"The right to communicate cannot be ignored," Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies, told BBC News in March 2010. "The Internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created... (Governments must) regard the Internet as basic infrastructure -- just like roads, waste and water. We have entered the knowledge society and everyone must have access to participate."
Technology does not determine society; it is society, Manuel Castells famously said.
Societies have always been organised around information. In the post-industrial age, ‘information societies’ were those that were transitioning from an economy based on material goods to one based on knowledge. In these societies the production, management and consumption of information and knowledge is at the core of economic productivity and societal development. The rapid development of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) over the past three decades has accelerated these new forms of society and economy and created what Castells terms a ‘network society’. In network societies the key social structures and activities are organised around electronically processed information networks (not limited by geographical location). Wealth, power, and knowledge-generation are largely dependent on the ability to reap the benefits of the new technology networks.