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today, the Internet is the world's most important communications network, a vital – if not the most vital – tool in research, politics, health care and education. It has given a voice to the disenfranchised and oppressed, challenged tyranny abroad and corruption at home and created cultural playgrounds where inspiration is second only to imagination.

But it has also become the largest hotbed of crime on Earth, a place where the high-minded founding principles of research have taken a back-seat to corporate interests; where, increasingly, a user's social status determines their experience.

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In short, the Internet is becoming a lot like real life. Does the Internet need saving?

  • Does Canada's traditional role as peacekeeper translate to the virtual world?

  • What does the rise of a borderless digital world mean for our perceptions of privacy, or cultural protectionism? Are such concepts even relevant any more?

  • Is Canada's technology business landscape destined to be populated by one or two Nortels or hundreds of small, nimble application developers?

  • Is broadband access a fundamental human rights?

Most-viewed, most-discussed stories

  1. How the new copyright bill will affect Canadian culture After years of attempting to catch up with technology, the Canadian government has conceded the digital world moves too fast More...

  2. Canada's app developers in sweet spot as world goes mobile As the playing field is being reset on the entire industry, app developers and startups are popping up all over the country More...

  3. The Internet needs peacekeepers. Is Canada ready? Crime, censorship and espionage have turned the digital world into a battlefield. What role should Canada play in saving the Web? More...

Top scored Catalyst comment

Community access in locations like libraries or community halls doesn't properly address the needs of small towns unless there is broadband access at that site. Visagrunt

Top scored Reader comment

Instead of trying to codify out-of-date business models, we should let the industry adapt to its new circumstances. GonzoFish

Expert panel debate: Most viewed video

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Do we share too much on the Internet? Security expert Daniel Tobok, reporter Omar El Akkad and author Jeff Jarvis discuss the notion of what is private v. public in the digital age. More...

Most viewed interactive

Anatomy of a cyber crime Koobface malware takes control of a computer and tricks users into inadvertently clicking on advertising links across the Web View...

Most active live chat

Chat with Canada's top cyber sleuths about Koobface , Join Ron Deibert director of the Citizen Lab, part of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, and Nart Villeneuve and Rafal Rohozinski of the SecDev Group. More...

Most active poll and results

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How secure do you feel online? What sort of online criminal activity worries you the most?

Of 5,197 votes cast:

  • 58% Identity Theft

  • 14% Bank Fraud

  • 16% Terror Recruiting

  • 13% Government-Backed Hack Attacks


Canada's culture can still make its mark on the Internet The Globe and Mail

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