An open and free Internet is widely seen as essential to journalists to both conduct their reporting and to disseminate their work. But a worsening trend of authoritarian and illiberal governments moving to erect digital firewalls and cut off Internet access, particularly during times of natural disaster or political crisis, is imperiling the ability of large swaths of the global population to stay informed and for journalists to track critical news developments.
More countries than ever in 2022 saw Internet shutdowns, with at least 187 incidents documented across 35 countries, according to the digital rights group Access Now.
The National Press Club’s Press Freedom Committee and the Institute offered a deep dive discussion during Sunshine Week on the worrying spread of Internet kill switches and what it specifically means for a free press.
- Ksenia Ermoshina, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto and Center for Internet and Society
- Natalia Krapiva, tech-legal counsel for digital rights watchdog group Access Now
- Nat Kretchun, senior vice president for programs at the Open Technology Fund, part of the U.S. taxpayer-funded U.S. Agency for Global Media
- Moderator: Rachel Oswald, National Press Club press freedom team lead and a foreign policy reporter for CQ Roll Call
- Weapons of control, shields of impunity: Internet shutdowns in 2022 (Access Now)
- Examining the expanding web of Chinese and Russian information controls (Open Technology Fund)
- Francisco Partners-owned Sandvine profits from shutdowns and oppression in Belarus (Access Now)
- CENO: The world’s first mobile browser that side-steps current Internet censorship methods
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