Welcome to the April Digital Nation Roundtable discussion, Freedom.
Does the Internet promote freedom of expression and communication, making it a catalyst for democracy and activism? Is the net tilted towards Democracy and participatory society? Meanwhile, do services like Facebook and Twitter encourage virtual and superficial involvement over dedication to the kind of activism that makes a difference? Does it just take people off the streets, blogging safely in their homes where they no longer threaten repressive regimes?
Our participants this month are:
Dr. Awab Alvi - dentist, activist, and political blogger in Pakistan
Azmat Khan - journalist and Pakistan researcher
Kelly Niknejad - Editor in Chief, Tehran Bureau
Sam Gregory - Witness.org, program director
Vahid - Blogger - vahidonline, Researcher, archivist and media monitor for Tehran Bureau. http://vahid-online.net
Zahid Jamil - attorney specializing in Internet issues, Pakistan
David Nassar - Executive Director, Alliance for Youth Movements and expert in the democratic development of the Middle East.
Legba Carrefour - Radical organizer, artist, and writer from Washington, DC
Wael Abbas - Journalist, Blogger, and activist - Cairo, Egypt. http://www.misrdigital.com Nathan Freitas - Activist + Inventor, Tech Director for Tibet Action Institute
Micah Sifry - Co-Founder and Editor, The Personal Democracy Forum
Ted Byfield - Nettime moderator, Visiting Fellow, Yale Law School Information Society Project
As some of our participants must hide their real-world identities, we will be conducting our roundtable without photos this month. I'll be back momentarily with the opening topic.