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SXSW Interactive 2016

The End of Online Free Expression?

With the Right to be Forgotten taking a foothold in Europe, broad categories of speech declared illegal in Russia, and new proposals to regulate Internet speech, have we conceded that online free expression is no longer a given? We'll discuss the policy landscape around the world that is encroaching on boundaries of free expression, forcing intermediaries to move toward a lowest common denominator approach to speech to prevent being blocked entirely.​ We'll also discuss what this means for individuals given that users in different countries may face vastly varying restrictions. Finally, we'll touch on the efforts to hold governments accountable and if they've played a role in policy debates.

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  1. What are the latest proposals by governments to curtail online speech?
  2. What do these proposals mean for the future of free expression online in different countries?
  3. What tools (e.g. transparency reports and other freedom indexes) can be used to push back against limitations on online speech?



Gautam Hans, Dir CDT-SF & Policy Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology

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