A Disturbing Reality Check: how open is the internet?

Hivos workshop about freedom of expression

In Europe we take free access to the web, IP telephony like Skype and e-mail very much for granted. You get on line and expect it to be there and working. Yet, in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Iran and China access to the internet is getting more and more restricted as the governments build firewalls around content they don't approve of.

The technology to empower the citizen, but also blocking access and filtering content, is getting more sophisticated by the month. Is the internet in danger of becoming much less open, transparent and therefore useful? The main questions for this workshop are: how to guard freedom of expression on line? How to support (citizen) journalists reporting and publishing their opinions without fear of censorship or persecution? Are there ways of balancing the good and evil aspects of the web, or is it just a reflection of society in general?

Join our distinguished guests for a lively, interactive discussion with the audience (no keynotes or monologues we promise!) and get a reality check without the hype.

With among others:

- Jonathan Marks, consultant/researcher social media


- Evgeny Morozov, new media director Transitions OnLine


- Bektour Iskender, director youth portal Kloop in Kyrgystan (www.kloop.kg)

- Jeroen de Kloet, University of Amsterdam, about China and the Olympic Games (home.tiscali.nl/jeroendekloet)

- Sami Ben Gharbia (coordinator bloggers community Global Voices OnLine) (globalvoicesonline.org)

- Eefje Blankevoort, Webcamstories from China, Tunesia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan (www.prospektor.nl)

Hivos is a Dutch non-governmental organisation inspired by humanist values.

Raamweg 16, The Hague

Tel: +31 (0)70 3765500

Contactpersons: Monique Doppert/Paul Maassen


Full report of this meeting (Dutch)