Post Date: December 2, 2004

On Dec. 10, leaders of the internet campaigns for President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry will debate the influence of the web in the 2004 election. This discussion is part of a three-day conference—Votes, Bits & Bytes—hosted by Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society to take a skeptical look at whether online technologies have changed political participation, citizenship, and governance, both in the United States and worldwide.

“Is the internet transforming politics, or are we witnessing the bursting of yet another bubble?” asked John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman. “This conference is a chance for some of the leading political players to come together with some of the most thoughtful academics and savvy technologists. We intend to grapple with what happened in the recent election in the United States, explore what’s been going on in other countries around the world, and figure out where these trends may be leading us. We’re excited about the many extraordinary speakers and discussion leaders who will be here.”

Political organizers will join online entrepreneurs, international bloggers, activists and scholars in exploring these questions. Confirmed speakers include:

The conference will take place Dec. 9-11, 2004 and is made possible by sponsorship from eBay, as well as additional funding and support from the Omidyar Network, the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, the Open Society Institute and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

Registration and additional information is available at the conference website:

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is a research center founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study and help pioneer its development. It represents a network of faculty, students, fellows, entrepreneurs, lawyers and virtual architects working to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace. For more information, please visit or contact Mary Bridges at 617-495-7547.