The winner is:
We would like to make clear that the judges are not 'endorsing' the underlying philosophy of the writer by announcing a winner. What we liked most about the winning essay was the writer's ability to clearly describe the relationship between the seemingly anarchical state of the Internet and the centralized structure of the state proper vis a vis the individual. We believe the writer successfully rendered the topic relevant and worthy of further discussion.
The judges felt that many of the submitted essays lacked sufficient data, sources, or exposition to support assumptions and claims found therein. The judges also felt that many of the submissions, while good, were not chosen, because they did not answer the question:
The essays were judged on (i) newsworthiness; (ii) supporting research; and (iii) organization and writing style. (iv) We also considered the essay's capacity to engender online discourse in the form of comments and retweets.
We would like to make special note that the judges appreciated a point presented by another finalist in Freedom and Moral Right are Inseparable:
"Technology can't provide much more than a way to communicate and spread thoughts and ideas. The old and ridiculous notion that 'technology will save us' simply isn't, nor can it ever be, true and human nature has to be considered which isn't mechanical or automatic. The “dual use” of technology has insured our slavery to the lack of privacy and the loss of freedom to every manner to surveillance."
Despite our prima facie assumption regarding technology's cardinal role as liberator, when discussing freedom and democracy, it would seem, one cannot avoid discussing the role of ethics and perhaps even the existence or nature of wisdom itself.
Two other essays deserve special mention. They are Engineering Resistance: From the Triangle to the Circle and Empowering the Individual - The Answer to Tyranny.
Thank you again to all the authors. We enjoyed reading your work.