BBG Governor Michael Meehan spoke on “The Politics of Internet Freedom” as a key panelist at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference on October 26. The discussion, moderated by New York Times journalist John Markoff, brought leading analysts, actors and activists in the digital world together to decipher trends in the fight for control over the digital sphere.
The panelists centered a wide-ranging and lively discussion around the politics of Internet freedom and the core questions: Is Internet freedom a foreign policy tool or a basic human right? Does Internet freedom mean the right to connect, the freedom to hack, the liberation of information, the equality of data, the protection of the cyber-commons, or all of the above? Who gets to make the decisions about what individuals can do, see and say on the Internet? How much government and corporate powers are at work in the digital world?
“The BBG for years has made great strides on internet circumvention efforts. This year the board and the Congress have raised our efforts 10 fold,” Meehan said. “We are committed to opening up the free flow of information especially in places where press freedom is limited or nonexistent.”
Governor Meehan spoke about the role the Internet has played in fostering access to and dialogue on topics censored in some of the countries where U.S. international broadcasting reports. He discussed the importance of breaking through the Internet firewalls and highlighted the BBG efforts in fighting censorship and providing circumvention tools in countries such as China and Cuba.
Learn more about the conference and the panel discussions here.