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Special Event

Panel on Information Access & Freedom in the Digital Age

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

Panelists:

Deirdre K. Mulligan, Assistant Professor, School of Information
Chair of the Board, Center for Democracy & Technology; Faculty Director, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology

Nicole Wong, Lecturer, School of Information
Former Vice-President and Deputy General Counsel at Google, responsible for arbitrating issues of censorship; Board member, First Amendment Coalition

Qiang Xiao, Adjunct Professor, School of Information
Human rights activist; Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times; former MacArthur Fellow

Moderator: Geoffrey Nunberg, Adjunct full professor, School of Information

Introduced by AnnaLee Saxenian, Dean, School of Information

Decentralized, open, interconnected, layered — the unique characteristics of the Internet challenge the traditional tools of state governance and raise major policy questions. The Internet bridges political boundaries to increase information access and interaction among globally distributed individuals. That can increase freedom of expression and enable global association, but it simultaneously poses challenges to governments trying to enforce domestic policies and laws. The challenges are compounded by the complex interactions required for Internet governance itself — among private-sector firms like Google and Twitter, organizations like the World Wide Web Consortium, international bodies, and national governments. How can this communication ecosystem be streamlined and made transparent and responsive to public needs? How do we ensure that new technologies become media for the protection of human rights and the encouragement of free public expression? And what role must each of the stakeholders play?

Irina Bokova is the Director-General of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. She has previously served as a member of the Bulgarian Parliament for two terms, minister and deputy minister of foreign affairs in the Bulgarian cabinet, the Bulgarian ambassador to France and to Monaco, and the permanent delegate of Bulgaria to UNESCO. She was elected as the tenth Director-General of UNESCO in 2009. Bokova is the first female and Eastern European to head UNESCO.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015