Category: Rebecca MacKinnon’s work

The Global Network Initiative is an organization that helps “the information and communications technology sector navigate the complexities and obligations of Internet privacy and freedom of expression of Netizens as well as the respect online law enforcement.” GNI is a perfect example of “global civil society.” It advocates through information politics through the use of politically usable information, symbolic politics as it uses testimonies to reach a larger audience, leverage politics as it pressures governments and accountability politics by convincing governments and others to publicly change their positions while encouraging government demands that are consistent with international laws and standards of freedom of expression. The GNI initiative gather resources from government and internationals organizations as well as Human Rights groups. Their goal is to encourage governments “to be specific, transparent and consistent in the demands, laws and regulations related to freedom of expression on the Internet.” The Global Network Initiative uses information, accountability and leverage politics.

“GNI engages proactively with governments to reach a shared understanding of how government restrictions can be applied in a manner consistent with GNI’s principles.”

(GNI Website:



Ron Kirk, U.S Trade Representative, sent a letter to the Chinese government requesting information about its censorship practices. China operates the world’s most elaborate internet censorship system.

The foreign ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu’s answer was that Chinese censorship followed international practice. New bills: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act, could bring similar features of Chinese Internet Great Firewall to America.

“Opposition to SOPA is widespread, bipartisan, and international. The Center for Democracy and Technology is collecting links to blog posts, articles as well as letters of opposition from human rights groups, Internet engineers, law professors, Internet companies, public interest advocates, consumer rights groups, among others.”

Read Rebecca MacKinnon’s answer to this in the New York Times.

This is a link to a video of Rebecca MacKinnon, co-founder of Global Voices, talking about the international bloggers network, its reach and impact, and some of its programs, including Rising Voices and Global Voices Advocacy.

Rebecca MacKinnon’s new book, Consent of the Networked describes freedom of expression on the Internet.

Is Internet a means of public expression and political liberation or is it a force that plays with privacy and freedom of speech?

In many countries, access to the World Wide Web is restricted by repressive political regimes.

The author expresses the question of “how technology should be structured and governed to support the rights and liberties of all the world’s Internet users.”

Rebecca MacKinnon has a background in international journalism, is the co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, Chinese Internet censorship expert and Internet freedom activist. She opens the debate on the dilemmas faced by netizens (citizens of the net), governents and corporations to structure and regulate freedom of speech on the Internet. Through the Global Network Initiative, she uses accountability politics in encouraging government demands that are consistent with international laws and standards of freedom of expression.

Source: Rebecca MacKinnon’s blog:

Follow it on Facebook: Consent of the Networked

Rebecca MacKinnon is a former CNN Journalist who headed the CNN bureaus in Beijing and later in Tokyo, before leaving TV to become a blogger and co-founded of Global Voices Online. She wrote a book entitle: Internet Freedom and Control: Lessons from China for the World. She is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative.

I will be blogging about her many insightful articles throughout this project. Rebecca MacKinnon is an importance source of inspiration.

Her blog: