Martin Poulter, Wikimedian in residence at Oxford University, considers the active encyclopedia’s first 15 years.
Noam Chomsky talks about Edward Snowden, laws regulating historical memory, no-platforming, internet echo chambers and the lack of diversity in the American media.
James Fishkin and Max Senges describe how an innovative democratic mechanism was used at the global Internet Governance Forum to revive Athenian democracy and draw up plans for extending internet access to the next billion users.
Yury Sorochkin describes the implications of the Russian government’s decision to ban Rutracker.org, the country’s most popular torrent tracker.
Former investigative journalist Haiyan Wang describes the ways in which Chinese reporters push the boundaries of press freedom.
A transcript of our conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, who spoke to Free Speech Debate about her book ‘Until We Are Free’.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi talks to Free Speech Debate about her book ‘Until We Are Free’ and the state of free speech and human rights activism in Iran.
Evgeny Morozov highlights the dangers that can emerge when governments and corporations harness the internet to serve their own objectives.
Josh Cowls discusses the Oxford Internet Institute’s report on the complexities of balancing security and privacy online.
Luciano Floridi, Professor at the Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford, speaks to Free Speech Debate about the philosophy of information, European data protection, and contemporary challenges to free speech.
Free Speech Debate tells the story of the advisory council to Google on the right to be forgotten, and talks to council member Luciano Floridi.
Maksim Orlov analyses the Russian government’s attempts to substitute Russian for western internet services.
Neil Dullaghan sums up a year of conflict and controversy for free speech, catalogued on our website.
Danyal Kazim explores the violent reaction to the YouTube video in Pakistan – starting with trying to access it from there.
Dana Polatin-Reuben examines the fiercely contested 2015 FCC rules and their free speech implications.
Max Harris examines a historic judgment by India’s Supreme Court and its lessons for other countries.
Max Harris explains how Britain legislated against it and compares this with the position in other common law countries
Demotix founder Turi Munthe discusses the role of citizen journalism and Demotix in today’s media environment.
Matthew Walton explores the deeper Buddhist context of right speech – and soul-searching on Buddhist internet message boards.
Jason Q Ng traces the path of a censored Weibo post and tracks keywords that trigger automatic review.
Katie Engelhart attends the public hearing of Google’s Advisory Council, set up in response to a European Court of Justice judgement.
In 2014, the citizens of Hong Kong staged an unofficial civil referendum in protest against the Beijing authorities’ attempts to undermine its independence. As Rebecca Wong reports, the majority of the votes were cast via a voting app on mobile phones.
A leaked document in June 2014 from Egypt’s ministry of the interior invited tenders for cyber-surveillance technology to combat blasphemy, sarcasm and ‘lack of morality’ – the technology would likely come from the west. Max Gallien reports.
Internet Service Providers do not merely route data packets from end-to-end, but are heavily involved in monitoring their customers’ online activities. Ian Brown discusses the implications of Britain’s suggested “voluntary” opting out of “adult content”, with little parliamentary and court involvement.
A prank by a 14 year-old Dutch girl on Twitter prompted both her arrest – and broader questions about free speech, as Max Harris discusses.
A British citizen blogged about a Tanzanian media magnate involved in throwing her and her husband off their Tanzanian farm. He sued for libel in a British court. Dominic Burbidge explains.
Former US Diplomat Ann Wright speaks to Kim Wilkinson on the need for whistleblowers and institutions like WikiLeaks, but stresses that in some instances secrecy is necessary, such as in peace-making negotiations.
Shi Yige examines different approaches to censorship in China, and argues that while internet controls might avail the leadership in the short term, they are unsustainable.
Leslie Green, a distinguished legal philosopher who has written extensively about issues of obscenity and pornography, challenges our case study on online porn filters.
How do we strike the right balance between freedom of expression and child protection? Sarah Glatte explores a proposal by the British government.
