For this week’s post, I researched the Center for Democracy and Technology. The CDT is a think tank which advocates for free and unrestricted usage of the internet. It is made up of people from various businesses and in various roles who all advocate for an unrestricted internet. Based on the information on the CDT’s website, they advocate for as little government regulation of the internet as possible. In areas where people might demand some control, like restricting access to certain content for children, the CDT advocates for education rather than regulation. They support educating parents, teachers and others on how to control for themselves what they think children should and should not be allowed to do on the internet, rather than the government regulating what children can and cannot do online.

The Wikipedia page on the CDT describes them in a very similar way to how they describe themselves on their own website, but also discusses how the CDT is a bit different from other think tanks with a similar mission. The CDT seems to take a more active role in government than some other think tanks in the same field, by often making suggestions to congress on bills related to the internet.

The CDT is a privately funded organization. It was started by a group of businesspeople in internet technology fields. Today, it is funded by private donors. Based on my reading about the CDT, I would prefer to work for a privately funded think tank if I were to work for a think tank. I like how these think tanks are freer to use whatever methods they choose to accomplish their goals, and are relatively free to change their methods and missions at any time since they are not controlled by a larger organization, such as a government or university.


2 responses »

  1. scoutberger says:

    Considering the most recent controversy concerning SOPA, I think the CDT is a very interesting think tank to research. I often feel that we take for granted how useful the internet is. We have a vast amount of information at our fingertips and all we have to do is type a few words into Google. I personally feel like the internet has helped me in academic settings as well as personal and social settings. That being said, I am glad that CDT makes a point of saying that education is better than regulation with regard to children. I have a 12 year old brother and there is content on the internet that I certainly don’t want him stumbling upon. I think that if teachers and parents are educated about how to control internet access, they hold the responsibility for their children’s education. I fully support a no-regulation situation; however, it is of the utmost importance to also shield information if need be.

  2. Cheryl says:

    The CDT sounds like an interesting think tank to learn about. Previously I’ve read some articles about how much regulations the government has on the internet. This might sound weird, but I still remember when I was in middle school, my parents even refused to use the computer and access the internet when they were not there with me. But the CDT makes a great point by saying that regulations and restrictions are not the best solutions. In the long run, education still has the most lasting impact on a person; so having parents educate their children and control their internet access will be a much more beneficial approach in the long run than having the government control everything. Also, parents know their kids the most and they are also directly responsible for their kids, so it totally makes sense for them to be involved in the issue. On the other hand, it just doesn’t sound right to have the government controlling what kids can do or cannot do.

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