Corporate power, surveillance, and the future of Open Access

Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event Description: 

We live in an information economy, and the future of democracy and equity depend on everyone’s ability to access information. Yet, even as scholars and organizations work to make scholarly work openly available, the increased commercialization of information and technology, along with the enhanced capabilities for data collection and surveillance, threaten the ability for users to access that scholarly work. In addition, persistent racial, class, and gender divides exclude growing numbers of people from the internet and knowledge commons. Panelists will examine how the growing concentration of corporate control of internet service provision and content, including policies related to net neutrality, affect the ability of all people to have access to information. The broader implications of these developments for both democracy and inclusion and for the future of scientific inquiry will be discussed, and the panel will offer steps users can take to help protect internet freedom and the knowledge commons for all.

Co-Sponsors: University Library System, Global Studies Center, Department of History and Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh


Alfredo Lopez

May First / People Link

Alfredo Lopez is a well-known left/progressive internet activist and the co-founder of May First/People Link, a non-profit membership organization that engages in building movements by advancing the strategic use and collective control of technology for local struggles, global transformation, and emancipation without borders. Alfredo has long been active in struggles for racial and social justice. He helped lead technology work for the US Social Forums in Atlanta and Detroit, and he has been part of national coalitions defending net neutrality and promoting racial and gender diversity in the tech industry. He is author of “The Organic Internet” and a regular contributor to the online blog devoted to critique of corporate and establishment media, This Can’t be Happening.

Sheila Corrall

Professor, Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship, School of Computing and Information
University of Pittsburgh

Sheila Corrall is lead faculty for the Academic Libraries area in the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Corrall’s research interests include scholarly communication and the open movement, collection development in the digital world, reflective practice and professional competence, and intellectual capital perspectives on library and information services. 

4130 Posvar Hall
230 S Bouquet St
Pittsburgh, PA 15260