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Advancing Internet Freedom: Tackling Barriers to the Global Free Flow of Information
Earlier this week, we hosted a great conversation here at NDN on internet freedom and the global free flow of information. We heard from Daniel Calingaert, Deputy Director of Programs at Freedom House, and Anita Ramasastry of the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration.
At Commerce, Ms. Ramasastry is also co-chair of the "Free Flow of Information on the Internet" working group in the Internet Policy Task Force. She spoke about the work of the IPTF, which has consisted of beginning to look at how censorship and restrictions on the free flow of information may impact trade, investment or economic growth. The Free Flow of Information working group has begun to meet with a number of stakeholders to determine the economic impact of restrictions and censorship, and is planning to publish a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) that will formally reqeust input from stakeholders to determine what restrictions exist, where they exist, and what burden they impose on business.
Mr. Calingaert opened his talk by asserting that the internet offers great potential to advance human freedom, but is under assault from authoritarian governments. He observed that many the most restrictive regimes in the world had become a great deal more technologically sophisticated in their censorship, contributing to five years of decline in freedom. He offered four major policy efforts that need to be pursued to promote internet freedom: First, a strengthening of the international consensus around internet freedom and bringing together stakeholders with a commitment to these issues. Second, to stop western companies from abetting internet censorship and surveillance. Third, empowering netizens and giving them a voice to fight against restrictive practices. Fourth, restrictions on the free flow of information need to be challenged diplomatically and multilaterally.
But don't take my word for it... The full video, including the feisty Q&A session, is here (the sound is a little low, so you may have to crank the volume):
Since Secretary Clinton's groundbreaking speech on Internet Freedom in January, the conversation about the free global flow of information has devolved into a back-and forth between tech-utopians and tech-doomsayers. Internet and mobile networks can be used effectively by dictators and democracy activists alike, and the more relevant question is how can we, as supporters of democracy, free commerce, and unfettered access to information, craft policy and otherwise support the use of these technologies to advance our goals.
On Tuesday, July 20, at 12 p.m., please join the Global Mobile Technology Initiative, a project of the New Policy Institute & NDN, for a conversation about practical approaches to internet freedom and the global free flow of information. Joining us will be Daniel Calingaert, Deputy Director of Programs at Freedom House, and Anita Ramasastry, Senior Policy Advisor in the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration.
Deputy Director of Programs, Freedom House
Senior Advisor, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Co-Chair, Free Flow of Information on the Internet Working Group, Internet Policy Task Force, U.S. Department of Commerce
About Global Mobile
NDN's Global Mobile Technology Initiative seeks to better understand the myriad ways that mobile technology and global connectivity are changing our lives, and to explore how a growing information and communications network can be leveraged to improve our world. The GMTI serves as an center of thought and a forum for ideas on the power of global connectivity, and brings together prominent thinkers and actors in this space to share their work and engage our community.
Event Date:Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 8:00am