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Mar 14, 2013

GOOGLE Europe Blog

Debating public safety while preserving personal freedom
Thursday, March 14, 2013 | 10:09 AM
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Posted by Ross LaJeunesse, Global Head of Free Expression and International Relations

t’s a tricky balance. Governments need to be effective in fighting crime, and while theft, trafficking and terrorism have existed for centuries, the Internet has accelerated the speed and volume at which crime can be conducted. At the same time, the Internet has become a powerful force in promoting free speech and personal freedom. What is the right balance between public safety and personal freedom? How much access should police have to user emails and other information on the Net?

We’ve asked a number of experts to debate this theme of freedom and security on the Internet today at the Big Tent in Stockholm. Along with the Civil Rights DefendersEuropol,
Privacy International, and Transparency International, we’ll be hosting members of the intelligence and research communities, law enforcement and civil society. All will share their observations and thoughts about how governments and companies should prosecute crime and guarantee rights to free expression and privacy in the information age. 

We’re especially pleased that Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt will be joining us for this conversation. Sweden has one of the world’s oldest traditions of freedom of speech, and its government is a leader in using Internet tools to support democracy and freedom. 

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