Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore spoke Tuesday at the Southland Southern Culture and Technology Conference in Nashville on the convergence of technology and politics, and the fate of American democracy.
"Our democracy has been hacked in the United States," Gore said. "The operating system has been taken over and it no longer serves the purposes our founders intended it serve."
When there were low entry barriers to public conversation, Gore said, a book like Thomas Paine's Common Sense "became the Harry Potter of the late 1700s." But today, he added, Paine would need a small fortune to have the same impact: "Now there are gatekeepers that bar the entry way to the public conversation, and that has given those with great wealth an ability to dominate the conversation."
Gore said he believed the Internet could improve communication equality and restore American democracy, and called on digital business leaders to develop a "digital Magna Carta."
"Some of the most important digital businesses ought to be in a position to work with the people in asserting a digital Magna Carta that does provide protection for a form