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Protecting the fundamental rights of information and expression

The values of liberal democracy are firmly rooted in freedom of expression and information. These vital pillars of society however need to be protected as technology shifts the channels of information and new methods of control are applied. The current state of these fundamental rights in the digital world is on the agenda at the 2014 Global Media Forum.

The international human rights organization, Amnesty International, in cooperation with the German Institute for Human Rights, will cover these issues in a talk titled An ice age for privacy? The rights to free speech, information and privacy versus mass surveillance. The discussion will emphasize how privacy of information is essential to preserving freedom of expression by looking at examples such as Edward Snowden blowing the whistle on the NSA’s digital surveillance and exposing institutional violations of privacy. The talk also explores how to protect the media and whistleblowers and how much privacy must be exchanged in the name of security.

Reporters Without Borders will host a discussion on how digital technology enables journalists to reach sources and gather news more effectively while at the same time endangering their ability to keep that information secure. The talk titled strengthening freedom of information and source protection worldwide, will highlight methods used by journalists to protect their information while analyzing the motivations of so-called “enemies of the Internet”, who use digital technology for censorship rather than the diffusion of information.

Blogs have grown from being an informal method of online expression into a real force in sharing information, especially outside traditional channels which in certain cases are censored and controlled. In a talk hosted by IREX Europe titled The rise of citizen journalism and its impact on traditional journalism in Russia, the state of the blogosphere will be analyzed with a focus on Russian bloggers. Special emphasis will be placed on the Internet as a “digital battlefield” with new laws being used to restrict online freedom of information as online activists fight to be heard.

Next week we will look at selected examples of specific techniques and technologies that are being used in digital media and journalism.


2014-06-11 | 2:17



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