The Information Society: From Gutenberg to S.W.I.F.T.

Wriston, Walter B.


As the air becomes more and more crowded with electronic transmissions, governmental agreements are essential in allocating frequencies and setting public policy. We are never going to be able to roar down an open highway as the only car on the road. But as part of a huge user population, we have a duty and a vital interest to see that the global electronic highway we have already built, and which makes possible the functioning of the global marketplace, remains as efficient, as cost effective, and as free as possible.

The legitimate competing concerns of society make this no easy task, but it is one that is worthy of our best efforts because the global marketplace has become such an essential part of the future of the world. The ability to move capital to where it is needed and wanted is fundamental to the continual effort of mankind to live a better life. In today's world, information about this market and the transfers themselves travel on our networks at the speed of light- which Einstein tells us is as fast as it is possible to go. Keeping that data moving with speed and efficiency, while balancing competing interests, is our particular challenge- and the greatest contribution we can make to the world that emerges from the information explosion.

  • The document was created from the speech, "The Information Society: From Gutenberg to S.W.I.F.T.," written by Walter B. Wriston for the S.W.I.F.T. Conference SIBOS '82 on 23 September 1982. The original speech is located in MS134.001.005.00004.
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