From Slashdot, a story about spreading cell phones throughout the developing world. The article isn’t well written, but the guy it focuses on, Denis O’Brien, has the right ideas. Basically, if you get mobile phones to people and give them the chance to communicate, you have sown the seeds for more open governments. I think he’s right.
Tangentially related is the call for a Technology Bill of Rights over at Techcrunch. Too many laws, policies, and regulations were enacted before the radical information technology expansion of the last fifteen years. They need to be adapted, and a Technology Bill of Rights can be an excellent guide. Erick Schonfeld’s proposal encompasses copyright, Net Neutrality, and privacy, each of which are important issues that have to be dealt with under new models. The old ways just aren’t going to cut it anymore, and our federal, state, and local governments need good technology advice (and advisors). This is a good start.