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Telecommunications and the future of democracy: preliminary report on the first US Citizens' Panel (PLA 40)

Richard Sclove

Journal article

US science and technology institutions and decision-making processes stand out among industrialised nations for systematically excluding lay citizen voices. The ordinary argument for ceding judgement and influence to elite representatives of the producers of science and technology, while excluding everyone else who will be affected, is that lay citizens have neither the competence nor passion to be involved. On April 4th 1997, a 15-member citizens' panel, representing a cross-section of the Boston area issued a call for protecting personal privacy on the Internet, mandating community involvement in telecommunications policy making and returning a percentage of high-tech corporate earnings to communities and non-profit organisations.

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