Over a decade ago in Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012), Rebecca MacKinnon outlined a number of challenges in holding the "sovereigns of cyberspace" (global internet intermediaries) accountable to the public interest. Her policy recommendations centered around corporate accountability frameworks, human rights standards for governments and private sector alike, multistakeholder internet governance, and the need for a global culture of digital citizenship and activism. In this talk she reflects on what progress has - and has not - been made across a fast-evolving digital and geopolitical landscape. She draws on her own professional experience as a digital rights advocate, policy entrepreneur, and cross-disciplinary research scholar to suggest some research questions and policy recommendations.
Rebecca MacKinnon is Vice President, Global Advocacy at the Wikimedia Foundation, working to promote and defend a legal and regulatory landscape essential to the future of free knowledge globally. Previously she was Founding Director of Ranking Digital Rights, a research program at New America that sets global standards for corporate respect for freedom of expression and privacy online. Author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom (2012), she is co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, and is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative. Between 1998-2004 she was CNN’s Bureau Chief in Beijing and Tokyo. She has taught at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Pennsylvania, and held fellowships at Harvard, Princeton, the Open Society Foundations, and the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. She holds an AB magna cum laude in Government from Harvard and was a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan.