Rebecca Mackinnon

Director, Ranking Digital Rights

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Rebecca MacKinnon is director of the Ranking Digital Rights project at New America, developing a system to rank the world's most powerful Internet, telecommunications, and other ICT sector companies on free expression and privacy criteria. After completion of a pilot study in 2014, the annual ranking will be implemented and launched in 2015.

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 Online. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and was a founding board 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 he has held fellowships at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press and Publicy Policy, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Open Society Foundations, 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 Fullbright scholar in Taiwan.


  • Internet Freedom
  • Censorship
  • Surveillance

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Rebecca Mackinnon
Director, Ranking Digital Rights

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