Most English-language discussions about "the future of the Internet" approach the subject from an Anglo-American and European perspective. But what if you take China - now with the world's largest number of Internet users, fast-growing technology sector, and a strong voice in global Internet governance debates - as your starting point for thinking about where the global Internet is headed? What are the implications for global free expression? How can citizens of different countries, who speak different languages and come from different political traditions, work together more effectively to protect and hopefully even expand freedoms? I am in the very early stages of writing a book exploring these questions and look forward to picking the brains of Berkmania.
Rebecca MacKinnon is cofounder of Global Voices, a global citizen media network, and an assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre, where she teaches online journalism and conducts research on the Internet, China, and censorship. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, she was previously CNN bureau chief in Beijing and in Tokyo.
She is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, an initiative to advance freedom of expression and privacy in the Internet and telecoms sectors. She was also public lead in 2007 and 2008 for Creative Commons Hong Kong. She has previously been a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where she focused on blogs and participatory online media in international news, and at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
As an Open Society Fellow, MacKinnon is writing a book, tentatively titled Internet Freedom and Control: Lessons from China for the World.
Read more about MacKinnon on her blog, RConversation.
Last updated March 26, 2009