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Save the date - "Free speech in a hyper connected world" - 9 October 2012, Brussels


Save the date: 9 October 2012

Panel discussion: "Free speech in a hyper connected world"

European Parliament,Brussels

Room ASP A1E-2

09.30 - 11.30 hours

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Rapid technological developments make people across the world hyper-connected to each other, and to information. To over 2 billion citizens worldwide the internet has become both a public space and a marketplace.

As people worldwide connect to online services they transcend traditional borders of nation states, and defy traditional concepts of jurisdiction. This creates opportunities for enjoying human rights, fostering development, trade and innovation.

New technologies and the internet have proven powerful forces of change, innovation and civil empowerment. But also affect concepts of security and morality - domains traditionally closely linked to nation states and not yet adapted to the new global borderlessness.

After violent protests by extremists in reaction to the “Innocence of Muslims” video, the question whether or not YouTube should take this video offline after political pressure has been fiercely debated.

Beyond the tragic incidents of the past weeks, a broader question remains:

Which role should companies and governments play in a hyper connected world?

How to ensure that our rights and freedoms online, either as individuals or as a part of an internet public, are best protected and preserved?

As the Parliament's Rapporteur for a report on 'A Digital Freedom Strategy in EU foreign policy', and on 'Press and Media Freedom in the World' I therefore cordially invite you to participate in the discussion.

The panel:

  1. H.E. Mr. William E. Kennard, US Ambassador to the EU (video);
  2. H.E. Mr. Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesian Ambassador to the EU;
  3. Mr. Bill Echikson, Head of Free Expression Policy and PR,Europe, Middle East & Africa, Google;
  4. Ms. prof. mr. dr. Mireille. Hildebrandt, Chair of Smart Environments, Data Protection and the Rule of Law at the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS) at Radboud University Nijmegen, 'Centre for Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS), Vrije Universiteit Brussel;
  5. Mr. Kustaw Bessems, Journalist, editor of 'Vonk' at Dutch newspaper 'de Volkskrant';
  6. Mr. Sameer Padania, Media Programme at Open Society Foundation in London.

You can register as of today at by sending us your:

full name,  nationality, email address, id document number, date of birth