Friday, November 19, 1999

Freedom of Information? The Internet as Harbinger of the New Dark Ages

Freedom of Information? The Internet as Harbinger of the New Dark Ages

by Roger Clarke
First Monday, volume 4, number 11 (November 1999),

" There's a common presumption that the Internet has brought with it the promise of openness, democracy, the end of inequities in the distribution of information, and human self-fulfillment. Any such conclusion would be premature.

The digital era has ambused and beguiled us all. Its first-order impacts are being assimilated, but its second-order implications are not. Powerful institutions perceive their interests to be severely threatened by the last decade of technological change and by the shape of the emergent 'information economy'. Elements of their fight back are identified, particularly extensions to legal protectionism, and the active development and application of technologies that protect data from prying eyes.

Many of the features that have ensured a progressive balance between data protection and freedom of access to data have already been seriously eroded. The new balance that emerges from the current period of turmoil may be far less friendly to public access and more like a New Dark Ages."


Monday, November 1, 1999

New Statesman: Change the world via e-mail - use of Inernet by political activists - Brief Article

New Statesman: Change the world via e-mail - use of Inernet by political activists - Brief Article: "FindArticles > New Statesman > Nov 1, 1999 > Article > Print friendly

Change the world via e-mail - use of Internet by political activists - Brief Article
Brian Doherty

Open to everyone, the Internet offers new possibilities to those trying to challenge the established order.

'The revolutionary forces of the future may consist increasingly of widespread multi-organisational networks that have no particular national identity, claim to arise from civil society and include aggressive groups and individuals who are keenly adept at using advanced technology for communications.' So spoke the Rand Corporation in 1993.

But did they mean multinational corporations or the social movements opposing them? Both sides could fit the description, and that tells us something about the most important political battle of our time, one in which the Internet is playing an increasingly important role.

For campaigning groups such as Earth First!, where actions speak louder than words, the real measure of the difference the Internet makes is in its effectiveness as a mobilising tool. Detailed tactical manuals on everything from tripods to tunnels are available online and may explain why this technology has spread so fast. It is also easy to find a local Earth First! group in Br"

Friday, August 20, 1999

Labor History: Labor and Liberalism: The Citizen Labor Energy CoalitionAugust, 1999 by Andrew Battista

~~ In March 1981 , `TP's first activist job was with C/LEC
on West 72nd Street in NYC .

This in-depth article highlights its political and historical importance in American social activism.
I was very glad to find this paper online .
I though C/LEC was all but forgotten ~ ~ t


Labor History: Labor and Liberalism:
The Citizen Labor Energy Coalition:
August, 1999
by Andrew Battista

"On April 19-20, 1978, representatives of nearly 70 labor and political organizations met at the DuPont Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC, for the founding conference of the Citizen Labor Energy Coalition (CLEC).

CLEC was formed during the second energy crisis to represent working and middle-class citizens, challenge the power and priorities of the energy industry, and reform energy policy.

It had another, even more ambitious purpose: to revive and strengthen liberal and progressive politics by coalition-building between labor unions, citizen organizations, and public interest groups.

CLEC made limited yet significant progress toward these goals by the mid-1980s, when it was absorbed into a larger organization and declined in importance.

Though neglected by scholars in both fields, CLEC's role in contemporary labor history and American politics is worthy of attention, above all because it addressed a crucial issue of American public life: the relationship between the decline of organized labor and the decay of liberal and progressive politics.

As a number of political scientists and labor historians have shown, the labor movement was central to the liberal coalition that shaped national politics from the 1930s to the mid-1960s. Since then, two developments (among others) contributed greatly to the weakening of liberalism: the economic and........"