“We have immersed ourselves in a technological environment of our own making, called cyberspace, which we take for granted as our communications and media ecosystem. We leave electronic traces of ourselves scattered across the servers of this vast geographically extended domain like granules of sand on an endlessly mutating, ever-expanding beach.
But who controls this domain and what are they doing with our data? What happens to our e-mail once we hear that familiar “woosh” sound as it leaves our screen? Is it shared with anyone without our consent? Under what circumstances?”
Deibert says one major question now is how to preserve privacy amid such efforts. “The key questions, as always, will concern the substance of those negotiations: will we see a charter for global cyberspace that protects and preserves this domain as an open, global commons of information? Or will we see the further imposition of digital controls, nationalized communications spaces, and widespread surveillance?”
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is hosting a panel conversation for the OpenNet Initiative’s new volume Access Controlled. Attending the panel discussion will be Ron Deibert, John Palfrey and Rafal Rohozinski from the ONI, and Bob Boorstin from Google. Moderating the discussion will be Mr. Moises Naim, editor of Foreign Policy magazine. Details are here
I participated in the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics Civil society and Democracy In Iran workshop, held 14-15 May 2010 at the University of Toronto. I was participating in the panel on “Exploring the Youth Movement in Iran,” and spoke about the challenges of cyberspace controls for youth activism in and outside of Iran and in particular among the green movement.