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tv   The Communicators State of the Net Part 2  CSPAN  April 9, 2018 8:00am-8:42am EDT

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.. er david cameron testifies about global security. >> c-span, where history >> history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider.
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>> "the communicators" looked at cybersecurity and communications during emergencies with speakers at the state of the net conference held in washington d.c. here are some of those interviews. >> host: jeanette manfra is the assistant secretary at the department of homeland security in charge of what? >> guest: cybersecurity and communications. >> host: and what does that mean? >> guest: it means that on the cybersecurity side responsible for providing services, capabilities and guidance for federal agencies' cybersecurity partnering with the private sector to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity and working across globally and with industry and other governments to improve our cybersecurity globally. and on the communication side, that means that we're responsible for everything from working with the public safety community to interoperability
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with public safety communications to working with industry to restore communications in the aftermath of disasters such as the hurricanes and wouldfires. wildfires. >> host: according to the bio i was given on you with, it says you're the chief cybersecurity official for dhs. what keeps you awake at night? [laughter] >> guest: aside from my son, i would say that there's no one thing necessarily that keeps me awake at night. i know that our network defenders, ones that i work with in the communications professionals that i work with work very hard to defend against the threats or any challenges to our internet and communications infrastructure. as far as what concerns me is the increasing dependence that we as a society and as a country have on that digital
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infrastructure, that communications infrastructure in order to maintain our way of life. and that can be a vulnerability. it's an enormous opportunity. it's been a wonderful development for our country and for other countries, but it can also be a vulnerability for us. and so that's what i strive to work to close that vulnerability. >> host: so what is dhs' responsibility? i mean, isn't verizon or comcast or etc., centurylink responsible for their own network? >> guest: you know, every company, every agency head, sort of every individual has an element of accountability for the systems that they run, the computers that they use, and i believe strongly that that accountability is important. but i also believe that collectively if we're going to truly make the internet a safe and secure space, we have to work together. because we all have pieces of
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it, and we all need to work to insure that we're making those pieces of the structure or those services as safe and secure as possible. but we can't solve the whole problem by working independently. so, the hs serves -- dhs serves as that place that sits in the middle all of that, whether it's industry or other government agencies, both ideas and abroad -- united states and abroad, helping people make better risk decisions but also thinking about things that an individual entity may not think about such as how do you secure a critical service across an entire industry, how do you think about the federal government as an enterprise and what that risk looks like. and so d can hs is able -- dhs is able to have that higher risk level picture and provide guidance or best practices in collaboration with industry. but it really requires sort of what we talk a lot about as a collective defense model. >> host: well, let's talk about some natural disasters in the past year, puerto rico and houston were both hard hit.
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what was your role? >> guest: our role is primarily in working with industry to insure that communications capabilities, whether that's cell towers or land lines that were taken out as a result of the natural disaster, are restored quickly. and industry deserves a tremendous amount of credit. this is something that they've been working for years to insure that we can quickly restore communications with temporary capabilities. and they remove all of the usual administrativing obstacles and really work collectively as an industry. and what we do is provide them with assistance in getting the equipment to certain locations, helping prioritize, connecting the energy community who needs to provide the power to those communications capabilities. and so we -- and we help prioritize and remove any obstacles that might be in the way of that immediate response. and then the longer term recovery which takes, obviously,
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much longer. >> host: assistant secretary manfra, we've been hearing about attacks on the electric grid for several years now. is this a potential problem? >> guest: you know, i think that i wouldn't say the electric grid is marley unique -- particularly unique in terms of being a target. i would group that there are a lot of critical services and functions like the provision of electricity but also the ability for our financial system to operate and for citizens to have confidence in the financial system, for the delivery of clean water, for hospitals to be up and running. and these are all critical services and functions that have some dependence on some elements of either, you know, i.t. or operational technology that can be disrupted. so with respect to the electric
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sector, what identify seen is -- what i've seen is, yes, they are a target as you would expect, but you also see a commitment from ceos of utilities across the country to address that in partnership with the department of energy and dhs. and so i, you know, working to close these potential vulnerabilities, thinking about when you respond in a disaster, how does that apply for a cyber attack, for instance, and really pushing the boundaries of industry and government collaboration. it's not just with the electric sector, the financial sector and others as well. so i just like to put that in context is that while these industries may be a target, they've also been doing a lot of work to shore up the defenses. >> host: how does your military intelligence background help you in your current position? >> guest: you know, i think generally my military background -- i was an army enlisted communications support specialist first and then an m.i. officer, and -- but i was
