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May 2020

Algorithmic Amplification, Misinformation, & Hate Speech in the Pandemic

May 8, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    Platforms in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis are playing an even bigger role in our lives than ever before. One of the consequences of this is that hate speech and misinformation are able to spread faster and get more engagement. This can have disastrous consequences for communities, and may be responsible for racialized violence as well as exacerbate the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths in the black community. Looking at the effect of algorithmic amplification is crucial to understanding…

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Controlled Digital Lending: Getting Books to Students During the Pandemic & Beyond

May 22, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused mass closures of schools, libraries, and higher education. Join us for a discussion on how we can use technology to make sure that students, educators, and others can continue to remotely access the collections they need, during lock-down and beyond. Speakers: Cory Doctorow - Author of Radicalized and Walkaway, special advisor to the EFF; visiting professor of practice in library science, UNC-Chapel Hill Chris Freeland - Director of OpenLibraries at the Internet Archive Lisa Petrides…

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June 2020

More Powerful Than Ever: Do We Need a Regulator for Digital Platforms?

June 18, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

      Digital platforms are today’s marketplace, library, and public square, and they are difficult for modern-day consumers to avoid. As people have moved so much of their lives online during the pandemic, digital platforms have grown more powerful than ever. This crucial industry suffers from a lack of competition and regulation, leaving consumers and businesses with few choices, less innovation, and little recourse when something goes wrong. As a few big names have grown increasingly ubiquitous, many have…

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July 2020

Digital Redlining & Connectivity Barriers In Marginalized Communities

July 23, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically exposed how digital inequities are further marginalizing minority populations. Internet service providers invest less in broadband infrastructure in communities of color and low-income communities because doing so is considered to be less profitable. The same neighborhoods that were redlined by banks and insurance companies now face similar discrimination by internet service providers -- deemed “digital redlining.” On top of this, many people in marginalized communities can't afford to connect to broadband or purchase connected devices.…

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How Do We Move Beyond Consent Models In Privacy Legislation?

July 29, 2020 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

While everyone agrees that we need federal privacy legislation, how it should work is another story. Oftentimes legislation relies on companies getting consent before collecting, using, or selling data. Consent mechanisms place the burden on consumers to figure out what uses of data are beneficial or harmful. In this webinar, we’ll discuss why consent doesn’t protect consumers and propose other frameworks that could be used in federal privacy legislation. Keynote: Senator Sherrod Brown Speakers: Yosef Getachew, Director for Media &…

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September 2020

Free Expression Forum: How Section 230 Uplifts Marginalized Voices

September 3, 2020 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

The Free Expression Forum at Public Knowledge is an ongoing series of dialogues about the importance of free expression online to artists, entrepreneurs, and content creators. It will highlight how policy decisions impact this important value and how the community of diverse online voices must stand up to preserve it as technology develops. This first forum will speak to the role that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act plays in content moderation and free expression. Section 230 at its…

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17th Annual IP3 Awards

September 24, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The IP3 Awards is a special occasion to honor those who have made significant contributions in the three areas of IP: Intellectual Property, Information Policy, and Internet Protocol.

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October 2020

Discovering Career Paths in Tech Policy

October 8, 2020 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

                       Public Knowledge will host a webinar to introduce students and early career professionals to technology policy career paths. Bringing together a panel of diverse individuals currently working in tech policy, we will highlight the variety of opportunities in the field while counseling participants on how to navigate this space. This webinar is open to anyone interested in launching a career in tech policy. Women and people of color are especially encouraged to attend. This webinar is generously supported by…

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Big Tech’s Big Competition Problem: Analyzing the House Judiciary Antitrust Report

October 9, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

              After seven hearings and more than 200 interviews, will Big Tech finally be held accountable by Congress? The House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee launched its blockbuster report this week, summarizing the findings of a year-long bipartisan investigation into Big Tech’s market power. Leading the charge to reform and regulate Big Tech, Chairman David Cicilline will join our panel of antitrust experts to discuss the report’s findings, including Big Tech’s competition problems, possible solutions for the digital platform market, and…

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Broadband Network Reliability: Are “Best Efforts” Sufficient in the Digital Era?

October 29, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

                                                                  Historically, the internet is a “best efforts” service. Subscribers knowingly accept the risk of outages at any time as a condition of using the network. Today, access to reliable broadband has become an essential cornerstone of the economy, education, and public safety. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased our reliance on broadband even further while regulated legacy telephone networks are being phased out. Is the industry keeping pace with these changes? Or is it time to impose reliability regulations…

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December 2020

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: How the DMCA is used to inhibit free expression on the internet

December 15, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

                                                                     The DMCA was intended to protect copyright holders from having their work stolen or reproduced online. Too often, however, the DMCA is used as a weapon for rights holders to bully competitors, critics, and even fans discussing their work online. Lindsay Ellis, a prominent YouTube creator, will discuss her run-ins with DMCA notices after she published a video that was critical of a romance author. Casey Fiesler, member of the Legal Committee of the Organization for Transformative Works,…

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January 2021

Reining In Big Tech in Europe and America | What US Policymakers Should Know

January 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

                        Across the globe, Big Tech is in the regulatory and antitrust hot seat. The European Commission has launched two major initiatives--the Digital Markets Act & the Digital Services Act--to rein in digital platforms and protect consumers. In the United Kingdom, the Competition and Markets Authority has its own plans for a Digital Markets Unit dedicated to platform regulation. With global momentum building, what can the United States learn…

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February 2021

A Seat at the Table: How Tech Policy Groups Can Welcome Diverse Talent

February 19 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

  Public Knowledge is hosting a webinar to discuss its “Diversity in Early-Career Tech Policy Roles: Challenges and Opportunities” Report. The report explores the types of early career opportunities available in tech policy nonprofits and the diversity within these roles, as well as the steps organizations are taking to increase diversity. Panelists will discuss approaches to increasing diversity within organizations, the value of mentorship, and perspectives on the state of diversity in tech policy and its implications for communities of…

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March 2021

The Untold Story of SOPA/PIPA

March 17 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

In January of 2012, an unprecedented coordinated protest took place online in opposition to two federal bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). More than 115,000 websites published protest content or even completely shut down for the day in an attempt to shut down these internet blacklist attempts. The extreme anti-piracy bills would have jeopardized online community platforms and innovation set bad examples for internet censorship globally and threatened security online. But the protest…

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April 2021

Twenty Years of Defending Digital Ownership

April 29 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    Twenty years ago, we saw the creation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It was intended to modernize copyright law for the digital age. Instead, it made it much worse. Ordinary activities in the physical world -- like loaning a copy of something, giving it away, or reselling it -- are prohibited in the digital world. As media becomes increasingly digital, we can’t share things as we once did, and we don’t own our digital copies, we license…

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May 2021

Promoting the Open Internet Throughout Public Knowledge’s History

May 27 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The fight for an open internet has been ongoing over the past two decades. In 2014, there was a light at the end of the tunnel; Tom Wheeler, who was at the time the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, introduced net neutrality rules that received a record-breaking 4 million comments calling for reclassifying broadband as a Title II telecommunications service. After this unprecedented outpouring of public support, the FCC voted to pass the Open Internet Order, enacting the strongest…

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