As the Wikileaks Turns… Ctd.

From The Atlantic:

Corporate control over speech is nothing new. Authors and journalists in the pre-digital age were dependent on publishers willing to disseminate their work — without publishing support, they were mere street corner pamphleteers. As free speech advocates might have said a quarter-century ago, "Offline Speech is Only as Strong as the Weakest Intermediary;" and, in fact, media critics have been writing about the dangers of marketplace censorship and media conglomeration for years. Still, recent demonstrations of corporate power over WikiLeaks seemed to resonate with the force of revelation, mocking any lingering illusions of the Internet as a frontier free from corporate as well as state control.

The author, Wendy Kaminer, goes on to make some excellent points about the power of corporations in influencing online speech. From being able to offer powerhouse platforms for writers to their interconnectedness with government to acting on their own corporate interests, free expression on the internet has more than governments to contend with when it comes to online speech. It’s not simply a matter of finding a free expression country, but always contending with corporations who own webspace or network nodes being supportive of free expression as well.

It’s a quick read, but well worth the time.

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