When I arrived at Ford Foundation seven years ago, the initiative I worked on was called “Media and Cultural Policy.” Within a matter of weeks, it became clear that the media landscape was changing so quickly that the foundation would need to focus much more specifically on the Internet. Over these past years, the Internet has influenced the legal and policy landscape in ways that have transformed social, political, legal and economic environments. There is no escaping this change. So we can argue about whether access to the Internet is a “right” in itself, but there is no argument against the fact that access to the Internet is a precondition to accessing many of our important rights to speak, to learn, to access information and fully participate in society.

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