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China’s Influence and Impact on the Future of Everybody’s Internet

February 27, 2013
04:30PM - 06:00PM

Annenberg School for Communication, Room 111
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, 19104

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Categories: Seminar

In recent global debates over the future of Internet governance, China, Russia and a collection of authoritarian states have found themselves at odds with the U.S. and much of the democratic world. China wants the internet’s future to be determined by nation-states alone, while the U.S. and a range of allies advocate a “multistakeholder” approach to Internet governance in which civil society, business, and technical experts have an equal say alongside governments in negotiating the rules and technical standards that will shape the future of everybody’s Internet. As Chinese Internet and telecommunications companies expand around the world, Chinese government internet controls originally meant to block and monitor online activity inside the PRC have growing implications for Internet and mobile technologies all around the world. What does all of this mean for the future of the global Internet? This talk will provide an overview of the issues and the stakes, and ask what it will take to ensure that our globally interconnected Internet evolves in a manner that respects the rights and serves the interests of all Internet users, whether they live in the East or the West.

Rebecca MacKinnon is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation where she conducts research, writing, and advocacy projects focused on the intersection of networked technologies, human rights, and corporate accountability. She is author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012). In 2013 she is working with CGCS on the interdisciplinary project, New Technologies, Human Rights and Transparency.

From September 2010-August 2012 MacKinnon was a Bernard Schwartz Senior Fellow also at the New America Foundation. Concurrently in the Spring of 2012 was Hearst Professional-in-residence at Columbia Journalism School and listed by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years” primarily due to her role as co-founder of Global Voices Online (globalvoicesonline.org), a path-breaking global online citizen media network.  She also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder organization that advances corporate responsibility and human rights in the technology sector.

Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon worked as a journalist for CNN in Beijing for nine years and was Beijing Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 1998-2001, then served as CNN’s Tokyo Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 2001-03.  From 2004-06 she was a fellow at Harvard, first at the Shorenstein Center on the Press and Publicy Policy and then at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In 2007-08 she taught online journalism at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre. In 2009 she conducted research and writing as an Open Society Fellow, and in the Spring of 2010 she was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton’s Center or Information Technology Policy. MacKinnon received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard University and was a Fullbright scholar in Taiwan in 1991-92. She currently lives in Washington DC.