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E-democracy, also known as digital democracy or Internet democracy, incorporates 2lst-centmy information and communications technology to promote democracy. It is a form of government in which all adult citizens are presumed to be eligible to participate equally in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. E-democracy encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.
A speech was given by Hillary Clinton on January 21, 2010, addressed the issue of internet freedom and the role that new technologies have played in shaping democratic practices. The spread of free information through the internet has encouraged freedom and human development. The internet issued for promoting human rights, including free speech, religion expression peaceful assembly, to government’s accountability, and the right of knowledge and understanding. These rights support democracy.
Clinton supports the “freedom to connect.”The freedom to connect – the idea that governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites or to each other. The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly, only in cyberspace. It allows individuals to get online, come together, and hopefully cooperate.
Once you’re on the internet, you don’t need to be a tycoon or a rock star to have a huge impact on society.
The Internet has several attributes that encourage thinking about it as a democratic medium. The lack of centralized control makes censorship difficult. There are other parallels in the social design in the early days of the internet, such as the strongly libertarian support for free speech_ the sharing culture that permeated nearly all aspects of Internet use, and the outright prohibition on commercial use by the National Science Foundation.
Another example is the unmediated mass communication on the internet, such as through newsgroups, chat rooms, and MUDs. This communication ignored the boundaries established with broadcast media, such as newspapers or radio, and with one-to-one media, such as letters or landline telephones.
Finally, because the Internet is a massive digital network with open standards, universal and inexpensive access to a wide variety of communication media and models could actually be attained.
Some practical issues involving e-democracy include: effective participation; voting equality at decision stage; enlightened understanding; control of the agenda; and inclusiveness. Systemic issues may include cyber-security concerns and protection of sensitive data from third parties.
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