Russell Lee Weaver Professor University of Louisville, United States

Russell L Weaver began teaching at the Louis D Brandeis School of Law in 1982, and holds the rank of Professor of Law and Distinguished University Scholar. He teaches Constitutional Law, Advanced Constitutional Law, Remedies, Administrative Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure. He is a prolific author who has written dozens of books and articles over the last twenty-five years. He was named the Judge Spurgeon Bell Distinguished Visiting Professor at South Texas College of Law (affiliated with Texas A & M University) during the 1998–99 academic year, and he held the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence at the Cecil C Humphreys School of Law, University of Memphis, during 1992–93. In addition, he has been asked to speak at law schools and conferences around the world, and has been a visiting professor at law schools in France, England, Germany, Japan, Australia, and Canada.

The Internet and democracy

This talk will examine advances in speech technology over the centuries, and the efforts of so-called “Gatekeepers” to control the use of those technologies, thereby limiting and controlling the ability of ordinary people to engage in mass communication. The article suggests that the Internet, and such technological advances as “smart phones,” have largely enabled ordinary people to engage in mass communication for the first time. Although gatekeepers have not been completely eliminated, their impact is much diminished as compared to earlier communications technologies.