Egyptian social activist Wael Ghonim said, "If you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet."
While the Internet certainly played a major role in the Arab Spring uprisings, access alone does not guarantee availability of all the information and opportunities the Web has to offer.
Rebecca MacKinnon, whose new book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, was released last week, addressed the issue of Internet freedom at a TED Talk in Edinburgh last year. She spoke of the Internet's "border busting" potential, as well as how that potential is being stifled by censorship—and not just in the places you would expect.
There is, according to MacKinnon, a "Magna Carta moment" coming when the people will demand that "government and technology serve the world's people and not the other way around."
Public interest groups have waged a spirited campaign to prevent a corporate takeover of the Internet.
What happened when major sites went on strike to offer a taste of a censored Internet.
Jim Gilliam: Why the Internet is my religion.
The FCC’s new rules on Net Neutrality open the Internet to corporate discrimination. But it’s not too late to preserve Internet freedom.