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very, i was on the ground the whole time i was in the army. and that gave me a real appreciation for what it's like to be the boots on the ground, that sort of end of the road, i've got to make this communication system work, or i have to get this piece of intelligence to an infantry unit or, you know, helicopter battalion that needs to conduct an operation. so in addition to sort of the leadership development and everything that the army really provides, it gave me sort of a long-lasting appreciation for insuring that we never forget what it's like for those folks that are truly on the front lines and truly the boots on the ground and thinking about how the policies and the operations that i'm putting forward can be practical for those entities that actually have to make it work. >> host: do you have secretary nielsen's attention on this issue? >> guest: absolutely. yes, we're very pleased to have secretary nielsen as our homeland security secretary,
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having somebody with such a depth of knowledge and background in cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, emergency management is so key. and she's tremendously supportive and engaged in addition to everything else she has to do. she continues to prioritize this. >> host: is it possible to secure the u.s. borders in a cybersecurity world but, when other countries are vulnerable, does that affect us? >> guest: i would say, if i understand your question correctly -- >> host: i apologize for that. [laughter] >> guest: you know, the internet, as it were, and the infrastructure that supports it is global, and a lot of the benefits that we derive from having that global interconnectedness is based off of principles of interoperability and trust and it's sort of how the internet was originally conceived and how it was able to spread in the way that it has. so i think while our challenge
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is how do you preserve those principles, both connectedness and interoperability and trust while not negating the security and the safety needs that we have to expect from something that we've become so dependent upon. and so i would never want to pursue an approach to security or safety that would undercut that sort of global interconnected nature of the internet which is very complicated, but it's one that we work closely with other countries and industry to insure that we achieve that right balance. >> host: jeanette manfra of the department of homeland are security, assistant secretary for the office of cybersecurity. communications for the national protection and programs director. thanks for being our best on "the communicators." >> guest: thank you for having me. >> host: and now we want to introduce you to kathryn condello who is with the centurylink company. first of all, what is centurylink, ms. condello?
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>> host: one of the largest isps here in the united states. we are in 600 markets globally, 60 countries, and we're considered one of the top ten isps across the globe. >> host: a lot of people think you're headquartered in seattle, don't they? >> guest: they do. >> host: why is that? >> guest: because we have a lovely stadium there. [laughter] actual headquarters is in monroe, louisiana. at one point centurylink has always been sort of based in louisiana, and they did acquire over the course of time many, many companies, and one of the major markets that they acquired was the qwest territory which has the seattle environment. >> host: we're here to talk to you about cybersecurity, national preparedness, what is your role at centurylink? >> guest: i am the person designated by centurylink to work with the federal government and with other major entities and other sectors on issues
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dealing from the policy, the plans and then the operational response for national security all the way down to emergency response kind of issues. so everything from, you know, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and even cyber events. in my role i do work a lot with the government in terms of trying to develop what's the right policy to address big,ging big, big issues that are usually beyond the scope of an individual company's ability to address and where you need to work with someone. i certainly work with our peers and with fellow isps, and then as the communications sector writ large we also work with other sectors. we do deal with issues of national security whether it's, you know, war -- [laughter] and try to plan for how does one respond and how does one address and how does one continue to provide services during times of war to once again at the sort of lower level, you know, what do you do when there's a hurricane. so that's the kind of work that
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i do, and i have peers in my other companies, and i like to joke i sometimes work more with my government partners and my fellow competitors than i do internally. >> host: well, as one of the larger isps, are you considered, in a sense, too big to fail? when it comes to national security? >> guest: i do think the nation as a whole does rely on us, yes. >> host: what kind of plans have you made with the federal government if a disaster were to happen? and you give us an example maybe of a natural disaster that has happened? >> guest: actually, there's a huge, really long, very deep history of communication providers working with government to deal with natural disasters. we work with the department of homeland security's national coordinating center who is sort of our focallal point for all things communications in relation to the government when there is a hurricane, when there is a tornado.
