Feb 2017 10 – 11

The Asia Liberty Forum 2017 is organised by the Centre for Civil Society, in partnership with the Atlas Network and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung fur Die Freiheit. Dr. Anja Kovacs is speaking on the panel on ‘State, Private Sector and Liberty in a Digital World – Challenges for Liberals’.

The Asia Liberty Forum is a grand celebration of freedom, aimed at advancing liberty and markets in this part of the world. The conference will feature ‘Faces of Freedom’ from over 25 countries working to improve the climate of discussion for rational market-based economic policies and good governance. Over two days, intellectuals, think tank leaders, policy makers, business leaders, and change makers will present their work and views on various facets of modern Asia. The 5th edition is being hosted at the Leela, Mumbai on 10-11 February 2017, in partnership with Atlas Network, and support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

The conference will include keynote addresses and breakout sessions, superior networking opportunities, and friendly competition among think tanks. The forum provides a unique opportunity to interact closely with distinguished experts across various fields; some who are tackling Asia’s unique development challenges, and others who bring international experience and perspectives towards charting our future course. The fifth Asia Liberty Forum will provide a much needed platform to identify critical issues plaguing Asia, explore strategies to face the challenges ahead, and generate ways to strengthen the liberal movement in this part of the world.

Dr. Anja Kovacs is speaking on the panel on ‘State, Private Sector and Liberty in a Digital World – Challenges for Liberals’, on 10 February at 4 pm.

Abstract: While advancing digitalisation in general is a blessing for the (developing) world it also creates new situations which are challenging personal freedoms. Nowadays it is much easier for states to put their citizens under surveillance and there is increasing desire to know many more details about citizens’ behavior. In addition freedom of speech can be curbed when powerful online platforms censor postings and declare opinions of their users as objectionable. The data which is created by individuals online is used by companies while the user has no clue how the data is processed and has no possibility to object the usage by other companies. As more and more communication and commerce move online it becomes much easier for states to cut off their citizens from the rest of the world. While simply de-digitising won’t be a solution this panel will look at strategies and ideas how citizens can safeguard their rights in the digital age and what especially liberals should do to create a world in which digital means create more freedom for everybody.

Chair: Ruben Dieckhoff, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, South Asia Panelists: Anja Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project, India | Julian Morris, Reason Foundation, USA | Ajay Shah, National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, India | Saikat Datta, Centre for Internet and Society, India


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