Rep. Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, and his iPad
In that genre of political theater that is a political debate on what is already a foregone conclusion, yesterday's high-profile hearing on Net neutrality was a flop by almost any measure. The House Energy and Commerce Committee gathered its technology subcommittee to give a final airing to a resolution of disapproval, introduced by Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, that would annul the Federal Communications Commission's December decision to extend a modest proposal enforcing open transmission of Internet traffic by network providers.
Following the weekly Friday prayer, people from the al-Fatah mosque demonstrated against the Ben Ali regime in Tunis, Tunisia. (Sipa via AP Images)
Tunisia's citizens have spent the last several weeks gathering their collective strength to depose their corrupt president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, and his sclerotic regime. Throughout the turmoil, the populace has been tweeting, blogging, and using Facebook. Mindful of how quickly many rushed to brand the 2009 protests in Iran a "Twitter revolution," commentators have held back with Tunisia, emphasizing that the uprising is a product of the passions and convictions of Tunisia's people, not a 140-character status update. That's a good thing. It means our conversations about technology's transformative power are maturing past assumptions that the spread of the Internet means an inexorable spread of democracy.
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