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06/06/2019 @ 12:30 - 14:00

The internet was designed to be a kind of free-speech paradise, but it now actually facilitates control by companies and governments: censorship, abuse, repression, disinformation, and surveillance. And it  allows for the viral spread of dangerous speech that incites violence and hatred—as well as disinformation and lies.

What can be done? Should the giant social media platforms police content themselves, as is the norm in the United States, or should governments and international organizations regulate the internet, as is the case in parts of Europe? How do we keep from helping authoritarian regimes to censor all criticisms of themselves?

Join UN special rapporteur David Kaye in a discussion of these issues and more, all set forth in his new book, Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet, in which he takes us behind the scenes, from Facebook’s “mini-legislative” meetings to the European Commission’s closed-door negotiations, and introduces us to journalists, activists, and content moderators whose stories bring clarity and urgency to these topics.

Kaye is joined, and challenged, by Lynn Oberlander, general counsel of one of the largest digital news companies in the United States, and Mishi Choudhary, who litigates internet free speech and privacy cases in both the United States and India. The conversation will be moderated by Sandra Coliver of the Open Society Justice Initiative.


  • David Kaye, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and a University of California law professor, is a central figure in the discussion of internet issues.
  • Lynn Oberlander is executive vice president and general counsel of Gizmodo Media Group.
  • Mishi Choudhary is the founding executive director of SFLC.in, a legal services organization based in New Delhi working to protect freedom in the digital world, and is the legal director at Software Freedom Law Center in New York.
  • Sandra Coliver leads the Open Society Justice Initiative’s work on civic space, litigating, and building the capacity of advocates to defend and strengthen the rights to protest, freely associate, and access and expose information of public interest.


Open Society Foundation, New York
224 West 57th Street
New York, United States
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