Dave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in New York City.
"The protoblogger." - NY Times.
"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.
"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.
"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.
10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.
One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.
"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.
"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.
"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.
8/2/11: Who I Am.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
Suppressing dissent doesn't help your cause, because it doesn't change minds. The belief is still there, just suppressed.
If you stay out the way of self-expression, everyone wins. You get to hear something that's dissonant to you, the other person gets to express him or herself. Having their point of view heard and accepted (if not agreed with), removes one obstacle to change. Maybe not all of them. And it's possible, just possible, having really listened to the politically incorrect thought, you might find your position shifts.
Aside from that, believe it or not, it's not all about you. Other people have a right to speak even if you don't like what they're saying.
Update: There's a difference between "dissent" and laying stinky turds in the middle of the room.
A couple of days ago Roland Boon, in a comment here, asked why not believe Amazon's explanation for why they cut off WikiLeaks. I explained that whether I believe or not isn't the question. It's whether I trust them that matters. And will I hold back on what I say about them for fear of being cut off?
That said, I think it's fairly obvious why Amazon cut them off. It's the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
Let me explain...
Today I got a promotional email from Kay Kinton, Senior Public Relations Manager for Amazon Web Services, entitled "Amazon Web Services Year in Review." It contained a paragraph, quoted below, that explains how their government business grew in 2010.
"Government adoption of AWS grew significantly in 2010. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board became the first government-wide agency to migrate to a cloud-based environment when it moved Recovery.gov to AWS in March 2010. Today we have nearly 20 government agencies leveraging AWS, and the U.S. federal government continues to be one of our fastest growing customer segments. The U.S. General Services Administration awarded AWS the ability to provide government agencies with cloud services through the government's cloud storefront, Apps.gov. Additional AWS customers include Treasury.gov, the Federal Register 2.0 at the National Archives, the openEI.org project at DoE's National Renewable Energy Lab, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at USDA, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA. The current AWS compliance framework covers FISMA, PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001, SAS70 type II, and HIPAA, and we continue to seek certifications and accreditations that make it easier for government agencies to benefit from AWS. To learn more about how AWS works with the federal government, visit: http://aws.amazon.com/federal/."
It makes perfect sense that the US government is a big customer of Amazon's web services. It also makes perfect sense that Amazon wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize that business. There might not have even been a phone call, it might not have been necessary.
Update: Of course most tech companies do business with the US government, and if they don't they probably want to. For example, a couple of weeks ago, a story came out about the Army equipping every soldier with an iPhone or Android phone. Not saying there's a connection, but a week later Apple banned the WikiLeaks app from their store.