Rebecca MacKinnon in her speech at TED, talks about how in the past, our sovereignty was determined by the boundaries set by nation-states. But today in an age of technological innovation, the new sovereigns are not the nation-states but rather the ones who control the world’s technology. And so companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple can decide what we can and cannot do in the digital space.
The question is; how can we balance the need of security and law enforcement without compromising free speech? We can start by understanding that the whistleblowing by Wikileaks was not a crime, but a necessary curtain-raiser. If private data of the government needs to be protected, then so does the private data of every citizen. This is where we take back the Internet; this is where we realize that we cannot let the digital media be controlled the way the mass media has been.
Individuals should have free access to use and create anything on digital media, especially in developing countries like Pakistan where the traditional media is often either censored or tailored to suit the need of political and social mafias. In an age where digital media has allowed everyone to have a level-playing field, we must not let the referees favor any one side.