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when fema is called up, the communication providers -- not just centurylink, but any of them -- work with fema. so everything time there's a major event, we are on the phone with them what are your needs, what are our needs, what's the things we can do to most quickly restore service in, let's say, hurricaner the -- hurricane territory. that same planning is ongoing and continues to evolve. and while we have 35 years of experience on the physical side, the cyber side is still fairly new. even with the less than 35 years of planning. we do have a good, solid belt of at least a decade of working with the government and with other partners across other sectors to be able to develop the plans. we helped write and work with the government on writing the national cyber incident response plan. we continue to work with other sectors on how we would respond if there was a major cyber event. and that seems to be the cutting edge of the planning at this point. >> host: in the bio that i was given about you, it says that you're essentially embedded at
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dhs or was, were embedded at dhs at one point. >> guest: that's true. >> host: what does that mean? >> guest: there are a couple of companies that are embedded within the national coordinating center, and these are people who are on call to the government in the event of a major event. so u.s. government can reach centurylink at any time -- [laughter] they know where i am, they can call me, you know, in case there is an event in seattle and they can't get the call through. >> host: you have an mba. >> guest: i do. >> host: how did you get into this line of work? i mean, this is very specialized in a sense, isn't it? >> guest: it is. i do have an mba. i started out in the business, in two-way radio, and i was actually one of the first hundred people that was in the wireless business back when they had development alliances. so i worked for the american radio telephone service which became the first cellular one right here in this area. i helped to build those networks, and one of the very first things we figured out at
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that time was how do you translate a mobile call to a 911 call. and we were the first company to sort of create that kind of how to do it on a mobile basis way back when. and it sort of became my portfolio to look at the resiliency, the availability, the confidentiality and integrity of the transactions and the services that were provided. >> host: so, kathryn condello, when you see through your eyes -- how did you see the alert that was sent out in hawaii to all the cell phones about incoming? through your eyes. [laughter] >> guest: one, i was really glad i wasn't the guy who did whatever he did. two, i walked away from it going, well, the state of hawaii now knows they had, in essence, a real-life exercise of how well that alert workings. i think there will be lots of back draft on how to prevent the ill-timed alert. but on the other hand, they just got an immediate sense of how well the citizenry was prepared,
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and i they's stunningly valuable. i think that's stunningly valuable. ing. >> host: what do you think of firstnet? >> guest: i think it's a great concept, just have to get it going. [laughter] >> host: kathryn condello with centurylink, thanks for spending a few minutes with us on "the communicators." >> guest: thank you. >> host: and now on "the communicators," it's bill moore who runs a company called zello. what is that? >> guest: it's a walkie-talkie app, and you may have played with walkie-talkies when you were a kid, a lot of fun. the app you put on the smartphone, there's two sides to it; consumers and a business model. individuals use it to talk with their friends and family in channels that are either private or public, and then companies use it to replace radios for their teams. >> host: so what's the benefit of that? >> guest: well, it's all around live voice, just as we are with right now. it's how we most naturally communicate. it is ideal for coordinating a group of people, you know, whether they're, you know, your
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friends on a ski trip or a retail warehouse team. and it builds trust, it's great for solving problems, it's fundamental communication that's been missing in so much of the internet and technology which tends to be around either text or pictures. >> host: is this something that the military has used? >> guest: the u.s. military in spots, but it's also used by the military in canada, and it's on fighter jets in israel. it's kind of cool there. so there are spots. it's more popular the business side in transportation, in retail, hospitality, you know, commercial sectors. >> host: so you can create your own network, in a sense. >> guest: yeah, that's the main difference with the business version. you have a private network that's centrally managed, you know, for your team versus consumers of social media, you make an account and you can connect to whoever. >> host: where'd you come up with the idea? >> guest: it's not my idea, it's a guy -- alex -- who i worked with for ten years or so at a prior company called tune radio.
