The DC Chapter of the Internet Society,
in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State,
invites you to an informal discussion on
CENSORSHIP 2020: The Future of Free Speech Online
What: CENSORSHIP 2020: The Future of Free Speech Online
When: Monday June 25 2012 5.30pm-7pm EDT | 1330-1500 UTC
Where: Georgetown University, Washington DC
Twitter: @ISOCDC | #censorship | #netfreedom |
Monday, June 25, 2012
5:00-5:30 PM Networking
5:30-7:00 PM Discussion
Hosted by the Communication, Culture and Technology Program of Georgetown University
2nd Floor, Car Barn, 3520 Prospect St., N.W. , Washington , DC (enter from Prospect St.)
The Arab Spring demonstrated how Internet technologies such as Twitter, blogs, and Facebook could be used to mobilize protesters, publicize corruption and human rights violations, and connect activists and emigres. But in Iran , Syria , and elsewhere, we have seen repressive governments use the Internet to identify and track dissidents, to spread disinformation, and defame political opponents. Will the technologies of anonymization win out over new digital monitoring tools? Will new wireless data technologies foster democracy–or lead to more effective tracking and surveillance? Join us for an informal discussion with six people fighting for free speech on the Internet in their country–and around the world:
Dlshad Othman (Syria), an activist and IT engineer providing Syrians with digital security tools
Pranesh Prakash (India), a blogger and cyberlaw expert who is promoting a free Internet and online freedom of speech.
Koundjoro Gabriel Kambou (Burkina Faso), a journalist at Lefaso.net, is promoting human rights, democracy particularly among young people.
Sopheap Chak (Cambodia), the Deputy Director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and one of Cambodia ’s leading bloggers.
Andres Azpurua (Venezuela) has trained 300 youth on using Web 2.0 tools to publicize human rights violations.
Emin Milli (Azerbaijan), a writer who is using YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to spread information about human rights violations.
Moderator: Ambassador (ret.) Richard Kauzlarich, Deputy Director, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC), George Mason University, http://traccc.gmu.edu/
For more details, visit censorship2020.eventbrite.com
Street parking available is on Prospect Street and other streets north of the Car Barn.
Biographies of the speakers:
The Internet Freedom Fellows 2012
Dlshad Othman (Syria): Over the last year of protests, new technologies have been a lifeline for many Syrians to exercise their rights in the face of government repression. However, in using the Internet and mobile phones in their advocacy and daily communications, Syrian citizens are exposed to new dangers – from censorship, to sophisticated cyber attacks, to intense surveillance leading to offline harassment. The Syrian government has only grown more sophisticated in its tactics of online repression over the last year. Yet too few Syrians are aware of how to protect themselves online, and are unwittingly exposing themselves and their contacts to further danger.
Recognizing this threat, Syrian activist and IT engineer Dlshad Othman has turned all of his energies to providing Syrians with digital security resources and assistance, so that they can continue their online communications and advocacy freely and securely. He is the technical mastermind behind a number of prominent activist sites, and has in essence become a one-man standing hotline and emergency resource for a range of Syrian individuals and organizations.
Mr. Othman currently resides in Beirut but also spends some of his time in Paris citing security issues in both Syria and Beirut for his temporary change in residence.
Pranesh Prakash (India): Mr. Prakash’s work is focused on promoting a free internet and online freedom of speech. He has consistently opposed policy changes that seek to limit access to information online. His blogs have discussed how Indian government policy has influenced the free flow of information on the internet by blocking websites, web content and online services. He is considered an expert in cyber law and one of India’s most popular twitterers, and is frequently quoted in the press for his views on online censorship. Mr. Prakash lives in Bangalore.
Koundjoro Gabriel Kambou (Burkina Faso): Mr. Kambou is a dynamic journalist-reporter at Lefaso.net and also an animator of blogs. He works at promoting human rights and values like democracy and the Freedom of Press. He is active working for social justice and raising his community awareness on these issues. He publishes videos and articles on the website www.droitlibre.tv to sensitize people and youth on human rights. He believes that the Internet is the appropriate way to reach young people and makes use of facebook to convey his messages. Along with many of his fellow journalists, Gabriel campaigned recently on the Burkinabe ex-minister of justice’s case who had made his guards beat a mechanic. As a result of this campaign, the minister of justice was fired. Mr. Kambou is also working for the premium electronic paper in Burkina Faso: Lefaso.net. Mr. Kambou lives in Ouagadougou.