Political theorist Rob Reich discusses what adaptations we need as freedom of speech and association move increasingly from the offline to the online world. Can the old principles still apply in new circumstances?
The debate raised by revelations of NSA surveillance has drawn our attention to how we are being tracked online. Sebastian Huempfer describes a new tool to show us how those electronic cookies crumble.
Josh Black hears the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, discuss the quest for shared laws and standards.
A university librarian faced a lawsuit over a critical blog post about the publishing house Edwin Mellen Press but online solidarity won out. By Dominic Burbidge.
A globally-effective privacy regime is a realistic goal, argues Ian Brown. But it needs giants like Google to get behind it.
Nigel Warburton spoke with Timothy Garton Ash for Index on Censorship’s Free Speech Bites about the Free Speech Debate Project and global free speech standards.
The question of how best to respond to the unauthorised dissemination of copyright-protected expression over the internet has long troubled copyright owners. But the proposed solution of a Copyright Alert could potentially erode free speech, writes Graham Reynolds.
At the invitation of Index of Censorship and the Editors Guild of India, Timothy Garton Ash joins Kirsty Hughes at a panel discussion in Delhi with Shri Ajit Balakrishnan, Shri Sunil Abraham and Ramajit Singh Chima.
On 10 October 2012 the Canadian teenager Amanda Todd committed suicide after years of cyber-bullying and harassment. Judith Bruhn describes a shocking case.
The world of academic publishing stands at a crossroads with public institutions demanding open access to publicly funded research. Dominic Burbidge explores the difficulties that stand in the way.
In the landmark case of New York Times v Sullivan, in 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that criticism of public officials must be protected, even if some of the claims were inaccurate. Jeff Howard explains.
A new cybercrime law in the Philippines would give unfettered powers to the state to monitor internet users, take down websites and imprison citizens writes Purple S. Romero
Aryeh Neier, human rights lawyer and president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations speaks about the future of free speech.
Jerry Timmins describes a new report on media in two post-conflict societies, and argues that countries like Britain should do more to support them.
Facebook’s automatic detection of the word ‘Jude’ led to the blocking of A Hungarian anti-fascist group’s post. Tamas Szigeti explores the worrying implications of automatic filtering for freedom of speech.
At the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), authoritarian governments staked worrying claims. But the US-dominated model of non-governmental internet governance brings its own problems, writes Alison Powell. Beware of the Clinton Paradox.
Despite Brazil’s democratic accomplishments, laws used to regulate websites date from the 1960s, giving arbitrary power to the state. A proposed ‘Marco Civil da Internet’ has the capacity to change this, writes Marcos Todeschini.
Former MI5 agent Annie Machon speaks about how the internet has made things easier and safer for whistleblowers.
Former MI5 agent Annie Machon speaks about how the intelligence services need to increase internal oversight.
Former MI5 agent Annie Machon speaks about when it is in her opinion justified and necessary to break the Official Secrets Act
Former British MI5 agent Annie Machon revealed, together with David Shayler, alleged criminal behaviour within the agency. In an interview with Sebastian Huempfer she speaks about the need for official channels through which whistleblowers can voice their concerns.
Filippino journalist Marites Vitug speaks about her experience being charged with libel for her investigative journalism, freedom of the press in the Philippines and the new cybercrime law.
In 2008 two convicted murderers asked for their names to be removed from Wikipedia and other online media outlets, in accordance with German law. Does the individual’s right to be forgotten take priority over the public’s right to know?
Should Facebook automatically suggest who is in a photo? Sebastian Huempfer asks whether Facebook’s photo tagging software infringes the privacy of its users.
Dominic Burbidge discusses how Ushahidi’s transformative crowdsourcing techniques have alleviated crises in Kenya and beyond.
The Oxford Internet Institute’s Ian Brown writes from Azerbaijan, asking whether a country that suppresses online freedom should be allowed to host a gathering devoted to discussing it.
