Too much information: links for week ending 11 November 2011

UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning release OER policy document
Creative Commons reports that UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning have jointly released a policy document “to encourage decision makers in governments and institutions to invest in the systematic production, adaptation, and use of Open Educational Resources”.

United States faces questions on ACTA, IP enforcement and free expression
Intellectual Property Watch reports on a letter sent by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a US Representative “undertaking to explain the apparent contradiction in the strong enforcement of intellectual property rights and efforts to ensure freedom of expression on the internet”, a contradiction that was highlighted by the UN’s Frank la Rue earlier this year. Meanwhile, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development reports that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a US-led treaty that threatens to take intellectual property enforcement laws beyond WTO-established standards, is being questioned by US authorities, at the European Parliament, and at the WTO. A video produced by La Quadrature du Net that encourages European citizens to write to their elected representatives at the European Parliament protesting ACTA has been viewed more than 1m times.
Clinton answers | ACTA questions | Video

Open Net Initiative releases data on global internet filtering
The Open Net Initiative have released the data they collect about global internet filtering, to enable reuse by researchers and developers: “The data provides an overview of the most recent ONI ratings of the breadth and depth of Internet censorship in seventy-four countries”.

Websites to generate FOI requests proliferate
Freedom Info reports on the recent launch of six new websites designed to make it easy to submit Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to authorities in the EU, Germany, Kosovo, Chile, Macedonia and Brazil. Many of them use the Alavateli platform developed by mySociety.

UK: Record industry body asks ISP to block the Pirate Bay
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a lobbyist group for the record industry, has asked major British Internet Service Provider (ISP) BT to block the BitTorrent site Pirate Bay. The request follows a recent court decision compelling BT to block another website, Newzbin. LINX reports that “BT has ruled out any extension of blocking any site without a court order”.

Selling our wireless future
In this editorial for the Huffington Post, Yochai Benkler defends unlicensed spectrum policies against those who would sell off spectrum to the highest bidder to plug the US’s budget deficit gap. Benkler has published a working paper in support of his analysis, examining demand for spectrum in eight different US markets including wireless healthcare and smart grid applications.
Editorial | Research

Free but not easy
This short feature for the Economist provides a good summary of the issues – such as international expansion, fundraising and stagnating editor numbers – that currently face Wikipedia.

Research: The adverse effects of sunshine
This research presents evidence that legislative transparency initiatives in Vietnam have potentially may have the effect of “curtailed participation and conformist behaviour”.

The discreet switch to Twitter
This analysis for the Monday Note identifies why looking at user figures alone might not give an accurate picture of the rising importance of Twitter, and the decline of Facebook, when it comes to social media marketing.

Tackling the high cost of textbooks
This editorial for the Seattle Times celebrates last week’s launch of the Open Course Library, a repository of open educational resources that anyone can download, use and adapt free-of-charge, developed by the Washington State community and technical college system.

With US tech, internet censorship continues in Syria and Burma
Digital Journal highlights a new report from the Toronto Citizen Lab about technology produced by US company Bluecoat that is used in Burma and Syria to suppress speech.

Interview: We are all Khaled Said
The Boston Review publishes an interview with the administrators of the Facebook page which helped fuel the Egyptian Revolution, “We are all Khaled Said”.

Interview: Academic publishing and zombies
Inside Higher Ed talks to Kathleen Fitzpatrick, a media studies academic and director of scholarly communication at the Modern Language Association
about her new book “Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy”.

Infographic: Google vs Facebook
The All Facebook blog republish an infographic produced by security vendor Veracode which compares privacy standards on Google and Facebook, arguing Facebook has fallen behind Google in how it protects its users’ privacy.

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