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Speaking Freely

Speaking Freely

Around the globe, freedom of expression (or free speech) varies wildly in definition, scope, and level of access. The impact of the digital age on perceptions and censorship of speech has been felt across the political spectrum on a worldwide scale. In the debate over what counts as free expression and how it should work in practice, we often lose sight of how different forms of censorship—of hate speech, for example—can have a negative impact on different communities, and especially marginalized or vulnerable ones.

Speaking Freely brings forth interviews with human rights workers, free expression advocates, and activists from a variety of disciplines and affiliations. The common thread in these interviews is that curtailing free expression, via public or private censorship, can harm our ability to fully and authentically participate in an open society.

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forward-facing headshot of Rima Sghaier

Speaking Freely: Rima Sghaier

Rima Sghaier is a human rights activist and researcher who works at the intersection of technology and human rights, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. Rima grew up in Tunisia under the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, which lasted for twenty-four years. Although Tunisia was among the earliest countries in its region to connect to the internet (in 1991), its use by dissidents and subcultures led to the government increasingly restricting access to information and communications tools.

side-facing headshot of Biella Coleman

Speaking Freely: Biella Coleman

Gabriella “Biella” Coleman is an anthropologist whose work focuses on a range of subjects, from the anthropology of medicine to the practice of whistleblowing. To EFF readers, she is probably best known for her work on hacker communities. In 2014, she published the book Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous (Verso). She currently holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific & Technological Literacy at McGill University in Montréal.

forward-facing headshot of Asta Helgadottir

Speaking Freely: Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir

Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir is a former Pirate Party member of the Icelandic parliament who currently serves as a digital policy advisor to a member of the European parliament. She’s known online for her passion for the Internet and digital policy, as well as her love of golden retrievers.

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