The Battle for the Spirit of the Internet: Democratic Norms vs. Digital Authoritarianism
On 21 October, Thorsten Wetzling joined the panel "The Battle for the Spirit of the Internet: Democratic Norms vs. Digital Authoritarianism", together with panelists Lindsay Gorman (Senior Policy Advisor - Technology Strategy, The White House), Fergus Hanson (Director, International Cyber Policy Centre, Australian Strategic Policy Institute), Chitra Subramaniam (Founder, CSD Consulting), and Saikat Datta (Co-Founder, DeepStrat) as moderator.
The internet was once a bastion of unfettered free speech. Further, a narrative existed that internet penetration in authoritarian countries would lead to the export of democratic values. However, in recent years, a global trend has been emerging of authoritarian countries harnessing the power of the internet to curb civil liberties, dissent and free speech. Further, the so-called “authoritarian model” of the internet is being exported to developing nations under authoritarian regimes, giving them access to powerful surveillance and censorship tools. What challenges does the rise of this authoritarian form of the internet pose for democracies?
You can find a recording of the discussion here.