Why free is good for everyone…

Cyber radicals are harnessing the power of the internet to promote social change. Illustration: Lynsey Irvine and Peter Storey for the Observer

…20 years ago, set the agenda for far-reaching transformations in the political sphere, in economies everywhere, in social interaction, even in concepts of our own identity. And Berners-Lee succeeded in doing so for one reason: he released the technology for free.This simple decision, taken by a computer scientist used to working in environments that promoted openness and transparency, eclipses any hype about subsequent Twitter revolutions, Facebook campaigns or political protests ascribed to the platform since (link to story in the Guardian by Aleks Krotoski)

This story by Aleks Krotoski is OK, if not a little dated. There are lots of links on this blog about the use of the web for political purposes dating back about a decade. But I do like the way in which Krotoski (from the BBC series on the history of the internet) highlights the importance of free, open infrastructure for everyone. How lucky Australians are to have such a large public investment in a national Broadband network and such solid investment in the broader eResearch agenda (soon to include the humanities I hope!)

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