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his idea was from watching people use smartphones and texting and thinking there ought to be a radio-style, you know, way to communicate that's a lot faster than, you know, a phone call. you push the button, talk, let go. he started working on it in 2005. >> host: so are you the money man? is that what you do? >> guest: i'm the business half, yeah. we both like are product, he's a great product person, and so my value has been on the business side. >> host: so is this kind of a modern-day nextel? >> guest: exactly, exactly. it even sounds like nextel. has a children and works anywhere -- chirp, works anywhere in the world, works on anybody's network. so that's different, but it's the same style of communication. >> host: is it free? >> guest: there's a consumer version that's free. the business version is $6 a user per month, and that's the revenue model. and in chunks of this past year it was the number one overall app in the united states. >> host: how do you monetize that? >> guest: well, we didn't monetize the consumer version.
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there's no ads, we don't sell data. we're about to experiment with some models around premium channels. so host, maybe like you, could have a channel to unlock a podcast or a video feed that's kind of one way. this is a way to interact with the audience and pretty excited to see how that's going to work out. >> host: how is it related in a sense to your earlier product, tune in? >> guest: well, they're both around -- they're both versions of radio. so tune in is aggregating traditional radio, you know? c-span radio is one of my favorites. it's, you know, you can enjoy it while you're doing something else, driving around, exercising. and so tune in is radio from all over the world, music, talk, sports, news. zello we call social radio. and so the difference like i mentioned a minute ago, you know, you can hear back from the audience, and the communication can be between 2 people, 10 people or 1,000 people, and it could be private conversation or it could be a public
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conversation. but on both sides, it's really around our human voice. >> host: where'd the name come from? >> guest: it came from a contest, and zelho won. we were looking for something that worked around the globe that was short, that had a little bit of personality to it, and we had thousands and thousands of entries. it was really a fun process and one where you could get the domain name which is important these days. zello won easily, so pretty happy with it. >> host: what are you doing up here at state of the net? >> guest: i had a talk, a general panel discussion, really that came about because of the popularity of zello this past year with the hurricanes, harvey and irma and then in puerto rico where it was, we were adding a million users a day. it was phenomenally successful. and it was the main, go-to application for those volunteers who were helping and for people who needed help. and because of that, it got some press attention, and this came out of that. >> host: bill moore, what made
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your product successful in a situation like that? >> guest: well, it's around voice, which is perfect. i mean, if there's an emergency, a radio is the right tool because it's live, it's very simple to use, and zello as a product has succeeded above competitors because it's easy to use, it's highly reliable, it works on most any device, on any network. you push a button, you talk, you let go, you listen. a 2-year-old can use zello, a 92-year-old can use it. >> host: s what was your fireside chat with judiciary chair bob goodlatte. >> guest: you know, there was questions about zello and its role in emergencies and also how it relates to more top-down technologies like firstnet and others, the government policy people have been looking at it to better connect first responders and emergency people. >> host: do you see this being interactive with firstnet? >> guest: i hope so, yes, absolutely. it's there, it works now. millions and millions of people
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use it. and its sweet spot is going to be on the outside where what we saw in the hurricanes, 911 people were on zello and need to be able to get help from authorities along with, you know, the volunteers who may or may not be professionals. >> host: what's your background? >> guest: enterprise networking for, you know, 10 or 15 years in product and marketing, and then consumer mobile for the past ten years. i mentioned tune in radio and now zello. >> host: are you a techie? >> guest: i love technology, i love business, i love marketing, you know, the intersection of all of those is my favorite place. so i'm right at home. >> host: bill moore of zello, thank you. >> guest: thank you very much. >> host: and now on "the communicators" we want to introduce you to robert strayier. he's with the -- strayer. he's with the state department, deputy assistant secretary for cyber and international communications and information policy. secretary strayer, that's a lot of title. what does it mean?
