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DC Social Media Week: Who was Really Behind the Internet Blackout Day? A SOPA & PIPA Case Study

Public Knowledge

Thursday, February 16, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EST)

DC Social Media Week: Who was Really Behind the...

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As Grant Gross reports in his 2/3/12 piece, "Who Really Was Behind the SOPA Protests?" 

" Some critics have blamed Silicon Valley tech firms for the massive online protests last month against two controversial copyright bills. Other groups have trumpeted the grassroots nature of the protests. The first narrative, that giant tech companies drove the uprising, has little basis in fact, according to several people who helped organize the protest. The second storyline, that the protests bubbled up from regular Internet users, comes closer to explaining the phenomenon, but reality is more complicated, participants said. The protests were a combination of independent decisions by websites including Wikipedia and Reddit to go black on Jan. 18, behind-the-scenes organization by a number of groups, and grassroots response to the blackout and other online efforts, participants said."

This panel discussion and networking event will introduce you to some of the people behind "American Censorship Day" and  the "Internet Blackout Day" for a candid discussion discuss their the strategies and tactics that lead up to  over 14 million people to contacting Congress in a single day.

We will discuss how Internet experts, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs from across the political spectrum came together to successfully derail SOPA and PIPA and offer a glimpse into what this means for future advocacy campaigns Discussion will kickoff with discussion about the advocacy efforts surrounding the "Stop Online Piracy Act" and the "Protect IP Act."

We will be taking questions from the audience and over Twitter with the hashtah #smwSOPA 

If you can't attend in person, catch the Livestream here: http://new.livestream.com/smwdc/sopa-pipa

 Moderated by


Ernesto Falcon is Director of Government Affairs for Public Knowledge who lead the coalitions outreach on Capital Hill. Ernesto Falcon came to PK from the office of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), where he worked for three years as the senior legislative assistant dealing with issues related to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet.  Ernesto previously worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) for three years as a technology manager and legislative assistant.  He originally came to Washington D.C. on an internship with Congressman George Miller (D-CA) in early 2004 shortly after graduating from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a degree in Political Science.
David Moon is a Washington-based policy attorney and political consultant. He also edits MarylandJuice.com, a Maryland politics blog. The former Chief Operating Officer of the election reform group, FairVote, Moon has coordinated numerous advocacy efforts to make our electoral process more fair and accessible. In recent years, he has managed and assisted successful campaigns for progressive Democrats, political action committees and ballot initiatives around the country. His issue portfolio has included work on smart growth and transit issues, criminal justice reform, LGBT rights, women's rights, civil liberties, and more. He is a graduate of American University's Washington College of Law and received his bachelors degree from Tufts University.
Markham C. Erickson is a founding partner of p://www.holcherickson.com/">Holch & Erickson LLP  where he represents clients before federal regulatory agencies, courts, and the United States Congress. Beginning in the mid-1990s, representing Netscape and AOL, Mr. Erickson helped to write and negotiate many of the federal laws that govern e-commerce, technology, and the use of the Internet, including the CAN-SPAM Act, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the Communications Decency Act. Markham also serves as lead counsel and executive director of NetCoalition  a coalition representing Google, eBay, Amazon.com, IAC, Yahoo! and others.

Mark Stanley is the New Media Manager at the Center for Democracy and Technology. He has worked on the communications teams for Investigative Reporters and Editors, Newsy.com, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Mark received a BA and Master's from the Missouri School of Journalism. 

Rachna Choudhry is responsible for outreach to advocacy organizations and trade associations, marketing to individual users and assists with outreach to Congressional staff. She is based in Washington, DC. Rachna comes to PopVox with a background in federal lobbying, issue advocacy and social media strategy for a variety of national issue-based and advocacy organizations. Most recently, she worked as a lobbyist for the National Partnership for Women & Families where she promoted policies that addressed the needs of working women. She earned a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Political Science degree from UCLA.
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When & Where

Buffalo Billiards- Adirondack Room
1330 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

Thursday, February 16, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EST)

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Public Knowledge

Public Knowledge

Founded in 2001, Public Knowledge is a Washington, D.C.-based public interest group working to defend citizens' rights in the emerging digital culture.

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DC Social Media Week: Who was Really Behind the Internet Blackout Day? A SOPA & PIPA Case Study
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