Rebecca MacKinnon

Director, Ranking Digital Rights

Rebecca MacKinnon is director of the Ranking Digital Rights project which works to set global standards for how companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector and beyond should respect freedom of expression and privacy. The project's inaugural 2015 Corporate Accountability Index ranked 16 of the world's most powerful internet and telecommunications companies on their disclosed commitments, policies, and practices affecting freedom of expression and privacy. Future iterations of the Index will expand over time to include more companies that produce a broader range of digitally networked products and services with implications for global human rights.

Author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012) MacKinnon is co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and was a founding member of the Global Network Initiative. Before launching the Ranking Digital Rights project, she was a senior research fellow (2012-2013) and Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow (2010-2012) at New America. She is also a visiting affiliate at the Annenberg School for Communication’s Center for Global Communications Studies.

Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon was CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief from 1998-2001 and Tokyo Bureau Chief from 2001-2003. Since leaving CNN in 2004, she has held fellowships at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Open Society Foundations,

http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/open-society-fellowship

and Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. In 2007-08 she taught online journalism and conducted research on Chinese internet censorship at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, and was a 2013 adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard University and was a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan.



All Work

OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Ranking Digital Rights 2017 Corporate Accountability Index Launch Event

Join us on March 23rd to find out what has changed since 2015, what companies can do to improve, and why it matters.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Russia Requires Apple and Google to Remove LinkedIn From Local App Stores

Rebecca MacKinnon was quoted in the New York Times about Russia banning LinkedIn.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Internet Freedom at a Crossroads

Support for the promotion of internet freedom cuts across partisan lines.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
New America at SxSW, 2016

New America drove the conversation around policy and technology at the 2016 SxSW conference.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Facebook Exec Jailed in Brazil as Court Seeks WhatsApp Data

Rebecca MacKinnon was quoted in Reuters about the Facebook executive arrested in Brazil.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Are Tech Companies Doing Enough to Protect Customer Rights and Privacy?

Rebecca MacKinnon was profiled by the Ford Foundation for her work on privacy and consumer rights.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Digital Globalization

A new McKinsey Global Institute report, to be released at New America, finds that globalization has reached a critical turning point.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Who's Messing with Your Internet Rights? And Who'd Tell You If They Did?

Rebeccca MacKinnon was interviewed by Public Radio International about the importance of transparency and accountability from governments.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
In Age of Isis, Will you Lose  Web Freedoms of Arab Spring?

"If you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet."


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Why Google Quit China—and Why It’s Heading Back

When American Internet companies do business abroad, they are sometimes forced to do a repressive government’s dirty work.


NEW AMERICA NYC
Ranking Digital Rights

We rely on dozens of companies for the services that power our digital lives, but are they committed to respecting our digital rights?


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Ranking Digital Rights: DC Launch

Hear director Rebecca MacKinnon explain the most important and surprising findings from the 2015 Index.