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what do you to? >> guest: it is. thank you for having me, by the way. so my title reflects the fact that there are two offices at the state department that merged together. one was a cybersecurity office, and the other is an international communications and policy office. many people describe that type of office as handling the digital economy, so digital regulatory policy issues. in my combined office's main role in the state department is leading our government effort internationally to lead diplomatic engagements on cyber issues as well as digital economy policy issues. so we're engaged at both multilateral forum like something called the international telecommunication union and in the oecd, the g8 and the g7, to throw an alphabet soup at you, as well as doing bilateral engagements on cybersecurity issues. >> host: give us an example of the digital economy issue that you're currently working on. >> guest: well, one of those would be privacy issues. so tonight i'm headed to
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brussels to meet with the european union, meet with the european commission, with parliamentarians and other interlocutors including the private sector to talk about their gdpr which is their general privacy data protection director regulation. that seeks to impose new requirements on any business in the united states that would seek to do, transfer data outside the european union. so it's important that we have an implementation of the gdpr that helps us, helps our companies continue to do business there. >> host: so the fact that european policy is different than japanese policy, is different than u.s. policy just as in a trade agreement, it works in the digital economy that way as well, correct? >> guest: that's correct. there are, there are -- each country could adopt its own set of guidelines. we would like to see as much harmonization as possible. so when you have multi companies
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that are in multiple forms around the world jurisdictions could be subject to differing regulatory requirements of each one. those companies would prefer not to have to adhere to different requirements. they want to be as harmonizedded as possible. we also support what's called the apec cross-border privacy rules which are a more -- in our view -- a very interoperable way to adjudicate privacy requirements and that can been enforced in a very flexible way. and that allows a lot better flow of information across borders while still maintaining core privacy protection. >> host: how uniform has it gotten now in 2018? >> guest: it's, we're very much at an early stage of development between different countries. the e.u. we've, obviously, they've moved very far down the road. we've also adopted something called the u.s./e.u. privacy shield which is a way that allows data to be transferred to the united states pursuant to their continuing privacy
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regulations from, that date back to 1995. that is going to be somewhat adopted and superseded by the gdpr going forward. other countries have their own privacy requirements. within the apec -- >> host: apec standing for -- >> guest: asia-pacific economic cooperation, sorry. the cross-border privacy rules that we worked on with those countries in the asia-pacific region, five countries have signed up to start implementing it. the u.s. and japan have gone the furthest forward to start certifying companies as compliant with those cross-border privacy rules. but other places there's still a lot to be developed on the privacy front. >> host: so, secretary strayer, when it comes to the digital economy, are china and russia cooperative? in your view? >> guest: they have their own views about the digital economy. we have very different views as far as the sovereignty of data
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and content controls of data. so they see the nation-state as being able to control the data that should be flowing across its borders and within its borders. but we have a much different light touch regulatory approach. we think that any regulation should be as narrowly tailored are as possible. when it comes to the implementation of china's cybersecurity law, for example, we have severe concerns that it be very onerous including requiring inspection of hardware and source code that are not typical of the regulatory regime that we see in many places currently. we're concerned that it could interfere with the cross-border flows of data and cross-border transfers of technology and commerce. >> host: so are we talking that this is a economic prosperity versus privacy versus security tube issue -- type issue? do they all play a role? >> guest: we're very careful that we're not falling into making false dichotomies.
