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Public Opinion toward Internet Freedom in Asia: A Survey of Internet Users from 11 Jurisdictions

Public Opinion toward Internet Freedom in Asia: A Survey of Internet Users from 11 Jurisdictions, May 4, 2016. Fei Shen, Lokman Tsui

“This paper, which is being released as part of the Berkman publications series in conjunction with the Digital Asia Hub, summarizes the findings from a survey of Asian Internet users. The purpose of the study is to understand the public opinion toward issues related to Internet freedom in Asia. This report provides a basic overview of the opinions and behaviors on a number of topics related to Internet freedom, including but not limited to Internet censorship and the adoption and use of circumvention, anonymization, and encryption tools.”

  • Key Findings: There is robust and strong support for Internet freedom in Asia. About 78% of respondents agree that freedom of expression on the Internet needs to be protected, and nearly 90% consider access to the Internet a basic human right. 
 The robust support for freedom of expression online is accompanied by almost equally strong support for Internet censorship. More than two thirds of respondents agree that some form of censorship is needed on the Internet: 19.4% express strong agreement and 54.5% express agreement. 
 Nevertheless, respondents disagree on whether it is desirable to censor religiously offensive and political content. A majority agree it is necessary to censor pornography, gambling, and copyright infringing content. While respondents disagree on what content should be censored, a large majority strongly agree that censorship rules and decisions should be made public and transparent (74.1%). 
 Internet users in Asia, when asked whom they trust most to manage the global Internet, are more likely to choose software or search engine companies (e.g. Microsoft, Google) (33%) and the multi-stakeholder model (29%) than other options (e.g., local or national government, telecommunication companies, etc.). 
 On average, 71% of respondents believe online censorship currently exists in their respective jurisdictions. About a quarter of respondents report having used circumvention (23.5%), anonymization (25.0%), and encryption tools (26.7%) to access censored or blocked information online. 
 It is important to note that cross-country variation is substantial in Asia. Respondents in Japan and Korea express low to moderate support for Internet freedom, low support for Internet censorship, low volume of circumvention and anonymization technology use, low privacy protection behavior, and low levels of online censorship. In contrast, respondents in India and Vietnam show an opposite pattern. Respondents in Singapore and Thailand are in the “moderate” group. In both Hong Kong and Malaysia, people are more supportive of Internet freedom than censorship, and they adopt many non-technical (but not technical) privacy protection measures. Indonesia, Pakistan, and Taiwan comprise the last group: in all three jurisdictions, respondents indicate high levels of support for Internet censorship but relatively low levels of support for Internet freedom.”

Report – Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

Part of the Middle East and North Africa may become uninhabitable due to climate change, May 02, 2016. “The number of climate refugees could increase dramatically in future. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia have calculated that the Middle East and North Africa could become so hotContinue Reading

Revolutionary Enhancement of Visibility by Exploiting Active Light-fields

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LA Times Investigative Report on Oxycontin and Addiction

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Hydraulically fractured wells provide two-thirds of U.S. natural gas production

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Report – Labor and Output Declines from Removing All Undocumented Immigrants

American Action Forum – Ben Gitis, Jacqueline Varas Executive Summary: “We build on previous American Action Forum (AAF) research that found removing all undocumented immigrants from the United States and preventing all future unlawful entry would cost between $400 billion and $600 billion and reduce real gross domestic product (GDP) by over $1 trillion. InContinue Reading

FDA takes significant steps to protect Americans from dangers of tobacco through new regulation

“Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized a rule extending its authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco, among others. This historic rule helps implement the bipartisan Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 and allows the FDA to improve public health and protect future generationsContinue Reading

ALA report provides practical advice about adopting 3D printers in libraries

“The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) today released Progress in the Making: Librarians’ Practical 3D Printing Questions Answered. Co-authored by 3DPrint360 CEO Zach Lichaa and ALA Senior Policy Analyst Charlie Wapner, the document poses and answers sixteen practical questions related to establishing 3D printing as a library service. All ofContinue Reading

Yad Vashem Transport Project: Rationale and Terminology

“Since 2007 the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem has been studying the transports as an extensive phenomenon that transcended individual states, rather than in the context of a study of the Holocaust in a specific country or a single community. The transports are being studied as an historic event, one that isContinue Reading

Medical error the third leading cause of death in the US

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DATA Act Information Model Schema v1.0

“A core requirement of the DATA Act is the development of government-wide data standards to ensure the reporting of reliable, consistent federal spending data for public use. Last year, OMB and Treasury finalized the 57 data definition standards and Treasury used the data definition standards to develop the initial draft of the DATA Act dataContinue Reading

Empirical Analyses of Judicial Opinions: Methodology, Metrics and the Federal Circuit

Rantanen, Jason, Empirical Analyses of Judicial Opinions: Methodology, Metrics and the Federal Circuit (May 3, 2016). Connecticut Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: “Despite the popularity of empirical studies of the Federal Circuit’s patent law decisions, a comprehensive picture of those decisions has only recently begun to emerge. Historically, the literature has largely consistedContinue Reading