Friday, June 15, 2012 | 3:56 PM
Around the world, Internet freedom is under threat. According to the Open Net Initiative, more than 620 million Internet users - 31% of the world’s total Internet users - live in countries where there is substantial or pervasive filtering of online content.
On Monday 18 June, we’ll be hosting a Big Tent on the Internet and free expression at the Mansion House in Dublin, as part of the official programme of Ireland’s Presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
This event follows the thought-provoking Big Tent we held in The Hague last November, at which U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the keynote speech.
Monday’s Dublin Big Tent features another special guest: President Toomas Ilves of Estonia, pictured at left. Years after earning its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, his country fought off a massive cyber attack. Instead of cracking down on the Internet, Estonia emerged determined to keep it open and free.
We’ll also be hearing from one of the fathers of the Internet, Vint Cerf; the U.S. Department of State’s Innovation Advisor Alec Ross; and the author of the acclaimed book War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, who will offer a lyrical take on free expression in the modern world.
By coincidence, Myanmar’s recently freed Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Sui Kuy will also be in the Irish capital on Monday evening to receive an Amnesty International award. As her experience demonstrates, freedom can never be taken for granted. We must remain vigilant in its defence.