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we very much believe we can security that is cybersecurity, protections for individuals as well as continue to have cross-border flows of data. those can be insured through appropriate measures on how data's protected ilude the voice private sector who are or involved in transferring that data as well as users of the internet and those that seek to express themselves online so that we're being very attentive to the needs to continuing to have the expression of fundamental human rights through the internet. >> host: now, we're here at the state of the net conference, and your panel was are we in a post-multi-stakeholder world. what does that mean? >> guest: right. so those of us like the united states that have, that believe deeply that it's important to have multiple voices heard, to have a decentralizedded approach to the internet that we've seen the last few decades be so successful as an engine of growth, in other words, having the engineers, the internet
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engineering task force and icann -- another alphabet soup of names -- entities that seek to establish protocols with regard to the internet. we think that's been a powerful engine of growth and that we should keep following that bottom-up model with many stakeholders involved as opposed to having a centralized, top-down control that seeks to put a blanket on innovation and potential growth trying to judge today what new technology and applications we will see tomorrow. so we have a very different view than some about the future of the internet. >> host: recently, a year or so back, icann became part of our world here in the u.s. in a bigger way than it used to be. has that been successful? >> guest: initial appearances are that it has been successful. we've seen what they call the government advisory committee having the ability to have a veto over changes that are not in the united states' best
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interest, and at the same time we've been able to see multiple stakeholders have a voice in how icann's responsibilities are carried forward. so it appears to have worked out okay to this point, although many of us would have preferred that it stayed under the jurisdiction of the commerce department. >> host: assistant secretary strayer, has the digital economy become borderless? >> guest: it is. i think it's been borderless, the question is do we start balkanizing it, do we start or erecting borders because of differing regulatory policies in different nation-states? that's something we should be very sensitive to avoid. we've created a multi, multitrillion dollar asset that, as theresa may mentioned in her speech at davos, is worst at least $2.2 trillion in the developing world in the years going forward. we don't want to adopt any policy changes that are going to cause more friction in that system and make it more difficult for citizens around the world to avail themselves of
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the benefits of the internet and achieve greater prosperity. >> host: but this is an administration also that has called for changes to trade agreements. >> guest: that's correct. we are unabashed in our pursuit of what is in our national interest including in a recent national security strategy. we mention things like icann be, the internet governance forum and the international telecommunication union as areas where we're going to play an active role going forward. we're going to advance our interests in those forums. we don't think it's at all inconsistent with what we're also doing on the, if you will, hard goods trade environment. we can also pursue our interests in the digital world in a very aggressive way to insure that where we have shared interests with others, we're achieving shared outcomes that are good for the growth of the global economy. >> host: what's the cooperation level around the world? >> guest: i think there's a good level of cooperation. we have many different or forums
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where we're engaged. that's why we're also doing bilateral engagement. my staff is constantly traveling to meet with other governments about policy issues. we also have digital economic officers in our embassies and consulates around the world meeting with their counterparts in other governments. so there's a tremendous amount of cooperation. we also have our private sector which is our household names in places around the world. they act as good advocates for the american way of life and american ideals. so there's a tremendous amount of cooperation going forward, and we don't want to see any of that decrease. >> host: robert strayer, assistant secretary of state, thanks for your time. >> guest: thanks for having me. >> host: and now joining us on "the communicators" is sanja kelly with freedom house. ms. kelly, what do you do at freedom house? >> i direct the freedom on the net project which examines the state of internet freedom in 65 countries around the world. >> host: do you do this on a yearly basis or continually? >> guest: well, we did continually, but we do detailed analysis of different indicators
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that assess internet freedom annually. so we look at everything from content regulation to which web sites are being blocked in each country, also what kind of surveillance policies are employed, how many people are arrested for things that they do and write online as well as cyber attacks and physical attacks. >> host: so what's your overall assessment of freedom on the net right now? >> guest: so we have done this project for eight years now, and for the eight years -- eighth year straight we have documented significant decline in internet freedom. in particular this year, we have focused on the increasing number of governments who are manipulating the internet for their advantage. in fact, it seems like a lot of people here in the united states and in western europe are focused at what's been happening in their country, but this manipulation -- whether that be through paid government commentators and use of fake news and use of political bots -- is actually a widespread problem. just to give you a better sense,
