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Esther Dyson does business as EDventure Holdings, the reclaimed name of the company she owned for 20-odd years before selling it to CNET Networks in 2004. In the last few[…]

As unconstrained speech is pushed online, where does the new threat come from? Government or corporate interests?

Topic: The Russian Media

Esther Dyson: The media is not state muzzles they are state produced. So the state that you need to muzzle them. In China the government is muscling the media, in Russia it is simply owns most to the media and simply produces the news it wants and doesn’t pay attention to the other news so there is big distinction our state is interesting had different those two countries are. Russia does not employ a whole lot censors the way the Chinese government does so you can, you considered say you would like in online in Russia that if I have been to say something mean about the part of police in my village. I wouldn’t be worried about a censor. I would be worried about the police because they are not going to censor me they are just going to come and beat me up Which is different though the, it is a different way of abusing power.

Question: What is the bigger threat to freedom of speech online, government or corporate interests?

Esther Dyson: Okay, first I have to disclose something here I am on the board of advisor has to live journal which is live journal was not just sold. In fact well, more complicated there is a Russian company called SUP which run live journal and runs live journal with in Russia they own that property slash that community which is a user community and this is one of the interesting things about the internet there is owning go the property mean really own the community you may own the commercial things but if you use are early you can prevent them for doing that so that Russian company SUP which is run by an American but primarily owned by a Russian call I was under them with, then acquired the US company live journal which is a technology company that creates the technology platform on which life journal runs both in Russia and out side Russia, so their interest is not in scorching the voices of these user it is very much to the contrary it is their interest is in this being the lively vibrant place that’s trusted in where people feel free to comment their interest is in making money said they are with some protest from some of the advisory board members including me they are changing their business models like we have but they are not censuring the content now the I have taught the new database about this and I said so can people say what they like in the answers are basically yes, they can say with their like if you critizes prudent usually some one else will jump all over you and say how great he is and so the authorities aren’t that worried about live journals it is against is free different from in China the authority is again they own most of the mass media are they controlled them in directly so it is, it is a different, it is a different situation. Now if a live journal became most people’s most people’s major source of news then live journal would probably face censorship by the state but it would not impose it self I mean there are every thing changes at a time but that is sort of the situation right now.

Recorded on: 03/21/2008