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The Internet Kill Switch: Is Online Access a Right?

Complete video at: Eric Blantz, senior director of Inveneo, analyzes the idea of an internet kill switch from a human rights perspective. He argues that until there is a way to make a kill switch that is "democratically and responsibly controlled," Internet access needs to be protected as a human right. ----- As the 2007 protests in Burma, the 2009-2010 post-election demonstrations in Iran, and recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have stunningly demonstrated, the Internet and mobile phones have become powerful tools to bring together those whose freedom is being denied. Social networks have been used to organize protests, and new media have been widely used to document the unfolding of those attempts at establishing a new period of rule of law and political freedom. In response to these threats, governments have successfully monitored cellphone networks and attempted to shut down Internet access, posing a threat to the security of human rights activists. This panel will discuss how people can communicate in face of a complete shutdown of key communication infrastructures imposed by their government. - Human Rights Center UC Berkeley Eric Blantz is the senior director of Inveneo. Blantz has ten years experience in IT and business research, consulting, and marketing. Prior to joining Inveneo, Blantz held positions at G2 Research as a Senior Consultant in IT services research; Gartner as a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Program Director; and US Web as a Sr. Business Consultant. With Inveneo since 2005, Blantz now serves as the Senior Director for Healthcare Solutions and is responsible for Inveneo's overall approach to this rapidly changing problem area, including strategy, select project management and development of health-specific ICT solutions in collaboration with Inveneo's strategic partners in the health sector. Blantz holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley, and a MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago, where he focused on economic development.
Length: 02:30


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