Cryptowars Déjà Vu: Controlling Exports of Tech
We now know that technology plays an important role in activism, allowing for ease of communication and the rallying of support, among other things. In the 2009 Iran protests and the current conflicts in Syria and Sudan, activists and citizen journalists have taken advantage of the wealth of tech available, but existing export controls nonetheless continue to prevent important communications technologies from reaching activists and dissidents.
These export controls—enacted by the Departments of Treasury and Commerce and detailed here—often hurt the very individuals they’re meant to help, by restricting access for citizens while doing little to stop authoritarian regimes from getting ahold of products via third parties or on the black market.
This panel will offer perspectives on how technology companies can be proactive in ensuring equal access to communications technology for all of the world's citizens.