The last few years have seen an alarming number of countries curb press freedoms. Disconcerting reports from countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Azerbaijan tell of free speech activists being imprisoned for arbitrary reasons. Simultaneously, western and eastern superpowers alike have taken a stand against encryption and whistleblowing, both key elements for a world where governments and corporations can be held accountable for their actions.
UNESCO World Press Freedom day is a yearly event that tackles these issues by bringing together global leaders in politics, academia, activism and media. This truly star-studded event will take place on May 3-5th, and is held in F-Secure’s home town of Helsinki this year. Here are just some of amazing talks and events taking place, and some you can even stream live from anywhere in the world! With F-Secure as official partners to UNESCO, the Freedome team will also be reporting live from the event, bringing you constant updates even from non-streamed events on our Twitter channel @FreedomeVPN.
Protecting Your Rights: Surveillance Overreach, Data Protection, and Online Censorship
May 3rd, 13:00-14:45 CET, Livestream: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/resources/multimedia/webcast
In an event with so much star power you’ll almost need sunglasses, our very own CRO Mikko Hyppönen, perhaps the world’s leading public speaker on privacy matters, will give a keynote about issues such as the “fight over our online privacy and the escalating cyber arms race”. The associated panel discussion will be hosted by Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent for CNN and one of the most recognized and influential journalists in the world.
Why it’s relevant in 2016: This discussion will span a wide range of touchpoints which affect all of us, no matter what kind of society or part of the world we live in. This is echoed by an extremely interesting and diverse panel which includes experts from four continents, including Lina Attalah, co-founder of independent Egyptian newspaper Mada Masr and Danilo Doneda, Professor of Law at State University of Rio De Janeiro.
Can tweets recruit for terror? Understanding radicalization in the social media sphere
May 3rd, 15:15 – 16:45
This talk should interest anyone with even a passing interest in geopolitics, social media and propaganda as a tool and the power that social media has to disseminate information and radicalize individuals. The discussion is moderated by Patrick H. Leusch, among other things managing director of the Global media forum, a yearly conference on media and foreign policy organized by Deutsche Welle.
Why is it relevant in 2016: Destructive radicalism has always found fertile ground on the internet, where like-minded individuals can come together and even outcasts or those with fringe ideas can find somewhere where they feel like they belong. Even so, there is something chillingly disciplined about the command that modern militant radicals such as ISIS have in their use of social media, virality and other modern forms of propaganda to further their malevolent causes. Inequality and hardships faced by migrants have further fueled the fire of this issue which has no easy answers. So expect fascinating and valuable input from an expert panel with representatives from countries such as Syria, Kuwait and Tunisia.
Whistleblowers’ and Journalists’ Source Protection
May 3rd, 09:30 – 12:00 CET
We at F-Secure have a long history of championing the open availability of encryption for individual use, not just corporations and the intelligence community. One of the key benefits of encryption is that it enables whistleblowing in a world where communications are more and more monitored. This discussion on encryption and journalists’ source protection is moderated by Barbora Bukovska, a lawyer who directs British human rights organization Article 19 and tireless advocate of human rights issues across the board (she has brought over 50 cases to the European court of human rights).
Why it’s relevant in 2016:
Making whistleblowing easier benefits society as a whole. There has never been a wider consensus over this than after the release of the Panama papers. Corporations and governments need to be held accountable for their actions, and sadly this is often enabled solely by brave individuals who want to bring to light the wrongs they see around them. Among participating panelists are Rana Sabbagh, Executive Director for Arab reporters for investigative journalism and David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection the right to freedom of opinion and expression.