjw11: Tear down this wall…

Posted by on Feb 19, 2011 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


Looming large in the news this past week has been the role the Internet played in Egyptian protests.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lauded the Internet’s role in the spread of democracy.

“For the United States, the choice is clear,” Clinton said. “On the spectrum of Internet freedom, we place ourselves on the side of openness. Now, we recognize that an open Internet comes with challenges. It calls for ground rules to protect against wrongdoing and harm. And Internet freedom raises tensions, like all freedoms do. But we believe the benefits far exceed the costs.”

Despite her comments Feb. 15 at George Washington University, perhaps the secretary does not examine the costs a group of U.S. citizens pay because many cannot exercise Internet use for educational revolution and growth, too.

Our high school students.

“Together, the freedoms of expression, assembly and association online comprise what I’ve called the freedom to connect,” Clinton said. “The United States supports this freedom for people everywhere, and we have called on other nations to do the same. Because we want people to have the chance to exercise this freedom. We also support expanding the number of people who have access to the internet.”

As we support protesters around the world as they fight for freedom, we should also help our students protest against overly restrictive Internet filters that arbitrarily wall out information that should be open to all.

Perhaps Ronald Reagan said it best when he said, “Tear down this wall” so others could experience the promise of democratic freedom.

It’s time to tear down another wall.

The Internet firewall.

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