Global Censorship Conference

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Mar 30, 2012 11:34 AM |
The Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression at Yale Law School is holding a conference on global censorship from March 30 to April 1, 2012, at Yale Law School. The programme is sponsored by the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and Thomson Reuters.
Global Censorship Conference

Global Censorship Conference

"This conference is the first major event for the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression, and it brings together an exciting group of thinkers from law, political science, computer science, business and the non-profit sector to discuss the lessons of the past few years,” explained Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin, director of the Abrams Institute and the Information Society Project. “We think the study of free expression in the digital age should be international and interdisciplinary."[1]

Rishabh Dara, Google Policy Fellow who worked at CIS office in Bangalore on freedom of expression and internet-related policy issues is participating in the event as a speaker in the panel on Case Studies of Censorship. The panel will explore recent instances of censorship in the United States, Egypt, Syria, Brazil, and India and the common themes and important differences that emerged.

This conference will consider how censorship has changed in a networked world, exploring how networks have altered the practices of both governments and their citizens. Panels will include discussions of how governments can and do censor and how speakers can command technical and legal tools to preserve their ability to speak.  The conference will conclude with a discussion of new controversies in censorship, including laws designed to prevent online bullying and intellectual property infringement.



Friday March 30, 2012

2:00 Begin Registration
3:15 – 4:45 The Means of Change, Familiar and New
(co-sponsored by Sponsored by the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights)
In the popular story of the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa, information technology stands out as the new factor that was critical to rapid mass mobilization for demanding change. The media have been credited with making popular demands for change contagious. Enthusiasts for the potential of technology to foster progressive change have labeled these apparently sudden developments a Facebook revolution. Governments responded by seeking to curtail the use of mobile phones and the Internet. What role has technology played in igniting, sustaining and shaping recent political changes in the Arab world?
  • Anupam Chander, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis and Director, California International Law Center
  • Rebecca MacKinnon, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, New America Foundation 
  • John Pollock, journalist
Keynote Lecture
(co-sponsored by Sponsored by the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights)
  •  Irwin Cotler, Canadian Parliament, former Attorney General of Canada

6:30– 9:00 Reception for Panelists of the Global Censorship Conference

Saturday March 31, 2012

9:00 – 10:00  Registration and Breakfast
Panel One: Old and New Forms of Censorship
Years ago, activists met in person to plan protests and quietly shared subversive texts. Now, events can be planned over social networking sites, and arguments for change are posted online. How have governments responded to these changes? How have activist practices and governments’ reactions changed the way we conceptualize censorship?
  • Jack Balkin, Yale Law School
  • Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law School 
  • Navid Hassanpour, Yale Political Science Deptartment 
  • Rebecca MacKinnon, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
11:45 – 1:15 Panel Two: Technical Architectures of Censorship
There are a number of choke points across the Internet and a number of different censorship mechanisms that can be deployed at various points across the network. Censorship can be executed at the router level, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) level, the Internet Content Provider (ICP) level, or the device level. Additionally, countries can employ a number of different technologies at each level. This panel will explore the many technical options for censorship and the strategic value of different choices.
  • Laura DeNardis, Associate Professor of Communication at American University, and Affiliated Fellow, Information Society Project at Yale Law School
  • Nagla Rizk, American University in Cairo 
  • Hal Roberts, Fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Technology 
  • Ashkan Soltani, Independent Researcher and Consultant on Privacy and Security
1:15 – 2:15 Lunch
2:15 – 3:45 Panel Three: Case Studies of Censorship
In the wake of censorship both domestically and abroad, many questions emerged about how the censorship was executed, what effects it had, if and how activists were able to route around the it, and how, if it all, it was eventually stopped. This panel will explore recent instances of censorship in the United States, Egypt, Syria, Brazil, and India and the common themes and important differences that emerged.
  • Sherwin Siy, Deputy Legal Director and the Kahle/Austin Promise Fellow at Public Knowledge
  • Lina Attalah, Journalist, Managing Editor of Al-Masry Al-Youm 
  • Anas Qtiesh, Blogger, Editor of Global Voices 
  • Carlos Affonso Pereira de Souza, Vice-Coordinator of the Center for Technology & Society (CTS) at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School
  • Rishabh Dara, Researcher at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
4:00 –
 Panel Four: Technical Methods of Circumventing Censorship
New technology may provide governments with new tools to censor, but it also creates opportunities for speakers and “hactivists” everywhere. How can individuals evade identification online and access blocked content? Can activists circumvent attempts to shut down the internet during periods of political unrest? What new methods are being developed to preserve free speech online?
  • Roger Dingledine, The Tor Project
  • Peter Fein, Telecomix
  • Alex Halderman, University of Michigan, Dept. of Computer Science
  • Sascha Meinrath, Open Technology Initiative Director, New America Foundation
  • Wendy Seltzer, Senior Fellow, Information Society Project at Yale Law School
6:00 – 9:00 Dinner for Speakers

Sunday, April 1, 2012

9:00 – 9:30  Breakfast
9:30 – 11:00 Panel Five: Legal Solutions to Censorship
Given the way censorship technologies have slowly crept into acceptable use because of concerns like piracy, child pornography, or national security, there is much debate about the role and capacity of law in combatting these new, digital forms of government censorship, domestically and internationally. This panel will discuss if and how legal solutions to censorship can be deployed most effectively.
  • Derek Bambauer, Brooklyn Law School
  • Jim Dempsey, Vice President of Public Policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology 
  • Molly Land, New York Law School 
  • Linda Lye, ACLU Northern California 
  • Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
11:15 – 12:45 Panel Six: New Controversies in Censorship
Does new technology change the appropriate scope of free expression rights? Can policing intellectual property infringement burden free speech interests? Does surveillance ever have a censoring effect? This panel will wrestle with whether a variety of government activities constitutes inappropriate censorship or necessary actions to protect the public interest.
  • Rebecca Bolin, Fellow at Information Society Project, Yale Law School
  • Mark MacCarthy, Vice President for Public Policy, Software and Information Industry Association; Adjunct Professor, Communication, Culture and Technology Program, Georgetown University 
  • Preston Padden, Senior Fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Center and an Adjunct Professor at the University Of Colorado's Law School and Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program 
  • David Post, Temple University, Beasley School of Law 
  • Christopher Soghoian, Graduate Fellow, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Indiana University
12:45    Bagged Lunch Available
[1].Global Censorship Conference to be Held March 30-April 1 at Yale Law School | Yale Law School, last accessed on March 30, 2012,


Read the original posted in Yale Law School website