February 26, 2005

Community networks and the constitution

ACLU-TX has signed on the to the list of groups opposed to the municipal wireless ban in Texas.

Why is this a constitutional issue? The reasoning comes from Prof Lawrence Lessig's insight that an information-age society is governed by law code and computer code. The law tells us what we may do, and the computer code supplies us with the choices.

The printing press made it possible to have the communication and free speech to support democracy. Internet access is a major enabler for free speech in our time. Banning community wireless is, among other bad things, a significant threat to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

Disclosure: I do public interest tech policy volunteer work with two affliations: the ACLU-TX cyberliberties project, and EFF-Austin.

Posted by alevin at February 26, 2005 11:09 AM