Past Event: Free speech, Mass Surveillance and Modern Media. How free are we and who decides?
22 July: Free speech, Mass Surveillance and Modern Media. How free are we and who decides?
11 Jul 13

Free speech, Mass Surveillance and Modern Media: how free are we and who decides?

Updating a status, tweeting a celebrity, Instagramming our breakfast- we all do it, but how much do you think about who is seeing what you put online? Social media is constantly hitting the headlines as people are arrested for posting a picture or sending a tweet without thinking of the real-life consequences. But should what happens online stay online? And can our governments ever be justified in reading our private messages in order to keep us safe?

If you want to discuss, argue or learn a bit more about these issues then join Index on Censorship and the Lewisham Youth Parliament and Young Mayor for, “Mass surveillance and modern media: who’s in control?”, to debate how our freedom of expression is being challenged by these developments in modern communication.

The event will be part debate and part workshop starting with a panel and Q&A session between Index on Censorship’s CEO, Kirsty Hughes and Philip Cowell, Head of Programmes at English PEN. It will be chaired by Index’s Head of Advocacy, Mike Harris. You will get to the chance to challenge our speakers on the key issues before breaking into workshop groups to discuss, and attempt to answer, some of the most problematic issues facing free speech online:

If we voluntarily put all our information online do we still deserve the right to privacy?

Where would you draw the line on offensive speech made on social media?

Do you mind our government reading your emails in the name of national security?

The event will be hosted at the Albany Theatre in Deptford Monday 22nd July from 5-7pm for young people between 14-20 years old. There is limited space so if you would like to take part in this exciting debate please email Fiona Bradley

[email protected] to reserve you place.

By Padraig Reidy

Padraig Reidy is the editor of Little Atoms and a columnist for Index on Censorship. He has also written for The Observer, The Guardian, and The Irish Times.