Rebecca MacKinnon is a leading advocate for Internet users’ rights to online freedom of expression and privacy around the world. She is author of the award-winning book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012). Presently based at New America in Washington DC, she directs the Ranking Digital Rights project whose Corporate Accountability Index ranks the world's most powerful Internet and telecommunications companies on policies and practices affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy.
MacKinnon is co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, a borderless community of more than 800 writers, digital media experts, activists and translators living around the world who give voice to the stories of marginalized and misrepresented communities and who advocate for the free expression rights of Internet users everywhere. She also serves on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder organization focused on upholding principles of freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon was CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief from 1998-2001 and Tokyo Bureau Chief from 2001-2003. Since leaving CNN in 2004 she has held fellowships at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Open Society Foundations, and Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. For two years in 2007-08 she served on the faculty of the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, and taught as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Fall 2013. She is also a visiting affiliate at the Annenberg School for Communication’s Center for Global Communications Studies. MacKinnon received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard University and was a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan. She presently lives in Washington DC.