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Aspen Digital

When the Web Goes Dark

State Control & the Internet

March 9, 2021

Autocrats around the world are manipulating access to the internet as a means of state control, especially in the face of protests and dissent. From Myanmar to Venezuela to Iran, we’ve seen a rise in blackouts cutting off critical channels of communication, an increasingly dangerous prospect in the middle of a pandemic. This public program features experts in human rights, technology, and cyber access to understand the implications of blocking freedom of information, and what can be done about it.


  • Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner, Access Now
  • Shayna Bauchner, Researcher, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
  • Sophie Schmidt, Founder & CEO, Rest of World
  • Adrian Shahbaz, Director, Technology and Democracy, Freedom House
  • Vivian Schiller, Executive Director, Aspen Digital