Every Tuesday, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society  hosts a public lunch gathering in our conference room in Boston. Each session involves a short presentation by a guest speaker or one of our community members, talking about a challenge that emerges from his or her current work. We are excited to partner with Global Voices to bring these presentations to a wider audience.
Title: Internet Censorship and the Remembrance of Infowars Past 
Date: February 26, 12:30pm ET
Presenter: Jon Penney 
With Internet censorship on the rise around the world, organizations and researchers have developed and distributed a variety of tools to assist Internet users to both monitor and circumvent such censorship. This talk will examine more closely some of the international law and politics of such censorship resistance activities through three case studies involving past global communications censorship and information conflicts— telegraph cable cutting and suppression, high frequency radio jamming, and direct broadcast satellite blocking— and the world community’s response to these conflicts. In addition to illustrating some of the legal, political, and security concerns that have animated historical instances of global communications censorship, the talk will aim to extrapolate lessons and insights for Internet censorship (and its resistance) today, such as the legality of censorship and its circumvention, the effectiveness of monitoring efforts, and the role of international institutions in disrupting (or facilitating) communications.
Jon is a lawyer, Research Fellow at the Citizen Lab / Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, and a doctoral student in information communication sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where his interdisciplinary research explores regulatory chilling effects online.
In 2011, he was a Google Policy Fellow at the Citizen Lab–where he helped lead the ONI Transparency Project while contributing to projects like the Information Warfare Monitor–and, at Oxford, was Project Coordinator for the Privacy Value Networks Project, a large scale EPSRC funded research project on data privacy. A native Nova Scotian and graduate of Dalhousie University, he studied at Columbia Law School as a Fulbright Scholar and Oxford as a Mackenzie King Scholar, where he was Associate Editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal. He has also worked as a federal attorney, policy advisor, and taught law at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
His research interests include constitutional/human rights law, intellectual property, and digital media policy & culture, particularly where these areas intersect with censorship, privacy, and security.
Follow Jon on Twitter: @jon_penney