Practice of Law

Keeping Up With Politics On-Line

How fast is your life and practice changing because of new technology? According to a recent article in the Contra Costa Times by Lisa Vorderbrueggen, the following “technological marvels …reach[ed] 50 million users” in:

  • Radio — 38 years
  • Television — 13 years
  • Internet — 4 years
  • iPod — 3 years
  • Facebook — It logs 100 million new users every six months. (If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest.)
  • iPhone applications — 1 billion users in nine months.

(Based on statistics offered by Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at Sacramento State.)

The national health care reform bill was passed on Sunday, March 21, 2010, with frequent updates from the capital via email, Facebook and Twitter calling for our participation. Our world is changing beyond what we could have imagined even one year ago. In the Contra Costa Times article, Lisa pointed out that campaign rules adopted in California in 1974, even though amended a few times since then, do not really address campaign by Internet or other technology. In fact, the California Fair Political Practices Commission is looking to update the rules to address this new way of political participation.

The importance of the internet to our way of government has also led the  Federal Communications Commission to propose a “National Broadband Plan:”

Broadband can increase public access to government information and provide new ways for citizens to participate in their democracy and community.

What is next? What do you think?

© The Regents of the University of California, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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