Will the Internet Always Be American?

The internet embodied American values of openness and free speech when it came into its own at a time of exuberant globalization. To this day, the leading players connecting millions of people around the world to ideas and to each other are U.S. firms -- the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Alphabet, and Microsoft.

We are now entering a period of resurgent nationalism, when everyone from European regulators to authoritarian regime censors and even the U.S. government appear eager to reassert more control and oversight of the internet.

What does this nationalistic, populist backlash portend for the future of the American-centric internet and the values that initially defined it?

Future Tense met on Tuesday, January 24, in Washington, D.C. and explored the internet’s nationality, the extent to which it’s an expression of American culture, and to ask if that's about to change. 

Future Tense is a partnership of Arizona State University, New America, and Slate.



Introduction provided by Andrés Martinez, Editorial Director, Future Tense.

PANEL ONE: The Internet's Identity Crisis: Trojan Horse for Free Speech or Censorship? featuring Rebecca MacKinnon, Director, Ranking Digital Rights, New America, Author, Consent of the Networked and Co-founder, Global Voices; Emily Parker, Author, Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices From the Internet Underground and Future Tense Fellow, New America; and, Nu Wexler, Senior Manager of Communications, Twitter.

PANEL TWO: Data's Yearning to Transcend Borders and Boundaries featuring Carolyn Nguyen
Director of Technology Policy, Microsoft; Ross Schulman, Co-Director, Cybersecurity Initiative at New America and Senior Policy Counsel, New America’s Open Technology Institute; and, Jennifer Daskal
Associate Professor of Law, American University

DISCUSSION: Live-Streaming the Chinese Dream featuring Hao Wu, Fellow, New America and Documentary Filmmaker

PANEL THREE: The Universality of Online Culture featuring Ellery Roberts Biddle, Advocacy Director, Global Voices and Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Joshua Keating, Staff Writer, Slate; and, Hao Wu, Fellow, New America and Documentary Filmmaker

Event highlight video - one of two. 

Event highlight video - two of two. 

January 24, 2017
Run time
New America
Presented by:
Future Tense