It’s hard to miss it when two major figures from different walks of life — Bono and Mark Zuckerberg — pen an op-ed in The New York Times. They argued a couple of weeks back that the international community should make a massive effort to ensure that everyone on earth can connect to the Internet. They were writing in the context of a lot that is happening at the international level, in particular around last month’s UN General Assembly session.
Now, our record sales and stock ownership may not match Bono and Zuckerberg, but Brett Solomon, the Executive Director of the excellent digital rights NGO Access, and I have an op-ed up at Slate today that urges the focus on connectivity to go deeper than mere access. We argue:
Connectivity must be considered carefully because, by itself, it facilitates a number of threats that transcend borders. The digital pipeline that is essential to economic development also connects, and threatens, activists and members of vulnerable groups worldwide. In order to ensure the equal treatment and protection of global Internet users, every packet of information passing through our pipes deserves equal treatment and protection as well—from Internet service providers, policymakers, and content platforms alike.
Check it out.