Home Foreign Government Censorship Policies: Challenges for U.S. Businesses

    Foreign Government Censorship Policies: Challenges for U.S. Businesses

    The Washington Foreign Law Society


    Foreign Government Censorship Policies: Challenges for U.S. Businesses

    Thursday, March 31st, 2022
    from 5:30 to 6:30 PM EST

    At a time when foreign governments are increasingly focused on what information should/not be available online or offline, the challenges for U.S. businesses abroad have never been greater. In January 2022, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) released the first of two reports focused on foreign censorship policies and practices and their impact on U.S. businesses. This report, requested by the Senate Committee on Finance, highlights the evolution of censorship-related policies and practices in six key foreign markets: China, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia. In this roundtable, USITC project leader Martha Lawless will highlight the main findings of the report. A distinguished group of experts—Allie Funk, Daphne Keller, and Nigel Cory—will share reactions and discuss broader censorship trends and challenges going forward. Kate Linton will moderate the event.

    Martha Lawless heads the Services Industries Division at the U.S. International Trade Commission, an agency of the federal government that provides independent advice on trade issues to the U.S. Trade Representative and Congress. Ms. Lawless has led several of the USITC’s studies on digital trade issues, including the recent Foreign Censorship, Part 1: Policies and Practices Affecting U.S. Businesses report. She is also a major contributor to USITC research and reports on trade and trade barriers in services; possible economic effects of trade agreements; interconnections between services and goods trade; and the impact of digitization, domestic regulation, and other competitiveness factors on international trade in services. Prior to joining the USITC in 2011, she co-led the Corporate Risk Advisory Group at UBS Investment Bank in London, advising over 200 multinational companies on management of their global operations, including currency, interest-rate, and commodity risks in sourcing, foreign commercial presence, and export sales. Ms. Lawless earned her M.B.A. from Yale School of Management, and M.Sc. and B.A. degrees in Economics from Trinity College Dublin and Harvard College.

    Allie Funk is a Senior Research Analyst for Technology and Democracy at Freedom House, where she serves as an expert on human rights in the digital age. She leads Freedom on the Net, the organization’s annual assessment of internet freedom, and her writing has been published in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, WIRED, the Hill, the Diplomat, and Just Security, among others. Prior to joining Freedom House, Allie worked at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on issues relating to U.S. surveillance, the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and the right to counsel, and also worked with Human Rights First’s foreign policy team. She holds a master’s degree in human rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    Daphne Keller’s work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users’ rights. She has testified before legislatures, courts, and regulatory bodies around the world, and published both academically and in popular press on topics including platform content moderation practices, constitutional and human rights law, copyright, data protection, and national courts’ global takedown orders. Her recent work focuses on legal protections for users’ free expression rights when state and private power intersect, particularly through platforms’ enforcement of Terms of Service or use of algorithmic ranking and recommendations. Until 2020, Daphne was the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. She also served until 2015 as Associate General Counsel for Google, where she had primary responsibility for the company’s search products. Daphne has taught Internet law at Stanford, Berkeley, and Duke law schools. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, Brown University, and Head Start.

    Nigel Cory is an associate director covering trade policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He focuses on cross-border data flows, data governance, intellectual property, and how they each relate to digital trade and the broader digital economy. Cory has provided in-person testimony and written submissions and has published reports and op-eds relating to these issues in the United States, the European Union, Australia, China, India, and New Zealand, among other countries and regions, and he has completed research projects for international bodies such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and the World Trade Organization. Nigel is a member of the United Kingdom’s International Data Transfer Expert Council. Cory previously worked as a researcher in the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to that, he worked for eight years in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Moderator Kate Linton is a Senior Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Industries of the U.S. International Trade Commission where she focuses on intellectual property and international trade issues. She has been a key part of Commission fact-finding investigations on foreign censorship policies; the economic impacts of USMCA and other free trade agreements; digital trade barriers; investment and industrial policies in India; innovation and IPR infringement in China; and U.S. competitiveness studies of high-tech industries. Kate also was detailed to the House Committee on Ways & Means, where she focused on USMCA renegotiations, and to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where she focused on the section 301 China technology transfer investigation. Prior to joining the Commission, Kate practiced law in intellectual property and commercial litigation. She holds an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University, a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, and a B.A. from Middlebury College.

    Host Michael Teodori is the President of the Washington Foreign Law Society. He is also a US Policy and Advocacy Specialist at Eni SpA, Italy’s largest energy company. Prior to joining Eni, Mr. Teodori was a Congressional Liaison Officer at the US politics and Congressional affairs office of the Italian Embassy in Washington DC, where he focused on US-Italy relations. Mr. Teodori was also a Schuman trainee at the European Parliament. In that capacity he worked at the European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington, DC, as well as at the European Parliament Legal Service in Brussels. Mr. Teodori holds a law degree from the University of Pavia (Italy) and a joint M.A. in transatlantic affairs from the College of Europe (Bruges) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (Medford, MA).