Aleph Molinari, founder of Fundación Proacceso ECO, speaks to Brian Pellot about why his Mexico-based non-profit organisation promotes information and communication technologies for development and why the internet should be considered a basic right.
A top Google executive was arrested in Brazil when the company refused to remove YouTube videos that made accusations against a local mayoral candidate. Felipe Correa discusses the case.
Type ‘Bettina Wulff’, the name of a former German president’s wife, into Google and the autocomplete function will add ‘escort’. Is this algorithmic addition a form of defamation? Sebastian Huempfer explores the case.
Russian social network VK launched six years ago and has since attracted 122 million users. But as Olga Shvarova explains, political and copyright crackdowns are limiting the free flow of information and ideas its users once enjoyed.
FSD user and regular commenter Luke Landau, a telecommunications engineer, argues the International Telecommunications Regulations are long overdue for an update.
In response to our sixth draft principle and whether violent intimidation has caused him to self-censor criticism of the government, Mansoor says: “The only limits that I put to myself are the ethical limits…I believe free speech is the prerequisite for any development to happen in any place and any country, and I’m driven totally by my passion and my love to this country”.
While in prison and since his release, Mansoor has been the target of online death threats, defamation campaigns and physical attacks. He says the government has done little to address these assaults.
Mansoor says his laptop was attacked by “a very sophisticated version of malware apparently that the authorities in the region have been using against individuals, which allows authorities to gain illegal access to someone’s emails and computer”.
Mansoor was sentenced to three years in prison but released after just seven months when the president pardoned him and the other four activists. He says media reports on their imprisonment “enlightened people about the reality of the case, because inside the UAE the campaign was really [a] smear [campaign]”.
One of the United Arab Emirate’s most prominent human rights activists, Ahmed Mansoor was imprisoned in 2011 for criticising the country’s leadership. Here he discusses the death threats, defamation campaigns and physical attacks he continues to face for speaking his mind.
FSD’s Katie Engelhart sat in on this Frontline Club debate to discuss controversy surrounding the YouTube video Innocence of Muslims.
In 2002 Wang Xiaoning was sent to prison for 10 years after Yahoo passed on personal information Chinese authorities used to identify him. Judith Bruhn explores a case of conflicting laws and moral expectations.
While a Pakistani minister offers a $100,000 reward for the murder of the man who made the notorious Innocence of Muslims video, a British Muslim responds in exemplary fashion to “this imbecile named Sam Bacile”. Timothy Garton Ash commends his clip.
Judith Bruhn explores the theory and practice of privacy in Europe and whether a court injunction was enough to salvage the Duchess of Cambridge’s privacy.
Join us to debate the role internet platforms like YouTube should play in setting free speech agendas in your country, your language and across the world. Online editor Brian Pellot kicks off the discussion.
Social media and satellite television played a crucial role in the Arab uprisings, but Daoud Kuttab argues community radio must be embraced to effect positive change in the region.
Eli Dourado provides an overview of what WCIT is and what’s at stake. He co-founded WCITLeaks to bring transparency to the ITU’s proceedings.
In July the ITU Governing Council released one summary document of proposed ITR amendments. Dourado says this move did not represent real transparency.
Dourado suspects only the most egregious proposals have been uploaded to WCITLeaks for fear that a mass upload could bring diplomatic backlash.
The WCITLeaks.org co-founder discusses how anonymous uploads to his website are shedding light on the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications.
Manav Bhushan, an Indian member of the Free Speech Debate team, makes the case for blocking hate-filled websites in his country.
The Swedish Pirate Party’s outspoken MEP explains why the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in July and discusses WCIT, the internet’s next four-letter foe.
What exactly was wrong with a historian publishing caustic anonymous reviews of his competitors’ books on Amazon? Katie Engelhart explores the issues raised by a tragic-comic case.
The speed and ubiquity of mobile devices have changed the context of “hate speech” online, writes Peter Molnar.
Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: the Dark Side of Internet Freedom, says that the internet has a liberating effect but has also boosted the power of governments to spy on citizens, spread propaganda and engage in cyberattacks.
Author Evgeny Morozov highlights the dangers that sometimes emerge when governments and corporations harness the internet to serve their own objectives.
Former investigative journalist Haiyan Wang describes the ways in which Chinese reporters push the boundaries of press freedom. Interview by Judith Bruhn.
Scott A Hale explores the effect of language in seeking and imparting information on the broader web.
Amendments approved by the senate of the Netherlands limit the ability of internet service providers to block or slow down applications and services on the internet, writes Graham Reynolds.
Open access publishing models are having a significant impact on the dissemination on scientific information but their impact on the developing world is uncertain, writes Jorge L Contreras.
While China’s human flesh search engines can help reveal government corruption they can also be used to humiliate ordinary citizens, writes Judith Bruhn.
In 2008, six British ISPs blocked access to a Wikipedia page featuring an album cover with an image of a prepubescent naked girl, writes Maryam Omidi.
The author of The Facebook Effect talks to FSD about privacy, anonymity whether the social network plans to go into China.
The online retailer has been criticised for profiting from ebooks featuring terror and violence. No one should tell us what to read, says Jo Glanville.
“Stretch friends” – individuals who are outside of your social circle online – will help break down cultural barriers.
To mark the launch of the St Antony’s International Review, a panel of experts discuss Ushahidi technology, academic journals in Latin America and the geographies of the world’s knowledge.
A panel of experts joins FSD Director Timothy Garton Ash at London’s Frontline Club to discuss some of the world’s most pressing free speech issues.
According to a new report, annual global internet traffic will increase nearly fourfold between 2011 and 2016, moving us into the zettabyte era, writes Maryam Omidi.
“People in Africa don’t have the freedom to speak freely and hold governments accountable,” says Nqobile Sibisi of Highway Africa’s Future Journalists Programme.
The director of international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation talks about the ethics and motivations of hacktivism.
This latest episode looks at the ethics of hacktivism, crowdsourcing in war zones and the right of Christians in the UK to wear the cross at work.
Punishing internet intermediaries for their content will have a chilling effect on free speech, says Kevin Bankston of the Centre for Democracy and Technology.
An academic, an NGO worker, a Member of European Parliament and an activist go head-to-head on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
EU member states should reform the data protection framework to address the realities of life in the Web 2.0 age, writes David Erdos
China may provide censorship tools to autocratic regimes in Africa, but western companies still dominate this market, writes Iginio Gagliardone, a post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed a law to punish readers of websites promoting terrorism and violence, writes Clementine de Montjoye.
Join Free Speech Debate and ARTICLE 19 in London on Thursday 3 May for a panel discussion on the impact of ACTA on global free expression
Egypt made more edits to Wikipedia than any other African country between 2010 and 2011, according to new research.
The secretive approach adopted by parties in negotiating the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement constrained the ability of the public to challenge limits on free expression, writes Graham Reynolds.
Liam Stacey, a 21-year-old student, was sentenced to 56 days in prison for posting racially offensive comments on Twitter, writes Maryam Omidi.
Online censorship is futile as it can almost always be circumvented, says Moez Chakchouk, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency.
The third episode of the On Free Speech podcast features exclusive interviews with filmmaker Nick Sturdee on the Russian art collective Voina and stand-up comedian Tom Greeves on the UK’s parody laws.
The former head of Al Jazeera denies allegations that the network was in any way partisan under his watch, a criticism frequently levelled at the broadcaster, which is funded by the emir of Qatar.
Lord Allan of Facebook and author Viktor Mayer-Schönberger wrangle over the social networking site’s real name policy, its claim to transparency and its use of personal data.
In 2010, the Hungarian prime minister passed a series of laws, giving excessive control over all private media to the government, writes Peter Bajomi-Lazar, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford.
