Roundtable at Uppsala University: “Internet, Dissent and Authoritarianism”

“Internet, Dissent and Authoritarianism: Control and Resistance in an Era of Social Media”

Uppsala Forum on Peace, Democracy and Justice, Uppsala University

Co-organized with the Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University

Time: Wednesday, April 20, 10.15-12.00.
Place: Sal 1, Gamla Torget 3, Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Panel:
Walid Al-Saqaf (Yemeni anti-censorship activist, PhD candidate, Örebro University)

Andrew Lewman (Executive Director of The Tor Project)

Christian Christensen (Professor of Media and Communication Studies, Uppsala University)

Recent events in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen have raised a number of fundamental questions regarding the relationship between citizens, technology and the state. While exciting, phrases such as “Facebook Revolutions” mask the complex social, political and technical factors underlying political upheaval. In this panel discussion, these issues will be discussed, with a particular focus on the issue of state censorship and freedom of speech.

Walid Al-Saqaf is a Yemeni activist, software engineer and scholar. During 1999-2005, he was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Yemen Times which was founded by his father in 1990. Since 2009, he has been a PhD candidate at Örebro University in Sweden, where he teaches online investigative journalism and web design. In 2010, he won a TED fellowship and the 2010 Democracy award of Örebro University for research and activism in fighting censorship. His current projects include Yemen Portal, a news aggregator focused on Yemen, and Alkasir, a censorship circumvention software solution that allows Internet users to access certain informational websites blocked in their countries.
Christian Christensen is Professor of Media and Communications Studies in the Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University. Christensen is the editor or co-editor of a number of forthcoming books, including Twitter Revolutions: Political Activism and Dissent in an Age of Social Media (2012), Online Territories: Mediated Practice and Social Space (2011) and Understanding Media and Culture in Turkey: Structures, Spaces, Voices (2011). He is the guest editor of a forthcoming issue (2011) of the journal The Communication Review entitled “Twitter Revolutions Addressing Social Media and Dissent”.
Andrew Lewman is the Executive Director of The Tor Project, a non-profit organization providing research and free software that protects your online privacy and anonymity. Lewman manages The Tor Project’s business operations, support, and advocacy roles while also serving on its board of directors. He has worked on projects with the National Science Foundation, Internews Network, Freedom House, Google, Broadcasting Board of Governors, National Network to End Domestic Violence, and the US State Department.

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About chrchristensen
Christian Christensen is Professor of Journalism at Stockholm University, Sweden.

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