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Gordon Brown tackled the rise in Internet communication during a speech at the TED Global event currently taking place in Oxford. It’s rare to hear about world leader acknowledging the power of blogs among other things and highlighting how they are disseminating power from an elite few.
Due to the globalisation of Internet technology and the freedom it affords for communication, interaction and marketing the Prime Minister suggested that “foreign policy would never be the same again.”
His claims that old institutions were quickly becoming erroneous and that the Internet, and more particularly social media, was helping to break down the hegemonic old guard will offer comfort to fledgling online businesses. Undoubtedly the Internet is a far more expansive communicatory device than anything that has preceded it. People from all walks of life have a voice and can interact with others across the world regardless of conventional boundaries.
The advent of formats like Twitter and standard blogs has allowed anybody to report news and events that are happening in their life with the wider world. This freedom has undoubtedly made certain established institutions far closer to being obsolete than ever before. However, to hear a world leader finally acknowledging its power and promoting the Internet’s potential for good is certainly a refreshing change. Undoubtedly policies will have to change in the future, but hopefully this is an indication that the UK is prepared spearhead a wider acceptance of the Internet’s possibilities.
For a full report on Gordon Brown’s speech there’s a thorough breakdown on the BBC technology news site.