Now that the five years of life of social networks like Twitter are celebrated, now that journalism depends in such a way from the Web, now that everything seems to be controlled by new technologies, now that this topic is more than controversial, it looks like stupid to present the question of if the Internet is a tool used by Governments in order to guarantee democracy or to guarantee dictatorship or if it is a free tool that guarantees the same freedom to users... Or is it not so stupid?
The Internet can be a tool for democracy,yes, but it can be also to encourage dictatorship, due to the fact that there are filters and people, specially politicians, that can, or cannot, use the Web and control it in order to win some benefits, like winnig a political campain, winning converts, etc. In my opinion, the Internet is a tool that is controlled and not at the same time; it's a tool to encourage democracy thanks to freedom of expression, but also it can be a good passport to dictatorship thanks to the false transparency and State secrets, due to which you can be strongly punished if you reveal them.
Yes, let's do not be deluded: everybody knows that Governments don't tell the truth in every cases. Everyone, and specially the political status that is in charge of governing something so difficult to govern like human population has reasons to shut up certain topics. Do you remember the censorship in Egypt during the revolution? It was organised by the Government when they realised that they were loosing the war, wasn't it?
Lybia? Isn't it in the same situation? Aren't journalists finding tons of difficulties to do their job? Mmmm... interesting. Do all that Governments have somthing to hide? I'm sure they have it. If not, I we wouldn't be able to explain what is censorship for in that countries. As we see, in these cases, Internet can be a very useful tool to avoid State secrets to see the light, specially among a population which was always subject to a more powerful institution without asking why and begging anything more than their own peace and calm. Something similar to the famous "If it doesn't happen to me, I don't mind what it happens".
This repression version of a theorical freedom tool is reflected as well in countries like China, where the Government took special care of doing things correctly so that people didn't realise that they were not able to access to certain webpages because politicians wanted to make them private with the famous "Great Firewall" strategy, or Cuba, where we can find nothing more and nothing less than a social network for the Government, controlled by authorities and destinied to prevent native and foreigners to visit other webpages not registered on the Cuban list. If I want to know what'w up in my country and I type Google.es, I will be directly brought to the main Cuban newspaper official webpage: Granma. Why? Good question. Disgusting...
Internet, the giant. Internet, the most powerful tool in these days to give information, whether it is desirable or not. Internet, the way which with everybody can know anythig about anything and anybody (identity thefts is the best example of this last topic). So, what do we have? A crucial tool that leads censorship, or because of which men lead censorship? Maybe, the answer "time will say it" is not the most appropiated in this complex context... For the moment, I will keep on using it until they tell me not to do it. What about you?