Freedom in the 21st Century: Connection Technologies in Open & Closed Societies
In recent years, connection technologies have played an ever-greater role in promoting freedom and openness around the world. In states such as Iran, China, and Egypt, people have been empowered by new tools: social media, mobile phones, the Internet, text messages, online social networks, and others. The Obama Administration has taken a leading role in protecting the exercise of universal freedoms including the freedom to connect, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly on digital media, as outlined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her historic speech on Internet freedom in January. The State Department has been working hard to use connection technologies to advance the causes of human rights and freedom in our increasingly networked and borderless world.
One of the leaders of this initiative is Alec Ross, Senior Adviser on Innovation to the Secretary of State. Before joining the State Department, Ross served as the convener for technology, media, and telecommunications policy for Obama for America and for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team where he focused on technology, innovation, and government reform. In 2000, Ross co-founded One Economy, a non-profit, three-person basement operation which, until 2008, he helped lead and grow to the world's largest digital divide organization that connects low-income people to the tools of the digital age.
On April 12, at 12pm, the Global Mobile Technology Initiative, a joint project of NDN and the New Policy Institute, will host Ross as he delivers a speech on the role of connection technologies in open and closed societies. His address will focus on the tension between societies that are increasingly open by virtue of connection technologies, and societies that are increasingly closed by government suppression and manipulation of connection technologies and communications networks.
Senior Adviser on Innovation, U.S. Department of State
President, NDN & the New Policy Institute
Monday, April 12, 12 p.m.
729 15th St. NW, First Floor