Can authoritarianism survive the Internet? Yes it can...

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Keynote lecture at the World Press Freedom Committee annual luncheon.
More details here:
http://www.i-times.org/interesting_times/2009/12/a-month-ago-many-of-us-celebrated-the-20th-anniversary-of-the-fall-of-the-berlin-wall-in-the-run-up-to-the-celebrations-a-ge.html

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Can authoritarianism survive the Internet? Yes it can...

  1. 1. Cybertarianism: China and the future of the Internet a talk to the World Press Freedom Committee by Rebecca MacKinnon Open Society Fellow Co-founder, Global Voices Online (globalvoicesonline.org)
  2. 2. The Berlin “twitter” wall
  3. 3. The “Great Firewall” in action
  4. 4. Authoritarianism has evolved.
  5. 5. Chinaʼs cultural loss of control: “Back dorm boys” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2HOD-nrOY8
  6. 6. Chinaʼs cultural loss of control: “Back dorm boys” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2HOD-nrOY8
  7. 7. Cyber-vigilantism “Human flesh search engines”
  8. 8. Internet heroine Deng Yujiao
  9. 9. Guangdong Provincial Govt. forum with “netizens” - Oct. 2009
  10. 10. Prime Minister Wen Jiabaoʼs 2-hour live chat with “netizens”
  11. 11. Glasnost?
  12. 12. Glasnost? Not so fast...
  13. 13. Glasnost? Not so fast... Wang Xiaofeng: people are getting too emotional .. “...without a proper [political] structure all Premier Wen can do is interact with people on an emotional level...”
  14. 14. Glasnost? Not so fast... Wang Xiaofeng: “Due to certain problems Wang Xiaofengʼs blog is people are getting too closed temporarily (for a few days)” emotional .. “...without a proper [political] structure all Premier Wen can do is interact with people on an emotional level...”
  15. 15. Imprisoned Online political organizers Liu Xiaobo Huang Qi Tan Zuoren Zeng Jinyan & Hu Jia
  16. 16. Censorship by Chinese blog-hosting companies Tianya blog service: Blog post about “Tiananmen Mothers”
  17. 17. CENSORED Your post “Tiananmen mothers organization publishes a website” has been successfully submitted! Because it contains sensitive words, please wait for the community editors to approve it. Please donʼt re-post. Thank you.
  18. 18. Website “self discipline” awards
  19. 19. “Fifty Cent party” paid & volunteer web commentators
  20. 20. Cyber-nationalism
  21. 21. Riot in Wengʼan county, Guizhou province, Julyʼ08 Summer 2008 marked a shift in official media strategy: let official news agencies cover bad breaking stories to get the official version out quickly, then censor unofficial versions.
  22. 22. Networked authoritarianism: “cyber-tarianism” President Hu Jintao (June 2008): “We pay great attention to suggestions and advice from our netizens. ...The web is an important channel for us to understand the concerns of the public and assemble the wisdom of the public.”
  23. 23. Networked authoritarianism: “cyber-tarianism” President Hu Jintao (June 2008): “We pay great attention to suggestions and advice from our netizens. ...The web is an important channel for us to understand the concerns of the public and assemble the wisdom of the public.” • “Authoritarian deliberation” (Yongnian Zheng) Technological Empowerment: The Internet, State, and Society in China http://video.sina.com.cn/news/c/v/2008-06-20/105617742.shtml
  24. 24. Internet & telecommunications: key to Chinaʼs global competitiveness
  25. 25. Chinaʼs “Green Dam” filtering software - ostensibly for child protection
  26. 26. ...and in the UK... "All computers should be provided with net filtering software loaded - and the default position for such filters should be on." --Miranda Suit, co- founder, Mediamarch As quoted in The Register, 11 June 2009: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/11/censorship_middle_way/print.html Photo source: http://www.christianchoice.cpaparty.org.uk/?page=map&id=10
  27. 27. Security vs. Liberty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Libra2.jpg
  28. 28. We are building a global layer between citizens and government Government Citizen
  29. 29. We are building a global layer between citizens and government Government Web & IT services Citizen
  30. 30. We are building a global layer between citizens and government Government Web & IT services Citizen
  31. 31. We are building a global layer between citizens and government Government Web & IT services Citizen
  32. 32. Global “Internet Governance” Bodies • Law enforcement • Child protection • Intellectual property • Free expression? http://www.flickr.com/photos/seiitiarata/4124482654/in/set-72157622728072417
  33. 33. IGF 2009: Open Net Initiativeʼs censorship poster censored http://twitpic.com/pmaku
  34. 34. Suzanne Mubarak presents “cyber peace initiative” "Preparing Young Generations in the Digital Age: A Shared Responsibility." MOU with Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI): “demonstrates the huge strides the Egyptian Government has made in creating a safer, better Internet for its citizens” - David Miles, FOSI Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seiitiarata/4114084863/in/pool-1062424@N22 MOU press release: http://smwipm.cyberpeaceinitiative.org/downloads/0000/0309/Press_release_Fosi_CPI.pdf Ministry press release: http://www.mcit.gov.eg/PressreleaseDetailes.aspx?id=8kObd0NVYzg=&scroll=Releases
  35. 35. Egyptʼs Internet: safe for young people who support Mubarak..
  36. 36. Egyptʼs Internet: safe for young people who support Mubarak..
  37. 37. Egyptʼs Internet: safe for young people who support Mubarak..
  38. 38. Where are we going? “Authoritarian “Democratic Countries” Countries”
  39. 39. Where are we going? “Authoritarian “Democratic Countries” Countries”
  40. 40. Where are we going? “Authoritarian “Democratic Countries” Countries”
  41. 41. Where are we going? “Authoritarian “Democratic Countries” Countries”
  42. 42. Where are we going? ? “Authoritarian “Democratic Countries” Countries”
  43. 43. Brandenburg Gate Nov. 9, 2009 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U2_at_the_Brandenburg_Gate.jpg

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