Thursday, October 28, 2004

Web Terror

So apparently the Bush site was blocked to those outside the the States for "security reasons". The fear of the individual's influence over the political and social realm has manifested itself on the web in the same way that it's done so in the "real" world - through fantastically-broad censorship, filtering and access prevention. (Or are all these the same thing?)

Globalisation seems to be coming to a head with the forthcoming elections, twisting already vociferous and well-connected populations into extremely polarised mobs. Just where should a line be drawn for participation, in a world in which the long-clamoured path to the removal of borders has been steadily paved by an odd mix of hulking companies and progressive individuals?

Some Americans say that American elections should be for American people, and I guess that most other nations would do the same. (But then most other nations perhaps don't have as much global power as the American leader either.) But are they right, or is there now a case to be made that democratic borders no longer tally with those of influence? For an example, let's take a hypothetical and purposefully quite extreme situation. If the act of going to war was put to a referendum in the UK, should those in the "targeted" nation be ceded some similar say - whether via the same mechanism or otherwise - in the decision to be made?

Alas, I have no answers for any of this. I'm mostly certain that influence in today's world will increasingly run in both directions, and that the examples centred around the upcoming election are merely very specific, highly sensitive examples of the return feedback towards the US building up globally. But when should we start to take a good, hard look at the democratic institutions we hold so dear to our civilisations?

1 comment:

Scribe said...

The BBC has an article along the same lines as this, with some websites such as Global Vote 2004 mentioned.

Also, how long until the BBC starts to include links in its main content. Side-lined hypertext is so backwards, especially when URLs are mentioned in the main body text.