theatlantic | David Simon and E.L. Doctorow on ‘the Potential for the Orwellian Nightmare’ |
"It’s only the free and open Internet that allows … creativity and the free exchange of ideas to be heard." A fairly straightforward idea, especially for opening remarks at an event titled "Who’s Afraid of Free Speech?" But Ross LaJeunesse, the Google executive who introduced the event—which the company sponsored, and which was hosted by PEN and The Atlantic—would find that idea tested, when panelists E.L. Doctorow and David Simon name-checked Google for its privacy policies.
About 45 minutes into the event, a member of the audience asked a question, following up with a provocation: “Have any of you been denied writing a column or article in the United States? No, you haven’t, because we have free speech. But what we also have is Google. The NSA doesn’t bother me. It’s the information corporations can get on you and package into data that influences you, like the way you spend [money].” | Read more. [Image: Kieran Guckian/Flickr]