Upcoming Events

March 7 Tullock Lecture Features Adam Clayton Powell III

The Information Economy Project at George Mason University proudly presents The Tullock Lecture on Big Ideas About Information on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 215, George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia. A reception in the Levy Atrium will follow the event.

Guest speaker will be Adam Clayton Powell III, Senior Fellow, USC Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, who will present a lecture entitled, "Free Speech and Free Society: How Far Will Technology Take Us?"

The Internet and social media were conceived and greeted as significant steps forward in freedom of expression and increased access to information. Suddenly, it seemed, anyone with access to a computer – or now, to a mobile telephone – is a global publisher and personal curator of the largest public library ever created, dwarfing in sheer breadth and volume the great libraries of Alexandria, Timbuktu or the Library of Congress.

All of this may be true, but these advances may obscure what is at their very core serious difficulties that threaten freedom of expression and access to information. The most crude and best known measures are those imposed by governments from China to Iran, which use brute force to block web sites and other information that does not meet with government approval. But these are just a brief glimpse into the downside of digital media and social networks.

To see just how far technology can be harnessed to limit and distort information and to suppress and punish freedom of expression, it can be instructive to learn what research laboratories are developing, often with the best of motives. The frontiers of technology hold great promise, but they also offer tools to limit freedom than are more powerful than free societies now contemplate. How free societies respond to these potential threats and new realities may test their very natures.

Admission to the event is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP on the online form or simply email: iep.gmu@gmail.com. The School of Law is located at 3301 Fairfax Drive and is accessible via Metro's Virginia Square/GMU Station on the Orange Line.