Thursday, June 07, 2007


One of the great gifts of the internet to the earth is openness -- or was, rather. If Amnesty International is reporting the case correctly, more governments are placing restrictions on the internet and free speech. It is no longer China attempting to regulate the voice of its people.

Public relations thrives in a free speech environment, and it is worrisome that governments are beginning to rein in the medium. We used to think it was impossible to control the internet. Various governments are proving this view to be naive. They are arresting internet users and shutting down nodes. It won't get any better as the next generation of the internet is installed -- IPv6. That version will provide a unique address to every device on earth that exists today or will exist for decades to come. Governments will be able to trace the exact source of speech they don't like. Some contend this is why China is building an IPv6 network now for the country.

PR has always had a role in defending free speech. We should be concerned about the Amnesty International report, and we should be alert.


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