Can Europe Make It?

PODCAST: Defending human rights in a digital age

A panel discussion chaired by Marianne Franklin at Goldsmiths opens up the many human rights implications for the future of the internet as struggles over its ownership and control gather steam. (2 hours 1 minute).

Goldsmiths event
10 March 2015


Caspar Bowden (Independent Privacy Researcher) 
Hanane Boujemi (Hivos International: MENA region) 
Catherine Easton (University of Lancaster/Internet Rights and Principles Coalition) 
Sherif Elsayed-Ali and Champa Patel (Amnesty International) 
Becky Kazansky (Tactical Technology Collective) 
Gavin McFadyen (Centre for Investigative Journalism) 

Moderator: Marianne Franklin (Global Media and Transnational Communications Program, Goldsmiths) 

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The internet-dependent world is still dealing with the fallout of Edward Snowden's revelations of mass online surveillance. The human rights implications of state and private actors' tracking of our everyday life online, our digital imagination, and our relationships with other people through social media have been thrust into the headlines as a result.  This public debate held on 26 February 2015 at Goldsmiths, University of London, brings longstanding human rights defenders, such as Amnesty, (h)activists, legal experts, and journalists around the table to discuss the practical and political challenges of defending human rights in a digital age; online and on the ground. As human rights NGOs consider the digital implications of human rights abuses, so do technical and legal experts have to consider the design and legislative implications of recognizing that online we have rights too. Official recognition, e.g. at the UN, is not enough. And grassroots awareness-raising about our human rights online is hampered by government policies that undermine rights like Freedom of Expression, privacy, education, and freedom of association in the name of cyber- or state security. This panel discusses the options available for the design, access, and use of the future internet now that the "genie is out of the bottle" as the battle for ownership and control of tomorrow's internet gathers steam. 

Co-organized by the Global Media and Transnational Communications MA Program, School of Journalism's Media Forum, and Radical Media Forum, Department of Media and Communication. 

Read more from our 'Closely observed citizens' series here, and listen to more Goldsmiths podcasts here.

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