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Digital Citizens: Why Cyber Security and Online Privacy are Vital to the Success of Democracy and Freedom of Expression

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jan 08, 2014 04:59 AM
Michael Oghia will give a presentation which will show why cyber security and online privacy are vital for democracy and freedom of expression.

Event details


Jan 14, 2014
from 06:30 PM to 08:00 PM


The Centre for Internet and Society (opposite Domlur Club) and near to TERI Complex, No.194, 2nd C Cross, Domlur 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560071

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In the time when Edward Snowden is fighting for both clemency and to be known as a brave whistle blower that exposed government wrongdoing, cyber security and online privacy have never been more important. As Jacob Applebaum discussed in May last year, and CIS’ Maria Xynou presented recently in December, surveillance throughout the world is increasing. With security apparatus’ likethe NSA and now India’s Central Monitoring System, coupled with corporate data centers around the world storing our e–mails, address books, preferences, and passwords, it is easy to see how our online privacy is increasingly being threatened and often, violated.

Indeed, online privacy is inextricably linked to freedom of expression, and freedom of expression is a fundamental civil liberty imperative to democracy. Moreover, online security and privacy are essential to good, transparent, and accountable democratic governance. This is largely because surveillance, censorship, and monitoring ultimately create environments where self-censorship is the norm, as is the fear of the government instead of spaces that allow for freedom of expression and democratic dialogue and dissent.

What I would like to accomplish my speaking at CIS is not to merely educate about the dangers posed to Internet security or to world democracy, but rather to:

  1. Reiterate the importance of digital privacy and cyber security to the success of democracy and the continued protection of free expression.
  2. Encourage citizens, technology specialists, Internet and privacy advocates, and others to see themselves as part of a larger system of democratic governance and civic participation. This means understanding how technical capabilities intersect with civil society, and then use them to advocate for a more open, accessible, and private cyberspace.
  3. Reinforce that digital media literacy education is vital to ensuring a free, open, accessible, and democratic Internet.

Additionally, I want to present ideas and recommendations for what you can do to engage with these problems, and how we can collaborate together to address them.

About the Public Intelligence Project

The Public Intelligence Project is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank conducting research, education, and advocacy on the importance of diversity, critical thinking, dialogue, and freedom of expression. We seek to promote more robust systems of participatory democracy, civic engagement, and conflict prevention in order to create a culture of democracy.

Michael Oghia

Michael is responsible for a new project at Meta-Culture called the Public Intelligence Project, which focuses on expanding participatory democracy, civic engagement, and conflict prevention by conducting research, education, and advocacy on the intersections between diversity, dialogue, critical thinking, and freedom of expression. While new to the conflict resolution field, as a poet, musician, editor, writer, blogger, and activist, he is well-versed in the importance of freedom of expression and participating in the democratic process. He was born in Kentucky to Lebanese-Syrian parents, and after graduating with a BS in sociology from the University of Louisville, he moved to Lebanon to pursue an MA in sociology from the American University of Beirut. There, he had the opportunity to witness the Arab Revolutions first-hand while research about topics such as Internet ownership in the Middle East, social movements, Arab media, globalization, Arab youth and family, and his thesis subject, romantic love in the Arab world. Michael enjoys engaging Twitter conversations, and has an unnatural affinity for crunchy peanut butter.

Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Time: 6.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Talk by: Michael Oghia
Title: Research & Advocacy Consultant, and Project Manager
Organisation: Meta-Culture / Public Intelligence Project
Websites: <> & <>