Freedom House’s Christopher Walker, a guest on the episode, characterizes the last five years globally as a “freedom recession.” Walker says Iran, China, Russia, and Venezuela, among others countries, have developed extremely advanced techniques that can be used for everything from monitoring most of their cyberspace to blocking Web sites they view as detrimental to their governments—which often means taking down media sites. He talks about how China recently tried to require that all computers be sold with spyware and software that blocks any site that the government deems a threat. Another guest, Jeffrey Gedmin, president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, expresses his dismay at the rapid manner in which repressive regimes evolving to crush this new form of opposition: “The government of Iran is pretty good at social media too.”
Other panelists on the show are David Keyes, founder of Cyberdissidents.org, and Bari Weiss, assistant editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal. See the program’s site for air times across the country and to view the entire episode.