In the wake of the London riots, there has been intense debate about whether the Internet – and particularly social media networks like Twitter and Facebook – needs more regulation. But according to Chris Painter, the US State Department’s recently appointed Coordinator for Cyber Issues, the riots early this month do not represent an excuse for governments around the world to regulate the Internet.
I caught up with Painter earlier this week at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum where he spoke on a star studded panel about the post Wikileaks and post Egypt world. Painter’s message to the world is unambiguous. The Internet not only enables freedom but also prosperity, the Hilary Clinton appointee told me. And America, he promised me, is firmly committed to making the Internet a “very large” part of its foreign policy as it actively supports free speech and democracy around the world.