Knight Center director Eric Freedman recently spoke at Yale Law School’s Center for Global Legal Challenges.
His talk, “Suppressing Cyber-dissent and the Limits of Human Rights Activism,” addressed how new communications technologies provide tools for almost anyone to become a publisher or broadcaster to disseminate news, information and opinion – even politically dangerous news , information and opinion. Those technologies also provide tools for authoritarian regimes to identify and punish cyber-dissenters.
He said experiences in the former Soviet Union, China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere demonstrate the limited impact of efforts by human rights and free expression NGOs to effectively protest or reverse regime measures to silence cyber-critics, raising serious questions about how to increase their effectiveness.
The guest lecture was part of the Foreign Affairs in the Internet Age series organized by the Yale Law School Information Society Project.