The technorati have a rather perverse reading of history
I really wish "internet scholars" would give this sort of thing a rest:
"Is the Internet due for a “Magna Carta moment?”
That is a question being posed by Rebecca MacKinnon, an Internet scholar at the New America Foundation, who argues that private corporations are exerting excessive power over the Internet and should have that power checked. Just as the English barons crafted the original Magna Carta in 1215 to constrain the power of the unpopular King John, she says, Internet users should organize and push back against the companies.
I hope someone can explain to me sometime why the technorati are so intent on drawing rhetoric and examples from the Middle Ages. It would be nice if, just once, they got it right. Yes, it's true that the Brits have long placed Magna Carta in a particular political, rhetorical context. But for a modern journalist to reference it as some kind of an example of democratic restraint is simply absurd. Unless she believes those English barons were also calling for universal suffrage and an overhaul of the government in accord with Enlightenment principles, which would have been quite a trick in 1215.