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over the past year alone we've documented that in 18 countries these manipulation techniques have played a significant role in elections and referenda. >> host: what are some of those countries? >> guest: well, so some of the countries do include, of course, the united states and western europe where we've documented russian interference. but in many more whether that be mexico or vietnam or turkey or the philippines, we've seen diverse methods. so, for example, in the philippines the governmented had employed thousands of -- government had employed thousands of people, thousands of opinion shapers who are paid $10 a day to go online and post positive comments about the filipino president and also defend his quite brutal crackdown on drug trade. we've also seen that that in places like turkey where, for example, the government has been paying people to actually go after political opposition and
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civil society. in some countries like sudan, for example, you know, some of these efforts are actually being done by units within the government. so in skew can this is art -- sudan, this is part of their intelligence efforts. but in other parts it's actually being done by hired pr companies. >> host: so, sanja kelly, can a country control basically with the flip of a switch what comes in and out of that country? >> guest: it's quite difficult and only a few countries are able to do it in many ways. so in some ways, countries like north korea, obviously, are the type of places where information is very much controlled. what we have seen in cuba particularly in the past where, you know, you could really -- if you're a citizen of cuba, you can only connect to domestic web sites, and you had to go to government-approved wi-fi spots or government-approved
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cyber caf├ęs in order to connect to the international internet. but what we've seen in most of the places is that people have access to the worldwide web, it's just that the governments are blocking a lot of information. in some cases tens of thousands of web pages, particularly web pages that are critical of the authorities or of the ruling family or military or prevailing religion. >> host: so we often see reports every couple of month where is "the new york times" is blocked in china. >> guest: that's right. absolutely. so china is an excellent example of that where hundreds of thousands of web pages are blocked. and in many cases, those are foreign web sites that would write an article that's critical of the communist party or a web site that would expose corruption. and when that web site is not housed within mainland china, then the government will just issue a blocking order.
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but we've seen this phenomenon in many other places. so, for example, in saudi arabia or in turkey or iran information is blocked, any type of information that might be perceived as critical or threatening to the ruling parties. >> host: so from freedom house's perspective, has this been damaging to democracy? >> guest: absolutely, because this really comes at the core of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. and these basic, fundamental freedoms are not being respected in much of the world. so when the government blocks information that is not threatening any sort of violence, when the governments block information that is simply speaking freely about human rights or government policies, that affects democracy and human rights. likewise, what we've seen is a huge increase in governments actually blocking petitions
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online. and that, again, in many ways is a freedom of assembly issue because governments see that people are getting organized, and they're trying to prevent that. >> host: sanja kelly, what's the situation in your native country of bosnia he's go vienna? >> guest: we are focused on 65 countries, but i would say that bosnia is also facing some of the issues although the internet is largely free. i think some of the issues that government leaders there are debating about is how to regulate hate speech particularly given quite tumultuous past, and i think those are some legitimate questions. >> host: when it comes to freedom, where does the u.s. stand? >> guest: so freedom is -- so u.s. is one of the freest countries according to our survey. but, again, it's not without problems. so one of the reasons why actually the united states got downgraded in terms of the
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number of points is precisely because of this russian interference which we saw as a threat to our own democracy. but more generally, throughout the years we occasionally do see threats whether that be through some questionable requests by the department of justice to private companies when it comes to information of people or protesters. we have seen such requests coming during the occupy wall street protests. but then we've seen it more recently actually during the trump administration. but again, in comparison to all the other countries that we examine, the united states stands within the top five. >> host: is this, is your reporting available online to people to read? >> guest: yes. so we do have a summary of trends that outline the newest developments and key challenges and opportunities that we have documented over the past year. and then we have a detailed report on each of the 65 countries specifying the newest
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laws and policies that have occurred over the past year and key issues as well affecting the question. >> host: >> guest: yes. >> host: and what exactly is freedom house? >> guest: freedom house is actually the oldest human rights organization in the united states. we fight for democracy and human rights, and it was founded in 1941 by eleanor roosevelt among one of the prominent founders. >> host: sanja kelly is the director of the freedom on the net. >> if you'd like to see more of c-span's "communicators" programs, go to and look under the series link on the home page. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the
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supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> this week facebook's see you mark zuckerberg will testify before senate and house committees on facebook's handling of user information and data privacy. tuesday at 2:15 p.m. eastern on c-span3 he'll answer questions during a joint senate judiciary and commerce committee hearing. and then on wednesday at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span3 he'll appear before the house energy and commerce committee. watch live coverage on c-span3 and online at, and listen live with the free c-span radio app. >> now, business and government leaders discuss how to develop work force skills in science, technology and engineering. among the speakers were zip


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