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Category Archives: Free Speech

Mapping Digital Media: Global Findings

Open Society Foundations: “The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by new and digital media. Covering 56 countries, the project assesses how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide—news about political, economic, and social affairs—and how they can help advance open society values. Is a world where there are almost as many mobile phones as people, more than half the globe can access digital TV signals, and almost 3 billion people are online a better place for journalism? The Global Findings of the Mapping Digital Media project assess these and other forces affecting digital media and independent journalism worldwide. Researched and written by a team of local experts, the 56 country reports, from which these Global Findings are drawn, examine the communication and media environments in 15 of the world’s 20 most populous countries, covering more than 4.5 billion of the world’s population, and in 16 of the world’s 20 largest economies. The Mapping Digital Media research confirms that digital television and the internet have had a radical impact on media businesses, journalists, and citizens at large. As might be expected, platforms distributing journalism have proliferated, media companies are revamping their operations, and citizens have access to a cornucopia of news and information sources. Other findings were less foreseeable: digitization has brought no pressure to reform state broadcasters, less than one-third of countries found that digital media have helped to expand the social impact of investigative journalism, and digitization has not significantly affected total news diversity. The Global Findings reveal other common themes across the world:

  • Governments and politicians have too much influence over who owns, operates, and regulates the media.
  • Many media markets are rife with monopolistic, corrupt, or untransparent practices.
  • It’s not clear where many governments and other bodies get their evidence for changes or updates to laws and policies on media and communication.
  • Media and journalism online offer hope of new, independent sources of information, but are also a new battleground for censorship and surveillance.
  • Data about the media worldwide are still uneven, unstandardized, and unreliable, and are often proprietary rather than freely accessible.”

Testimony of Nuala O’Connor on Open Internet Rules

“CDT President & CEO testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 17, 2014. The hearing, entitled “Why Net Neutrality Matters: Protecting Consumers and Competition Through Meaningful Open internet Rules,” comes as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) works to restore open Internet protections and has sought public comments on the best path forward.” “We believe thatContinue Reading

The Crypto-democracy and the Trustworthy

Sebastien Gambs, Samuel Ranellucci, and Alain Tapp (Submitted on 8 Sep 2014).  Cite as: arXiv:1409.2432 “In the current architecture of the Internet, there is a strong asymmetry in terms of power between the entities that gather and process personal data (e.g., major Internet companies, telecom operators, cloud providers, …) and the individuals from which this personal data is issued. InContinue Reading

International Law and Secret Surveillance: Binding Restrictions upon State Monitoring of Telephone and Internet Activity

CDT: “In the year that has followed Edward Snowden’s first disclosures concerning secret US and UK surveillance practices, many governments, human-rights groups, and UN bodies have debated—and at times disagreed sharply—about whether the Internet and telephone surveillance practices that governments employ today are consistent with international law. With a view to informing these discussions, thisContinue Reading

ABA Draft Report on Stand Your Ground Laws

American Bar Association National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws, Preliminary Report and Recommendations, August 8, 2014. “This report represents the culmination of the Task Force’s analysis of a substantial compilation of information: testimony from experts and stakeholders received at five regional hearings, extensive legal research on each jurisdiction’s self-defense regime, quantitative assessments ofContinue Reading

Federal and State Wiretaps Up 5% in 2013 According to Annual Report

EPIC: “The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has issued the 2013 Wiretap Report, detailing the use of surveillance authorities by law enforcement agencies. This annual report, one of the most comprehensive issued by any agency, provides an insight into the debate over surveillance authorities and the use of privacy-enhancing technologies. In 2013, wiretap applications increasedContinue Reading

Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s Impact on the Economy, Internet Freedom & Cybersecurity

New America Foundation – “It has been over a year since The Guardian reported the first story on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs based on the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, yet the national conversation remains largely mired in a simplistic debate over the tradeoffs between national security and individual privacy. It is timeContinue Reading

EFF Publishes New Whitepaper on the Broken Penalty System

EFF – “Today, the House Judiciary Committee [held] a hearing on “remedies” in copyright law—that is, the penalties, injunctions, and other means of challenging and penalizing alleged infringement. This is hugely important: fixing copyright’s remedy provisions (like excessive, unpredictable monetary penalties and government seizures of domain names) is key to ensuring that copyright does its job—helpingContinue Reading

Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution: Warrantless Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad

Arnbak, Axel and Goldberg, Sharon, Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution: Warrantless Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad (June 27, 2014). HOTPETS, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2460462 “In this multi-disciplinary paper, we reveal interdependent legal and technical loopholes that intelligence agencies of the U.S. government could use to circumvent constitutional and statutoryContinue Reading

11 Net Neutrality Principles released by Library and University Groups

“The above organizations firmly believe that preserving an open Internet is essential to our  nation’s freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth. The Internet now serves as a primary, open platform for information exchange, intellectual discourse, civic engagement, creativity, research, innovation, teaching, and learning. We are deeply concerned that public broadband providers have financialContinue Reading

World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development

“Freedom of expression in general, and media development in particular, are core to  UNESCO’s constitutional mandate to advance ‘the mutual knowledge and understanding  of peoples, through all means of mass communication’ and promoting ‘the free flow of ideas by word and image.’ For UNESCO, press freedom is a corollary of the general right to freedomContinue Reading

EPIC Defends FOIA Victory in Federal Appeals Court

“EPIC has filed a brief in response to an appeal by the Department of Justice in EPIC v. DHS, concerning the government policy to disrupt cellular networks. EPIC won a major FOIA victory when a federal district court ruled that the DHS could not withhold “SOP 303,” a government procedure to shut down cellular phone service. EPIC sought theContinue Reading