PAST EVENT: 25 June: Index at Compass Conference
June 25: Index at Compass Conference
22 Jun 10

Index on Censorship fringe event: ‘Is free speech being privatised?’

For the second year running, Index on Censorship will be hosting a fringe event at the Compass conference, at London’s Institute of Education this Saturday 25 June 2011.

After an individual Twitter user broke a series of “super-injunctions”, one MP remarked, “This is making a mockery of the existing law and we need to make sure that the law catches up with the technology.” Our libel laws are placing online intermediaries in the position of censoring material in order to avoid liability. In effect they are judge and jury. The Digital Economy Act is forcing ISPs to police users who may be in breach of copyright. Should ISPs and web services be censors and enforcers? Is our legal process so complex and expensive that online intermediaries must take responsibility and if so, are we in danger of privatising free speech?

Chairing: Mike Harris, Head of Advocacy at Index on Censorship

Dan Hind is author of The Return of the Public and The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment Was Hijacked.

Robert Dougans is a solicitor-advocate at Bryan Cave. His notable cases in this area include acting for Martyn Jones MP, defending the writer and broadcaster Dr Simon Singh in the case brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association, and striking out libel claims brought against bloggers David Osler, Alex Hilton and John Gray. He was named Lawyer of the Week by The Times, and Assistant Solicitor of the Year at The Lawyer Awards in 2010.

Emily Butselaar is Web Editor of Index on Censorship. She previously worked for the Guardian and Vanity Fair.

Our event begins at 1.30pm.

Click here to buy tickets