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Rescooped by Donna Champion from Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream!

Internet Uncertainty | Tim Karr Blog | Huff Post

Internet Uncertainty | Tim Karr Blog | Huff Post | Information Policy |

When asked whether the Internet has been a force for good or evil, Zeynep Tufekci likes to answer "Yes."


In other words, it is both the best of times and the worst of times for the Internet. It's also the best and worst of times for the freedoms the Internet is supposed to nurture.


Tufecki should know. As a fellow at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, she focuses on the politics of free speech in social media. Over the years she's traced this push and pull with particular attention to the Middle East and North Africa (Tufecki is a native of Turkey).


Syrian protesters have used the Internet to spread their message of opposition and document brutal human rights abuses at the hands of the Assad regime. Meanwhile, the regime has deployed the "Syrian Electronic Army," Assad loyalists intent on shutting down dissidents' online voices and launching cyber-attacks against Western news outlets that criticize the Syrian autocrat.


This uneasy balance served as the backdrop for last Friday's World Press Freedom Day. The Internet -- via platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Weibo and YouTube -- has given a voice to hundreds of millions of people. It's also a medium that offers speakers very few protections.


Last week, Freedom House released a report revealing that governments are intensifying their efforts to restrict digital media. "Repressive measures included the passage or heightened use of new cybercrime laws (Thailand, Russia); jailing of bloggers (Egypt, Gulf Arab states, Vietnam); and blocks on Web-based content and text-messaging services during periods of political upheaval (India, Tajikistan)," the report says.


And the threat isn't entirely at the hands of governments. In last week'sNew Republic, Jeffrey Rosen reported on a cadre of twentysomething "Deciders" employed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to determine what content is appropriate for those platforms -- and what content should get blocked.

While they seem earnest in their regard for free speech, they often make decisions on issues that are way beyond their depth, affecting people in parts of the world they've never been to.


And they're often just plain wrong, as Facebook demonstrated last week. They blocked a political ad from progressive group CREDO Action that criticized Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's support of the Keystone XL pipeline.


This case is just one of several instances where allegedly well-intentioned social media companies cross the line that separates Internet freedom from Internet repression.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Clock ticks on Swiss banking secrecy

Clock ticks on Swiss banking secrecy | Information Policy |

Switzerland is facing mounting pressure finally to abandon its long tradition of banking secrecy. The United States has already told the Swiss government it expects Swiss banks to provide the US authorities with automatic information about US clients.

Now the European Union is demanding the automatic exchange of information too, a policy non-EU-member Switzerland will have difficulty avoiding if it wants access to Europe's financial markets.

But giving up banking secrecy is likely to be a painful process for the Swiss. While other countries see the practice as a way to hide the ill-gotten profits of crime, corruption, or tax evasion, in Switzerland it is viewed as an honourable policy which illustrates the relation of trust between state and citizen.

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Rescooped by Donna Champion from The African Internet!

Egypt’s ICT Sector

Sound infrastructure and solid investment for the country’s information and communication sector reflect its importance and serves as a model for other sectors. In turn, a robust plan is needed for challenges, including high penetration rates in Egypt.



Via Online Africa
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Digital Agenda for Europe - European Commission

Digital Agenda for Europe - European Commission | Information Policy |
RT @EUinnovation: Information society: DAA Online engagement process: from you to the EC policy cycle #EU
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