Just as Internet fandom doesn’t necessarily reap box office earnings, Internet leaks don’t always translate into real world political change. For all its disclosures, a politically apathetic public greeted WikiLeaks. Real change takes more than freedom of information, it requires people’s willingness and ability to act upon it online and off as well.
Two weeks before Christmas, Bill O’Reilly called Wikileaks “a threat to our way of life.” And I thought, “So what?” Our way of life is a threat to us. We’ve got record rates of obesity, two wars, an energy crisis, nationwide neurosis, blah blah blah. Mr. O’Reilly, I think a threat to “our way of life” is exactly what we need.
Law students proposed new solutions to Internet problems, from those as common as a forgotten password to ones as high-profile as human rights activism and free speech, in “Four Ideas for a Better Internet,” held Tuesday night at Stanford.