Sarah Harrison, TweetJournalist at WikiLeaks
Biography: Sarah Harrison
Sarah Harrison is a journalist at WikiLeaks, the Internet-based publishing organisation which makes headlines around the world by releasing suppressed information about corporate, government and military corruption and misconduct. She is also the Acting Director of the Courage Foundation, an international organisation that fundraises for the legal and public defence of journalistic sources and campaigns for the protection of truthtellers and the public’s right to know generally.
Harrison gained international recognition when she took a flight with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and remained with him for months in Russia whilst working as part of the WikiLeaks team that rescued him from U.S. persecution and advised on his asylum application to Russia. Though a British citizen, Harrison’s lawyers have advised her not to return home following her courageous work with Snowden, due to the U.K.’s extremely broad anti-terror laws.
Formerly with the Centre for Investigative Journalism and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Harrison joined WikiLeaks in 2010, before the publication of the Afghan War Diary. Since then, she has worked on WikiLeaks' publications, including the U.S. diplomatic cables, The Iraq War Logs and The Spyfiles which detail the global surveillance industry, amongst many others.
Harrison is an expert in media affairs, from source protection to politically controversial publishing. Through her journalistic work at WikiLeaks and having worked with some of the world’s most prominent dissidents and information activists, she is particularly knowledgeable in issues surrounding whistleblowing, freedom of information, surveillance and asylum.
Presentation: TweetPracticalities of Fighting for a Free Internet
In the wake of Snowden's revelations we understand that governments around the world have secret policies, secret inter-agency collaborations, secret programs and corporate partnerships to spy on everything we do electronically, and have been lying about them in public. Increasingly people around the world are now calling for a "free" internet. But what does this really mean and how can it be achieved?
The phrase of the day is "internet governance." But is this the only answer to the problems the internet faces? Will all the time and money being spent on these discussions bear the fruit we need? Does the focus on "internet governance" give too much responsibility to lawyers and policy specialists, and leave out technologists and publishers? Is it realistic that legislative reforms will be enough to stop this culture of secret government and corporate influence?
In this talk I will discuss issues fundamental to a free internet - access to information, net neutrality and privacy, and how organisations like WikiLeaks engage in direct kinds of action to defend and spread these ideals. This talk will discuss what is realistic to achieve in the fight for a free internet, and the most practical ways to move forward to protect ourselves and the public at large.