LSE Media Group and Reporters Without Frontiers Debate
Date: Tuesday 28 November 2006
Time: 6.30 - 7.45pm
Venue: New Theatre, E171, East Building
Speakers: Professor Hugo de Burgh, Judy Lin, Julien Pain, Dr Yuwen Wu
Chair: Sheena McDonald
Professor Hugo de Burgh is the author of 'China: Friend or Foe'. Judy Lin is Reuters journalist from Taipei posted in Beijing. Julien Pain is the Head of Internet Freedom desk, Reporters Without Borders. Dr Yuwen Wu is the editor of news and current affairs, Chinese Service, BBC World Service.
"We apologise, the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral value of the country."
A study by the Harvard Law School* showed that of the 200,000 internet sites tested, over 19,000 were inaccessible inside China. The panel will discuss what internet users in countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Vietnam, Tunisia, Egypt and Cuba experience: searches filtered out thanks to the use of increasingly sophisticated systems supplied to the authorities of these countries by mostly American firms.
The internet has long outgrown its origins as a network run by and for computer specialists. Its new modes of expression such as personal websites, blogs and discussion groups, have given an unprecedented voice to people who were once passive consumers of information. But have new modes of repression also developed? Should technology that can be used to exercise censorship on the internet be encouraged? How much should we care that political use is made of the internet? Do we agree with the argument that it is better to have censored search engines in China than none at all? Should companies like Google or Yahoo! use their power to negotiate with and change the terms in which they operate in countries with repressive governments?
(*The study Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China was carried out in May 2002 through November 2002 by Jonathan Zittrain and Benjamin Edelman. Support for this project was provided by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.)
This event is produced by Francesca Valli, Jean-Baptiste Damestoy and Angel Brown.
This is event is open to all. It is free for LSE Media Group members, LSE staff and students. £5 flat rate otherwise, payable on door.
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