In January I attended a lecture on Cyberlaw and Human Rights at the Berkman Klein Institute for Internet and Society. The Berkman Klein Institute (at Harvard) is an interdisciplinary research center that focuses on cyberspace and its relationship to law. The talk focused on how political and legislative decisions relating to the internet have the propensity to infringe on human rights, particularly in areas with oppressive governments. The lecture consisted of the following panelists: Dr. Hawley Johnson, Robert Muthuri, Juan Carlos Lara, Gayatri Khandhadai, and Jessica Dheere. Their roles and qualifications are impressive and extensive but their roles span from human rights lawyer to digital theory scholar. The panelists; backgrounds complemented each other well, especially regarding conversations of global politics, because the countries where they were from / received their education / practiced law, etc. were very diverse. Some of the topics that came up during the lecture were: the right to digital access, the right to legal information, freedom of assembly and association (in regards to online spaces), surveillance, censorship, and laws/jurisdiction surrounding the internet. Although many different cases were brought up, the centralizing theme of the lecture was the digitalization of power and how technology creates an avenue for increased regulation and even exploitation. The lecture was particularly eye-opening me because many of the global perspectives shared were very revealing of the reality of the internet and digital access in other parts of the globe. (Especially since I attended this lecture at the beginning of the semester, before we had really dived in to many of these topics, so in some way it was my first time thinking critically about the internet in this way.) I was particularly struck by the dichotomy between hailing the internet as purely an innovative wonderland, capable of rapidly changing society vs. a new digital tool to reinforce harmful power structures - mostly at the hands of oppressive regimes. For example, several accounts were brought up of governments restricting access to particular websites, even disabling the entire internet temporarily in certain regions, and more broadly, preventing collective activism online. One moment of note that I found interesting was how one panelist described how the internet is governed by a variety of ways: one way being the "San Francisco approach" (a mainstream, Silicone Valley vibe, where tech giants influence culture/operations) and a more "governmental approach," (which can be either extremely unequipped to actually govern, or may overreach their authority.) Now after taking the course, I can see how the conversations that took place during the lecture fit within our courses framework of analyzing different types of technology, beyond the scope of how it is marketed towards consumers or used at a "surface level." I think that our class had a more interdisciplinary approach to how the internet can be restricting (i.e. the limits of sex, gender, ability, socio-economic status, etc.) but this lecture oriented itself more towards access (being able to actually use the internet) and legislation surrounding the internet. All of the panelists, even though they had unique ideas and at times differing perspectives, all called for a more robust legal protections towards internet users. It will be very interesting to see how the law may adapt to advancements in technology, as it is becoming increasingly demonstrated how human rights can be violated via technology.