The trend toward even more capacity, speed, affordability, and mobility will have enormous political implications: myriad individuals and small groups -- many of whom had not been previously so empowered -- will not only connect with one another but will plan, mobilize, and accomplish tasks with potentially more satisfying and efficient results than their governments can deliver. This almost certainly will affect individuals' relationships with and views of their governments and will put pressure on some governments for more responsiveness.
While terrorist and hate groups do organize via the Internet, I believe that the coming-together of groups that force the government to enact policies that actually prevent terrorism and assuage hate will outweigh such negative uses.
Another relevant quote:
Reports of growing investment by many Middle Eastern governments in
developing high-speed information infrastructures, although they are not yet widely available to the population nor well-connected to the larger world,
show obvious potential for the spread of democratic -- and undemocratic -- ideas.
I'm assuming undemocratic is a codeword for "Caliphate". Nevertheless, I see this as a positive trend.
I would highly recommend that everyone read the entire report [pdf
], as it pretty much lays out all the challenges that we'll all be facing in just a (relatively) short while, some of which are pretty damn scary.
(Note: All emphasis mine. Quotes from pages 75 and 77 of the pdf).