How the Obama administration continues use of Bush-era powers to suppress legitimate debate about the needs of US national security. By Jeff Howard.
In the second part of this panel discussion just off Tahrir Square in Cairo, a panel of bloggers, journalists and human rights experts ask what are – and what should be – the limits to freedom of expression in Egypt today.
In this panel discussion just off Tahrir Square in Cairo, a panel of bloggers, journalists and human rights experts ask what are – and what should be – the limits to freedom of expression in Egypt today.
The co-founder of Global Voices discusses the nexus between governments, internet companies and citizens.
Belarus and Bahrain are the latest additions to the Reporters Without Borders’ “Enemies of the Internet” 2012 list while France and Australia are “under surveillance”.
The number of social networking sites around the world has fallen from 17 in June 2009 to six in December 2011, according to the latest Vincos map.
The second episode of FSD’s monthly podcast looks at free speech in India, internet censorship in China and Facebook’s attitude towards privacy.
The professor of political science says that while new technologies offer opportunities, they also lead to political and social polarisation.
In 2009, the Chinese authorities blocked access to the Berlin Twitter Wall from within China following a flood of tweets calling for an end to internet censorship, writes Judith Bruhn.
The professor of history at the American University in Cairo talks to FSD about the Egyptian military.
Naguib Sawiris was accused of contempt for tweeting an image of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, respectively sporting a bushy beard and veil, writes Jacob Amis
As of August 2012, Saudi Arabian writer Hamza Kashgari faced a trial for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter, writes Brian Pellot.
YouTube was banned for three years in Turkey on the grounds that certain videos were insulting to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the modern republic’s founder, or to “Turkishness”, write Funda Ustek and Irem Kok.
Is the age of privacy over? Lord (Richard) Allan from Facebook and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, author of Delete, go head to head on privacy and the right to be forgotten in the internet era.
The author of the Master Switch says that while the right to be forgotten is a good idea in theory, the reality is that it may hamper entrepreneurship in Europe.
In March 2011, a Berlin court ruled that Google Street View was not illegal after a private citizen filed a lawsuit, claiming the technology was an infringement of her property and privacy rights. Sebastian Huempfer looks at the case.
On July 23, 2011, two high-speed trains traveling on the Yongtaiwen railway line collided near the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou killing 40 people and injuring 191. A week later, all traces of the train accident had disappeared from newspaper and television programmes, writes Amy Qin.
The Grass Mud Horse Lexicon, a catalogue of subversive online witticisms in China, is an example of the unflagging creativity of the human spirit, writes Amy Qin.
The author of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires tells us why Facebook should not go into China and why Twitter’s new take-down policy may harm the microblog.
The chairman of the German Pirate Party talks about ACTA, the right to be forgotten and privacy in Germany.
The east should not simply follow the west, but jointly search for universal values, says Ying Chan, director of the journalism and media centre at Hong Kong University.
In part one of this interview with Timothy Garton Ash, Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute talks about the internet and freedom of expression, net neutrality, internet service providers and censorship by both democratic and autocratic governments.
For those of you who missed it first time round, here’s Timothy Garton Ash, director of Free Speech Debate, speaking to the Wikipedia co-founder, a day after the encyclopedia’s English pages were blacked out in protest against two anti-piracy bills in the US. They talk about SOPA and PIPA, the controversial Muhammad cartoons and Wikipedia’s decision to go dark.
The founder of the free software movement talks about internet giants Google and Facebook, Creative Commons and internet freedom.
Private powers are not a “large threat” to free speech, the Canadian lawyer and publisher tells Katie Engelhart.
The Stop Online Piracy Act is currently being debated in the US house of representatives. Brian Pellot considers the potential consequences of the bill.
US blogger Joe Gordon was sentenced to two and a half years in a Thai prison for publishing links on his blog to an unauthorised biography of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A case study by Maryam Omidi.