What Now For Investors Concerned About Internet Privacy? SRI Conference To Hear From Expert In Wake Of Snowden Leaks

Jul 10, 2013, 11:00 ET from First Affirmative Financial Network, Colorado Springs

Internet Policy Guru Rebecca MacKinnon Joins Line-up for 24th Annual SRI Conference to Address How Investors Should Think About Privacy, Censorship, and Corporate Accountability in the Digital Age.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Google. Verizon. Yahoo!. AT&T.  These are just some of the companies that were revealed in the wake of the leaks by Edward Snowden to have provided private information about U.S. consumers to the National Security Administration (NSA) as part of a secret surveillance program.  So, where does that leave sustainable and responsible investors who want companies to protect the privacy and free expression rights of their users and customers—in the United States, and all over the world?

That question will be tackled in October by Rebecca MacKinnon, senior research fellow, New America Foundation, when she speaks at the 2013 SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com).  This major industry event for investors and investment professionals in the Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) investing sector takes place October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The full conference agenda is available here http://www.SRIconference.com/2013/agenda.jsp.

MacKinnon is author of the award-winning book Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom.  Her research, writing, and advocacy work focuses on the intersection of Internet policy, human rights, and corporate accountability.  Responsible investors have pointed to growing threats to Internet privacy for years, but many are expressing fresh concerns about the implications of Edward Snowden's recent revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies are requiring major wireless communications networks and online service providers to comply with secret monitoring programs.

First Affirmative President, Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said: "The release of information about the PRISM and Tempora Internet surveillance programs has become a huge topic of discussion within the SRI community, among responsible investors.  We have developed a session on Internet privacy to examine the roles that companies and investors can play in formulating practices that protect privacy in the digital world, and we are excited to have Rebecca MacKinnon as an expert in this area helping conference attendees understand the implications."

MacKinnon is a founding board member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder organization that promotes core principles of respect for free expression and privacy in the information communications technology (ICT) sector.  She is co-founder of Global Voices Online, an international citizen media network, and also sits on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.  In 2013 she launched a new project called Ranking Digital Rights, which will assess, compare, and ultimately rank the world's major ICT companies on free expression and privacy criteria.

"Internet and telecommunications companies, along with mobile device and networking equipment manufacturers, exert a growing influence over the political and civil lives of people all over the world who are increasingly dependent on these technologies" MacKinnon said. "These companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, and that clearly includes the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.  Most have done a poor job of respecting their users' and customers' digital rights in the face of laws and government demands that clash with international human rights norms.  We have our work cut out for us in getting companies to improve their policies and practices in this area.  Investors have a vital role to play."

MacKinnon started her career as a journalist in East Asia, including as CNN's Beijing Bureau Chief from 1998-2001 and Tokyo Bureau Chief from 2001-2004.  Since then she has held fellowships at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Open Society Foundations, and Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, and taught online journalism at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre.  She is a graduate of Harvard University and a former Fulbright Scholar.

About The SRI Conference
The 24th annual SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com), the leading North American forum for investors and investment professionals involved in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing, will be October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado (http://www.broadmoor.com/).  Please contact Krystala Kalil, at 888-774-2663 or krystala@SRIconference.com.

About First Affirmative Financial Network
First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC (http://www.firstaffirmative.com) is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587) offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious investors. First Affirmative produces The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com).

SOURCE First Affirmative Financial Network, Colorado Springs