CU Law Student Symposium:

April 17, 2017
CU Law | Boulder, Colorado

Today, the Internet is an essential communications service. It allows us to apply for jobs, research homework, access our bank account, buy goods, watch television, track our health, run a business, stay in touch with loved ones, and find community. For example, an aspiring law student would be unable to apply to law school without a reliable Internet connection.

The Internet also allows others – government entities, Internet Service Providers, corporations, law enforcement, and even strangers – access to the private details of our lives. For example, online ads vary depending on a user’s location and search history, and police departments monitor social media sites to track potential criminal activity.

Thus, the Internet is both an essential tool and a window into our private lives. This dual function highlights the tension between access to communications and the freedom to communicate. Because individuals without access to the Internet are not able to participate fully in society, social justice advocates are concerned with access to this essential service. At the same time, the information that users disclose online makes them vulnerable. Thus, social justice advocates also want to protect the digital privacy of Internet users. As civilians get online, so must civil and human rights.


9:00 AM OPENING REMARKS: Anthony Neal-Graves, Executive Director, Colorado’s Broadband Office


9:45 – 10: 45 AM PANEL 1: Access to Telecommunications Services

Internet and phone service are essential to modern daily life. The Internet allows people to apply for jobs, research homework, bank, buy goods, watch television, track their health, run a business, and stay in touch with loved ones. Individuals without access to the Internet are not able to participate fully in society. The cost of service is major barrier that impedes poor people from getting online. The Lifeline Program provides a subsidy for low-income individuals to help pay for Internet or phone service. The panelists will discuss affordability and access of Internet and phone service in Native, rural, and low-income communities, and for individuals in prison.
• Brian Howard, Research and Policy Analyst, American Indian Policy Institute, Arizona State University
• Dee Davis, President, Center for Rural Strategies
• Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge
• Anthony Neal-Graves, Executive Director, Colorado’s Broadband Office
• Moderator: Blake Reid, CU Law

11:00 – 12:00 PM PANEL 2: Freedom of Expression Online & Net Neutrality

The Internet is a global platform where anyone can share their ideas, record knowledge, launch businesses, reach audiences, and connect with others. This neutral platform is critical to voices that are not often heard in mainstream media or don’t have access to global markets. Ensuring that freedom of expression online is protected and the Internet remains a neutral platform is one of the most important issues in telecommunications law and policy today. Panelists will discuss the importance of ensuring marginalized voices get heard in the digital world, and that Internet Service Providers don’t prioritize the voices of those who can pay the most.
• Gaurav Laroia, Policy Counsel, Free Press
• Brandi Collins, Senior Campaign Director, Color of Change
• Andrea Quijada, activist and scholar, University of New Mexico
• Moderator: Helen Norton, CU Law

1:00 – 2:00 PM PANEL 3: Surveillance of Vulnerable Communities

Police departments monitor social media sites to identify potential criminal activity; the Border Patrol uses drones to monitor the Mexico-U.S. border; and the Department of Homeland Security has proposed to monitor immigrants on social media. How do government entities use technology to surveil communities they consider to be potentially dangerous? Which communities are vulnerable to surveillance based on public safety and national security rationales? Should members of these communities be careful about what information they disclose online?
• Lauray Moy, Deputy Director of the Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown Law
• Ken Montenegro, Director of Information Technology, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
• Steven Renderos, Center for Media Justice
• Thenmozhi Soundararajan, filmmaker and activist, Equality Labs
• Parul Desai, Law for Black Lives-DC Chapter
• Moderator: Scott Skinner-Thompson, CU Law

2:15 – 3:15 PM PANEL 4: Alternative Models to Deploy Internet Service

What happens to the millions of Americans that live in places where there are no Internet providers? Are they left to wait for a big telecommunications company to decide to sell internet service in their area? What are the alternatives? We will hear from towns, organizations, and projects that are doing something different to extend Internet infrastructure to areas that are typically seen as unprofitable.
• Ken Fellman, Kissinger & Fellman Law Firm
• Chris Mitchell, Director of Community Broadband Networks Initiative, Institute for Local Self Reliance
• Clarissa Ramon, Community Impact Manager, Google Fiber in San Antonio, Texas
• Maria Givens, Policy Analyst, National Congress of American Indians
• Moderator: Ahmed White, CU Law

5:00 – 7:00 PM — Thank You Reception (Boettcher Hall, next to Wittemyer Courtroom)


The following organizations are supporting and co-sponsoring the symposium:

LLSA – Latino Law Students Association
APALSA – Asian Pacific American Law Student Association
BTLA – Business & Tax Law Association
SFSG – Silicon Flatirons Student Group
BLSA – Black Law Students Association
OUTLaw – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Law Student Association
NALSA – Native American Law Student Association
ELS – Environmental Law Society

Thank you to our sponsors!

Student Fee Committee, The Deans Office