Leaking state - Nulpunt - democracy without secrets
The internet and freedom are often connected, but discussions tend to break down with a dearth of tangible examples of the network as agent of democracy. Nulpunt is an exciting new project, which aims to help citizens follow and control government. Take a look:
I love the potential for this project as a document system, which encourages users to search, comment on and share documents at a national level. Users can register, subscribe to topics they are interested in, follow the activities of other users, highlight and comment on documents. This approach has been successful in various different contexts from WikiLeaks to MP’s expenses. It turns the emphasis around: from users waiting for a press release or government document to be released to being alerted about information specifically of interest to them. Along with the GOV.UK, it’s another example of the state using technology in a good way.
But it’s easy to get carried away with power of the open ethos of web and its ability to change society. Evgeny Morozov is perhaps the most famous sceptic, but I like this quote from Adam Curtis, where he dismisses the suggestion that the internet is now a source of scrutiny and agent for transparency.
I am hugely sceptical about this idea that interactivity will create a new kind of democracy and spread of power. If you look at the years since the rise of the internet, power has become more consolidated, more elitist, less open to examination, so the interactive utopians have failed to deliver the power to the people they promised.
Let’s work even harder to prove him wrong.