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Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Open Societies and Human Rights Director, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Paul Williams is the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s Director of Open Societies and Human Rights. He has over 20 years’ experience in the civil service, including in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Previous Foreign and Commonwealth Office roles include Multilateral Policy Director and Head of EU and G8 Foreign Policy.


FOC Task Force on Internet Shutdowns and Defending Democracy Online

This event will serve as the launch of the FOC’s Task Force on Internet Shutdowns. It will begin with a brief description of the task force’s structure and mission, led by speakers from the U.S. Department of State, Access Now, and the Global Network Initiative (GNI). These organizations are the task force’s founding chairs. The session will also feature breakout rooms engaging participants in answering two questions: How can well-intentioned governments protect individuals and democratic values online without resorting to Internet shutdowns? And what levers of influence can FOC members and partners use to influence the behavior of states that engage in Internet shutdowns?