Posts Tagged ‘sxsw’

sxsw-interactive-logoIf you are in Austin and registered for SXSW Interactive, check out this session today at 3:30 – Commercial Threats to Freedom of Speech Online



Friday, March 13
3:30PM – 4:30PM
Austin Convention Center, Room 10AB

Globally, there has been much attention paid to the threat that government entities may pose to individuals’ rights to speak and share information freely. However, far less attention has been placed on the role that bad acting companies and other commercial interests play in trying to squelch or suppress public statements and expressions online. From corporations suing respected journalists and news media for speech that they claim is libelous, to bad businesses suing users of online review sites for negative reviews, more and more often, people are finding their freedom of speech threatened online.

This panel of experts will discuss the current commercial threats to freedom of speech online and the possible solutions to this growing issue.


  • Amy Austin is the Publisher of Washington City Paper, an influential and award-winning alternative news media company in Washington DC.
  • Evan Mascagni graduated, summa cum laude, from the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law in 2011.
  • Laura Prather is an attorney with Haynes and Boone LLP in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office
  • Paul Alan Levy is an attorney with Public Citizen’s Litigation Group

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I’ve just spent the past few days in a dizzying whirl of activity around SXSW Interactive (or SXSWi)- between ACT Lobby Day yesterday and Monday testifying in/monitoring 3 committees on 7 bills, it was tough to make it to everything I wanted, but over the weekend I had some really amazing experiences.

SXSW logoBy far, the most positive thing I’ve seen here was SXSW had a panel organized on the fly- all about how to help Japan. I knew we were discussing it in different places, but in less than 48 hours from tragedy striking, there were some of the best minds in tech and thought leaders from various industries working together to make disaster relief a priority:   sxsw4japan.org: How You Can Impact Earthquake Relief Absolutely amazing to me the good will and nature of people willing to come together to help complete strangers halfway across the globe. We are blessed to live in such a time.

One of the best panels I went to was Why My Phone Should Turn Off the Stove. (more…)

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Environment Texas is throwing a SXSW party tomorrow called: A Solar Affair: Beats and Beers for Solar Power.

Check out the flyer and blog below by Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas — hope to see you there!

In Texas, we have enough sun to power the entire state, and enough beats and beer to power Environment Texas’ unofficial SXSW party A Solar Affair: Beats and Beers for Solar Power. Friday’s party – which features music by Daedelus and a short talk by state Representative Mark Strama – comes amidst a major push for Texas to go solar. (more…)

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Last week was pretty crazy for Austin — SXSW came in like a lion, and I’ll admit I am quite pleased that the city is laying quietly like a lamb once again.  But though Sixth Street may be back to its sleepy Monday morning self, Public Citizen’s office is back in full swing.  We’ve got a lot coming up this week: Solar Day in the Senate, Energy Efficiency hearings galore, a press conference and hearing on Sen. Ellis’ coal moratorium bill… and that just brings us to Tuesday.  But before we launch headfirst into the environmentalist’s version of March Madness, let’s take a moment to regroup from last week.

From the good folks at Alliance for a Clean Texas, check out this mid-week review.  A taste:

With meetings of the House and Senate State Affairs committees, House Energy Resources, House Environmental Regulation and not one but two meetings of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, the environmental agenda is in full swing in the 81st Session. This morning, Senator Lucio and Representative Gallego led a press conference highlighting legislation filed that supports investment in emerging renewable energy such as solar and geothermal. (The entire press packet is available here.) Among the benefits to investment in renewable energy? Green jobs, for one. (Stay on the lookout for green hardhats in the Capitol. You never know who’ll turn up wearing one.)

For more information on our St. Patty’s Day press conference with Sierra Club, check out Floor Pass’ Luck O’ the Lege post.  You heard right, the number of renewable energy bills this session has doubled compared to last.  As Mark Strama noted at the conference, “if you can just get everyone that filed a renewable energy bill to vote for a renewable energy bill, you’ll pass them all.”  We should be so lucky!

Legislators who have authored Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) bills held a press conference this morning to announce that the number of renewable energy bills filed has doubled from last session to this session. For those yet unfamiliar with the jargon, RPS is a policy tool that sets a goal for providing a certain percentage of total energy used from renewable sources like wind and biomass. You can find descriptions of the RPS bills here.

Check our Flickr photostream for photos from the press conference, and stay tuned to stay in the loop this week!

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