Sopheap Chak (Canbodia): Ms. Chak is currently the Deputy Director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), a prominent local NGO, and is one of Cambodia’s leading bloggers on human rights issues. Previously she worked at CCHR as an advocacy officer, helping lead the “Black Box Campaign” to fight against corruption in Cambodia and the campaign for freedom of expression. She continues to run the Cambodian Youth Network for Change, which mobilizes young activists around the country for greater civic engagement, and is a contributing author for Global Voice Online, UPI Asia Online, and Future Challenges. She has also worked for the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, holding conferences and producing publications on democracy, human rights and ASEAN governance. Ms. Chak holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations and Economics and a master’s degree in international peace studies, which she completed from the International University of Japan. Ms. Chak has been running the Cambodian Youth Network for Change, which mobilizes young activists around the country for greater civic engagement. She is also a contributing author for Global Voice Online, UPI Asia Online and Future Challenges. Ms. Chak lives in Phnom Penh.
Andres Azpurua (Venezuela): Mr. Azpurua’s creativity, knowledge, and commitment to civil and political rights have generated important digital tools that have empowered Venezuelans to better exercise their human rights. In his work with Voto Joven, Mr. Azpurua has contributed to the creation of a digital platform that promotes and defends voters’ rights. He is also the founder of a digital initiative that seeks to build a volunteer base from civil society, with the main goal of strengthening and promoting the right of association in Venezuela. Mr. Azpurua has trained 300 youth on 2.0 tools in order to denounce crimes or events that violate human rights. Mr. Azpurua firmly believes that an open internet is fundamental to the continued efficacy of Human Rights and is looking to facilitate a coalition for the defense of civil and political rights on the internet in Venezuela. Mr. Azpurua lives in Caracas.
Emin Milli (Azerbaijan): Emin Milli is a writer and dissident living in Azerbaijan. He worked as a coordinator of the International Republican Institute in Azerbaijan (1999-2000) and as a director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (2002-2004). As a consultant and legal expert, he advised the Council of Europe about more than 40 cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan (2002 -2004), many of whom have been released following pressure from the Council of Europe. He has actively used online networking tools, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to spread information about human rights violations in Azerbaijan. In 2009, he was imprisoned for two and a half years for his critical views about the government of Azerbaijan. Amnesty International considered that Emin Milli was a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and association and campaigned for his release. He was conditionally released in November 2010, after serving 16 months of his sentence. He is currently studying at University of London (SOAS) and writing his dissertation on “New Media and Arab Revolutions”. Mr. Milli lives in London currently, but in Azerbaijan when not studying.
Ambassador Richard Kauzlarich served as National Intelligence Officer for Europe on the National Intelligence Council from September 2003 to April 2011. Prior to that position, he was Director of the Special Initiative on the Muslim World at the United States Institute of Peace. Ambassador Kauzlarich joined the Institute in Spring 2002 after a 32-year career in the Foreign Service. He served as United States Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997-99 and to Azerbaijan in 1994-97. He was Senior Deputy to the Secretary of State’s and the President’s Special Representative to the Newly Independent States (NIS) in 1993-94. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European Affairs in 1991-93, responsible for relations with the former Soviet Union and economic ties with the European Union.
Ambassador Kauzlarich also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in 1984-86 and as Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in 1986-89, handling global and international economic issues. He was also Director of the Department of State’s Operations Center 1983-84.
In addition to his ambassadorial assignments, Ambassador Kauzlarich has served at US Embassies in Ethiopia, Israel, and Togo.
In December 2001, the Century Foundation published his report, “Time for Change? US Policy in the Transcaucasus.” He is a coauthor of “Aid During Conflict: Interaction Between Military and Civilian Assistance Providers in Afghanistan, September 2001-June 2002,” published by RAND in 2004. Ambassador Kauzlarich received his A.A. from Black Hawk College, his B.A. from Valparaiso University, and M.A.s from Indiana University and the University of Michigan.
He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Foreign Policy program working with the Center on the United States and Europe. He is also a visiting fellow at the Joint Forces Staff College of National Defense University. He is a member of the National Council of the College of Arts and Sciences at Valparaiso University. He serves on the board of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area and is its Treasurer.