Media Advisory: Conference explores how tech can help human rights

ATTENTION: Technology, human rights and general assignment reporters

WHAT

Advancing the New Machine,” a two-day conference at the University of California, Berkeley, examining the impact of information technology on human rights research and advocacy. The event, organized by the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley’s School of Law, brings together activists, programmers and entrepreneurs to share experiences and best practices related to the deployment of technology in the field.

Speakers will cover such topics as circumventing communication blackouts, disaster response and protection of vulnerable populations.

WHEN

Tuesday and Wednesday, April 26-27. A full schedule of the conference is online here. Video of several concurrent sessions will be streamed live along with blogs and tweets (#newmachine). Information about how to tune in is online.

WHERE

The David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, Calif.

WHO

More than 50 speakers are scheduled to participate in the conference, including Eric Brewer, UC Berkeley professor of computer sciences and co-founder of USA.gov and Inktomi Corp.; Katitza Rodriguez, international rights director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Ian Schuler, senior program manager for Internet Freedom Programs at the U.S. Department of State; and Qiang Xiao, UC Berkeley adjunct professor of journalism and founder of China Digital Times. A full list of speakers with bios is online here.

DETAILS

The conference comes nearly two years after the Human Rights Center hosted “Soul of the New Machine,” the first international conference on the intersection of human rights, technology and new media.

“Technology is creating unprecedented changes in how we think about human rights,” said Patrick Vinck, director of the Initiative for Vulnerable Populations at the Human Rights Center and a conference co-organizer. “People are using cell phones and satellite imagery to document events as they are unfolding.”

Co-sponsors of the event include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Humanity United; the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, and the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

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