Google, China, and the future of freedom on the global Internet

Long and characteristically wise and thoughtful post by Rebecca MacKinnon on l’affaire Google.

I am not one of those people who believe that the Internet is going to eliminate the human need for geographically-based government. But I do believe that we're starting to enter a time when enlightened governments will slowly come to recognize that their legitimacy along with the well-being of the societies they govern will be improved if they figure out ways not just to peacefully coexist – but to share power with the global cyber-nation. Each has a duty to help us – citizens of both physical and cyber space – to keep the other's power in check. Both must submit to appropriate public oversight. Both must commit to high standards of transparency if they want our trust – which they require in order to be successful and powerful for the long haul. We're very far from figuring out how to make it all work. But it is in our own self-interest as netizens to be proactive in doing what we can to help companies and governments come to grips with what is, unavoidably, in their own long-term interest.

Worth reading in full.