Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2008

Contact: Anne Singer, 202-271-4679 or Susan Crawford, 202-669-0430

On OneWebDay, Americans Come Together to Support the Internet

Virtual and In-person Activities Planned Nationwide to Celebrate the Internet and Its Effect on Democratic Participation in this Election Year

New York, NY – On the third annual “Earth Day for the Internet”, communities across the country are holding events to learn about and advocate for that marvel of modern infrastructure, the Internet. It happens in the United States and around the world on OneWebDay, Monday, September 22, 2008.

“Earth Day was the model when I founded OneWebDay in 2006,” says Susan Crawford, a professor of law specializing in Internet issues at the University of Michigan. “In 1969, one man asked the people to do what their elected representatives would not: take the future of the environment into their own hands.” By 1972, the United States had a federal agency devoted to protecting the environment, the E.P.A., and today a worldwide citizens’ movement has put the environment front and center politically. According to Crawford, “peoples’ lives now are as dependent on the Internet as they are on the basics like roads, energy supplies and running water. We can no longer take that for granted and we must advocate for the Internet politically, and support its vitality personally.”

The Internet has also become the means by which citizens around the world build movements to hold their elected leaders accountable and support those who represent their interests; it is also increasingly the medium through which citizens interact with their governments. The theme of this year’s OneWebDay is online participation in democracy, coinciding with the U.S. elections.

The online hub for OneWebDay 2008 is www.onewebday.org. There, anyone can: plan or find out about activities in their community; learn ten things individuals can do to support the web; contribute their own stories; read posts from 100 OneWebDay ambassadors; and learn about Internet advocacy groups.

Events around the Country

New York City is the real-world epicenter for One Web Day 2008. Gathering in Washington Square Park at Noon will be some of the Web’s great visionaries, including: Sree Sreenivasan (Columbia Journalism & WNBC-TV); Tim Westergren (Pandora); Prof. Lawrence Lessig (Stanford Law); Craig Newmark (Craigslist); Dharma Dailey (Ethos Wireless); City Councilwoman Hon. Gale A. Brewer; John Perry Barlow (Electronic Frontier Foundation); Andrew Baron (Rocketboom); S.J. Klein (One Laptop Per Child); and the founder of OneWebDay, Susan Crawford, among others. That same day, the city’s seniors will take to the steps of City Hall under the auspices of Older Adults Technology Services of New York. The Saturday before OneWebDay, experts in online journalism, collaboration and activism will conduct free workshops and demonstrations for anyone looking to hone their cyber skills (http://www.onewebday.org/base/index.php/New_York).

In Washington, DC, Internet experts and advocates will join members of Congress and FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein to “bury” an E-democracy time capsule and discuss the state of the Web. Focused on the Internet as an interface between citizens and governments, the event features presentations on government transparency, online tools for participatory democracy and the problem of broadband accessibility (http://timecapsule.onewebday.org).

San Francisco will witness a massive volunteer effort, coordinated by the Mayor’s Department of Technology, to bring residents in public housing online with wireless Internet and donated computer equipment with the help of Free the Net and Meraki wireless (http://www.sfconnect.org).

Chicago hosts a seminar sponsored by the Future of Music Coalition to educate musicians and label owners about the intersection of music, law, technology and policy, to help prepare musicians to participate in the issues that affect their livelihood (http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/chicago08/index.cfm).

In Cincinnati, community technology activists will convene a town meeting on “The Next President, the Internet and the Disconnected City,” featuring representatives from both the McCain and Obama campaigns (http://www.onewebday.org/base/index.php/Cincinnati).  Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell will represent the McCain campaign.

A complete description of events worldwide, including in India, Tunisia, Australia and Europe is at the OneWebDay Wiki at http://www.onewebday.org/base/index.php/Main_Page.

*****

OneWebDay, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. It has a Board made up of online luminaries (Doc Searls, David Weinberger, David Isenberg, Mary Hodder), business people (Kaarli Tasso, Allison Fine, David Johnson, Rick Whitt), a NYC PR person (Renee Edelman, Edelman), and a former state AG (Jim Tierney, Maine). Its president is Susan Crawford, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. She is committed to working on this holiday for the next 7 years.



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