The evolution of the Internet has not only changed the world of commerce; it’s revolutionized the diplomatic sphere and helped democratize the foreign policy process.
Up until the end of the 20th century the United States relied heavily on human intelligence to learn the truth about what was happening inside countries that had closed themselves off to the rest of the world. The Internet’s penetration of even the most authoritarian of nations has created a window through which the U.S. and the other democratic nations that make up the first world can see for themselves what is going on.
It is through the Internet that America has been able to follow the story unfolding inside Iran, and it is the Internet through which the western powers were able to confirm that the Assad regime in Syria both had chemical weapons and had used them against opponents of the government. There was no need to wait for a group if inspectors working on behalf of a global body to confirm the allegations. With the web the world could see with its own eyes just what had occurred. Continue reading
by Peter Roff
The Internet is one of those things that only could have been invented in America. The United States is the only nation on earth with the intellectual traditions, the scientific know how, the “can do spirit” and the capital resources available to envision and execute a project on that scale. Moreover, once it was complete America shared it with the world – and at basically no cost. Friend or foe, everyone has been allowed to enter cyberspace in ways that have changed the world of commerce, the global political environment and the educational experience on a quantum scale. Continue reading
by Robert McDowell
A federal appeals court in Washington slapped the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday for overstepping its legal authority by trying to regulate Internet access. The FCC is now a two-time loser in court in its net-neutrality efforts. Has the government learned its lesson, or will the agency take a third stab at regulating the Internet? The answer to that question will affect the Internet’s growth in the 21st century.
The FCC’s quest to regulate the Internet began in 2010, when the commission first promulgated rules for net neutrality. The rules, proponents argue, are needed to police Internet “on-ramps” (Internet service providers) ostensibly to ensure that they stay “open.” To accomplish this, some want the FCC to subject the Internet to ancient communications laws designed for extinct phone and railroad monopolies.
But the trouble is, nothing needs fixing. The Internet has remained open and accessible without FCC micromanagement since it entered public life in the 1990s. Continue reading
“In Washington it is common to tout the budget surpluses of the Clinton years as some momentous achievement, as though the point of economic policy is to run budget surpluses. Of course the point of economic policy is to produce an economy that improves the lives of the people in a sustainable way. Clinton badly flunked this test.”
by Dean Baker
The truth is often painful but nonetheless it is important that we live in the real world. Just as little kids have to come to grips with the fact that there is no Santa Claus, it is necessary for millions of liberals, including many who think of themselves as highly knowledgeable about economic matters, to realize that President Clinton’s policies sent the economy seriously off course.
In Washington it is common to tout the budget surpluses of the Clinton years as some momentous achievement, as though the point of economic policy is to run budget surpluses. Of course the point of economic policy is to produce an economy that improves the lives of the people in a sustainable way. Clinton badly flunked this test.
The Clinton economy was driven by a stock bubble. This is not a debatable point. The ratio of market-wide stock prices to corporate earnings was well over 30 to 1 at the peak of the bubble in 2000. This is more than twice the historic average. Continue reading