Censorship and State Repression of Online Speech

Although the Internet is a global medium, the vast majority of its rules are imposed by State actors. Across much of the Global South, governments face a tension between their desire to harness the economic and social energies associated with Internet access, and its potential to empower opposition voices, whistleblowers, and civil society. The end result is often repressive content rules, including vague or otherwise abusive provisions targeting freedom of speech. This session discussed Internet censorship in Pakistan, in order to offer a window into how governments seek to curtail the Internet’s expressive benefits, and the nexus between regulatory debates taking place in the United States and European Union, and how the outcomes of these discussions ripple around the world. Our guest, Farieha Aziz, is a leading voice for digital rights in Pakistan, and around the world.

Speaker: Farieha Aziz, co-founder of Bolo Bhi, a civil society organization geared towards advocacy, policy, and research in the areas of digital rights and civic responsibility

Moderator: Michael Karanicolas, Institute for Technology, Law & Policy at UCLA Law