In 2007, Time magazine’s person of the year was ‘you’ – for “…seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game.”
In highlighting this new ‘digital democracy’, there was a recognition of positive and negative implications of this democratic and, seemingly, uncontrollable medium. For years, books, articles and commentators have been warning us that privacy is dead. For those of us, with small ‘l’ liberal politics, when it comes to privacy rights, it’s been an alarming debate as we’ve witnessed growing intrusions into privacy through access/identity cards, CCTV cameras and a relaxation of email and phone interception laws.
Surely, it was only a matter of time before the same methods were turned on those in power?
The internet has provided a means of communication (and spin) for politicians and leaders (you only have to look at the take-up rate for social networking sites, twitter etc among MPs) but this ‘digital democracy’ has also subjected community leaders (in politics, economics, law enforcement and the military) to an unprecedented level of scrutiny.