outbrain
Close  

Internet role in human rights gets spotlight

/ 07:28 AM October 26, 2011

AFP file photo

SAN FRANCISCO—Technology titans and political activists gathered here on Tuesday to map ways to ensure the Internet is used as a tool for human rights instead of as a weapon of oppression.

The overarching goal of the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference was to collaborate on principles for entrepreneurs to balance pursuit of profit with making sure their creations are used for social good instead of evil.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Silicon Valley has always been the epicenter of technological innovation,” conference organizer Brett Solomon said as he opened the event.

“But now it is also a digital beacon of hope,” he said. “From the creation of the chip to the writing of the code… we can commit together to make sure the technologies are a force for good.”

FEATURED STORIES

Engineers, entrepreneurs, and executives joined with political analysts, activists, and charity groups to delve into the increasingly vital role that the Internet plays in social reform.

Sponsors of the gathering include Google, Facebook, Skype, Mozilla and Yahoo!

“I view the Internet as the greatest opportunity to advance human rights in our lifetime,” Facebook vice president of global communication and public policy Elliot Schrage told attendees. “The Internet gives people a voice, and we need to make sure it stays that way.”

Threats targeted at the conference included Western technology firms cooperating with governments to censor what is shared on the Internet or track down people disliked by authorities.

“The bottom line is: we’re here because of the actions of governments,” Google public policy director Bob Boorstin said in prepared remarks.

“It’s not just repressive regimes, but democratic ones too,” he said. “We know more than 40 regimes that are actively blocking content around the world.”

ADVERTISEMENT
TOPICS: Facebook, Google, Human Rights, Internet, IT, technology, Yahoo
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.