Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has announced that he now considers Twitter messages and social networking as terrorist threats. He is quoted in this Spanish-language news report as calling for more state control over the internet.
My dream speech would be about how the Internet poses a challenge to all governments and most companies (except those companies like Google whose business is built around that challenge). I would call on all governments to work together with citizens, companies and each other to build a globally interconnected, free and open network that enhances the lives of everybody on the planet, enables commerce and innovation by big and small players alike, makes everybody richer and freer, and improves all governments’ relations with their citizens by making government more transparent, efficient, and thus more credible and legitimate.
I would quote Benjamin Franklin, who wrote in 1759: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
The speech would remind us all that all power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that American democracy was built on this assumption. The Internet empowers governments and law enforcement agencies as well as citizens, upstart candidates, and dissidents.