Governments, Gatekeepers and Journalists: What’s Next in the Struggle for Internet Governance

April 24, 2013
12:00 pm - 02:00 pm


Laura DeNardis (@LauraDeNardis)
American University

Ross LaJeunesse

Katherine Maher (@krmaher)
Access Now

Christopher Painter (@C_Painter)
U.S. Department of State

Carolina Rossini (@carolinarossini)
Group for Public Policies on Access to Information

Introductory remarks by:

Carl Gershman
National Endowment for Democracy (@NEDemocracy)

Angela Greiling Keane (@agreilingkeane, @NPCPresident)
Bloomberg News
National Press Club

Moderated by:

Marguerite Sullivan
Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy (@CIMA_Media)

About the event

Last December, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) convened U.N. member states for the World Conference on International Telecommunications.

The meeting highlighted deep divisions among governments between a top-down, centralized, international regulatory structure for the Internet and a multi-stakeholder model. At the close of the conference, the majority of states approved a treaty that leaves the door open for the ITU to play a role in regulating the Internet in the future.

The treaty does not go into effect until 2015, but it could provide legal cover and legitimacy for countries such as Iran and China, which exert a heavy hand in filtering and censoring Internet content. Internet governance will continue to be a key debate in upcoming conferences, including the World Summit on the Information Society and the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.

How do the complex power dynamics among governments, corporations, and citizens affect freedom of expression online? What is at stake in the debate on who regulates the Internet for journalists and press freedom advocates?

The panel discussion was held at the National Press Club on Internet regulatory frameworks and the state of global Internet freedom ahead of World Press Freedom Day.

About the participants

Laura DeNardis is an associate professor in the School of Communication at American University. An Internet governance scholar, her books include Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability (MIT Press, 2011); Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (MIT Press, 2009); Information Technology in Theory (Thompson, 2007 with Pelin Aksoy); and the forthcoming book The Global War for Internet Governance (Yale University Press). She is an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and served as its executive director from 2008-2012. DeNardis is a co-founder and co-series editor of the MIT Press information society book series. She serves as the vice-chair of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network. DeNardis has more than two decades of experience as a consultant on Internet governance and architecture to Fortune 500 companies, foundations, and government agencies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Dartmouth College, a master’s degree in engineering from Cornell University, a doctorate in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from Yale Law School.

Carl Gershman is president of the National Endowment for Democracy, a private, congressionally supported grant-making institution with the mission to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. In addition to presiding over the endowment’s grants program in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America, he has overseen the creation of the quarterly Journal of Democracy, International Forum for Democratic Studies, and the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program. He also took the lead in New Delhi in 1999 in launching the World Movement for Democracy, which is a global network of democracy practitioners and scholars. Currently, Gershman is overseeing the response of the NED and its related institutes to the revolutionary changes in the Middle East and also helping to mobilize support for activists working for greater freedom in authoritarian countries.

Angela Greiling Keane is the 2013 National Press Club president and a Washington-based reporter for Bloomberg News. She covers transportation, focusing on the auto and rail industries, and the U.S. Postal Service. She won the Washington Automotive Press Association’s Golden Quill award in 2013 and was a finalist in 2012 for a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism. As National Press Club president, her priorities include global press freedom and government transparency challenges in the U.S. Greiling Keane serves on the board of the National Press Club Journalism Institute and is a member of the Journalism and Women Symposium. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Before joining Bloomberg in 2007, Angela reported for Traffic World, a trade magazine covering freight transportation, and as a Washington correspondent for Small Newspaper Group newspaper chain, writing primarily for the Rochester Post-Bulletin (Minnesota).

Ross LaJeunesse is global head of free expression and international relations at Google. Before joining Google, LaJeunesse was deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. There, he developed and executed the governor’s policy agenda, overseeing a range of issues from education reform to economic development. Prior to his appointment in the Schwarzenegger administration, LaJeunesse was chief of staff to California Controller Steve Westly, the state’s chief financial officer. He began his career as an assistant to U.S. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell and later served as Senator Edward Kennedy’s chief advisor for reinventing government, as well as national and community service issues. LaJeunesse received his law degree with honors from the Harvard Law School. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a degree in Asian studies.

Katherine Maher is the director of strategy and communications for Access Now, where she develops the organization’s advocacy and partnerships and oversees external communications. Prior to joining Access Now, she worked with the World Bank to launch the Open Development Technology Alliance, and served as program officer for Internet freedom projects at the National Democratic Institute. Maher was a founding member of the UNICEF innovation team, where she led digital rights policies for youth participation and health programming. She is a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, where she received the organization’s inaugural Democracy and Human Rights Initiative Research Fellowship, and is a member of its cybersecurity and Middle East expert groups. Her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Atlantic, and the Guardian, and she is a contributor to the forthcoming State Power 2.0: Authoritarian Entrenchment and Political Engagement Worldwide (Ashgate, 2013). She is on the advisory board of the Open Technology Fund, Masterpeace, and the Youth for Technology Foundation. Maher studied at the American University in Cairo, Institut Français du Proche-Orient (Damascus), and New York University.

Christopher Painter is the coordinator for cyber issues at the U.S. Department of State. Before that, he served in the White House as senior director for cybersecurity policy on the National Security Council staff. There, he was a senior member of the team that conducted President Obama’s cyberspace policy review, then served as acting cybersecurity coordinator. As coordinator, he led the development of a forthcoming international strategy for cyberspace and chaired high-level interagency groups. Painter began his federal career as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, where he led high profile cybercrime prosecutions, including that of Kevin Mitnick, one of the most wanted computer criminals in the United States in the 20th century. He helped lead the policy efforts of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the U.S. Department of Justice and served as deputy assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Division. Painter has represented the United States in numerous international fora, including chairing the G-8 Subgroup on High Tech Crime since 2002, and has been a frequent spokesman and presenter on cyber issues around the globe. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Cornell University.

Carolina Rossini is a Brazilian attorney with expertise in intellectual property, internet governance and law, and open innovation strategies. She is a fellow at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition/Association of Research Libraries, where she heads its strategy to foster open access to research in Latin America. She is also a fellow at the Group for Public Policies on Access to Information at University of São Paulo (GPOPAI-USP), where she is leading research on open innovation. She is a board member of the Brazilian Internet Institute and a member of the advisory board for Open Knowledge Foundation Brazil and for the IDRC-Research for Open Educational Resources (OER) Network. She is an affiliate tutor to DiploFoundation and co-author of its online courses on Internet governance. Rossini is the founder of OER-Brazil, which works with policymakers and institutions to enact open access and open educational resource polices in Brazil and beyond. Most recently, Rossini was the international intellectual property director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Before that, she was a global team strategy consultant for the Wikimedia Foundation shaping strategies to increase community engagement and foundation presence in Brazil. From 2008-2010, she was a visiting fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society coordinating the industrial cooperation project. Before moving to the United States, Rossini was part of the Brazilian creative commons team at Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School and was a lecturer in intellectual property. Rossini earned a master’s degree in intellectual property from Boston University, a master’s degree in international negotiations from the Sao Paulo State University-UNESP, a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Sao Paulo, and an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa-IE in Spain, among other degrees.