The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Above: Reed Hundt, former chairman, FCC and current chairman, IDEA.
“In the early days of the Internet as a commercial and social phenomenon, the thought was that the Internet would be the global common medium... building a platform for the world to connect to each other," says Reed Hundt, former chairman of the FCC during the Clinton Administration.
The pace in which it has connected people - 2 billion participants in 20 years - is "astounding," he said.
However, as the Internet has exploded in growth, the commercial interests in it may have diverged from public interests.
"We have a lot of legitimate discontent with the functioning of our democracy. Overwhelmingly Americans are unhappy with the functioning of democracy. Has the digital revolution, has the common medium intensified that anxiety? I think so. Has it produced a solution? Not yet."
He concluded by questioning where the Internet might go over the next 20 years. “We’re engaged in a very very important debate here… over whether this common medium will hold to the values of openness and freedom.”