Democracy and information technology
The rise of new technologies in the emerging information technology, and especially the enormous growth of the Internet over the past decade have created new opportunities and challenges for the expansion process of democratization globally and deepening in the principles of which thrives.
There is widespread debate about the political consequences of the Internet. On the one hand many observers they have drawn attention to the potential that information technology has to generate an electorate more informed and participatory, thereby facilitating the political involvement of new social movements within civil society and opening the process of government the citizens. This interpretation of the political benefits of new information technologies highlights new opportunities inherent in them: interrogatives Web sites for parties and candidates; international connection networks of activists mobilized around issues such as global trade, human rights or environmental protection; and the provision of new public services citizen connected online in relation to health and education.
Once the basic Internet access to ensure its transformation capacity involves the interactivity of the medium, the speed of electronic communications, global reach and its ability to distribute content with a minimal role by regular drivers information .
However other observers warn that, despite the potential benefits outlined above, the emergence of a new information society could lead to the emergence and consolidation of a new society “digitally divided” with three main features: the global division, the division social and democratic division.
The global division refers to the substantial inequalities that technology diffusion is highlighting among nations, even among the wealthiest members of the G7 and the European Union, and much more so worldwide. The social divide is characterized by fusillades access of different social groups to new technologies; even within countries that were at the forefront in the era of the emergence of Internet, the use of new technologies and access to them varies greatly depending on income, education and age of citizens. But even if the number of computer users gradually normalized and basic access is omnipresent in the post-industrialized societies, there is still great concern about the possible emergence of a democratic division between those who use and do not use political resources available online.
It is clear that the Internet provides many opportunities for citizen participation. In this sense, examples abound: the potential development by voting online connection; the making available to the user of electronic pages of parties and candidates; increased work capacity and cooperation between interest groups and new social movements; the easy availability of sources of information and news about current events from online newspapers, television and broadband radio channels; the ability of citizens to contact the representatives of their own choosing and to scrutinize the legislation emanating from local and national institutions; and the provision of public services in line on taxes, health, housing and education.