"I'm not convinced how pervasive the understanding of these changes has become at the senior levels of policymaking. To understand the reality of what any political party will deliver once it is in power, we should look as much at what they say about the role of technology as we do their more overtly expressed political ambitions. Technology is no longer just an operational or administrative tool. It has become a lever of policymaking itself -- for good, or ill.
If we are to make an informed decision at the next election about the sort of future UK that we want to see develop, we need to learn how to decipher and interpret the various parties' technology policies. They can reveal as much about their underlying authoritarian or liberal philosophies as anything claimed in their more general manifesto pledges.
We will only fully understand the implications of their upcoming manifestoes -- and whether they will ultimately strengthen, or undermine, our liberal democracy -- when we also understand whether they plan to use technology to strengthen the role of the citizen or the state.
And whether they plan to place us all inside the panopticon, or to use technology to protect and strengthen our collective, democratic, common law values."
Monday, October 19, 2009
Fishenden: Utopian or dystopian UK
Jerry Fishenden has been wondering about whether we're creating a utopian or dystopian society in the UK.