A top computer-crime defense lawyer says the dream of a free and open Internet is slowly being killed by overregulation, censorship and bad laws that don't stop the right people.

The annual Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas kicked off Wednesday with a keynote address from Jennifer Granick, director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

Granick says that while the Internet needs to be reasonably safe, it's no longer the revolutionary place it once was.

She told the crowd of hackers and information security professionals that while no one is murdering the dream, it's withering away because no one is prioritizing its protection.