US: “An explosion of opposition to the internet blacklist bill”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports on the growing chorus of voices from business, policy-making, academia and civil society that are ranged against draconian legislation currently being proposed in the US to address online copyright infringement. Ars Technica publish legal analysis of the so-called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) from law professor and founder of the Chilling Effects project on online censorship, Wendy Seltzer, while the SSRC’s Joe Karganis publishes initial findings of his research into the scope of the problem the bill is attempting to address. Opponents of the bill dubbed this past Wednesday “American Censorship Day”, in recognition of SOPA’s assault on free speech rights. They are encouraging US citizens to take action by contacting their representative in Congress.
Report | Legal Analysis | Research | American Censorship Day
WIPO: World Blind Union urges US and EU governments to agree to “right to read”
A critical round of negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for a binding Treaty for the Visually Impaired will begin next week. The treaty would oblige its signatories to remove copyright barriers which prevent blind, partially sighted, dyslexic and other “reading disabled” people from accessing books, but has so far been opposed by governments in the US and EU. The World Blind Union issued a statement directed at those governments urging them to support the treaty next week, and “help end the book famine” for blind and reading-disabled people. Frank la Rue, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, has also issued a statement, urging all negotiating parties “to work assiduously to agree a binding WIPO treaty for blind and other reading disabled people, and to thereby open a door to reading, ideas and information for reading disabled people across the world”.
Brazil: Cybercrime law could restrict fundamental rights
Global Voices report on proposed legislation in Brazil that could criminalise many online activities and “would mark an abrupt shift in Brazil’s progressive digital policy environment”.
At Open Access meeting, advocates emphasise the impact of sharing knowledge
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the Berlin 9 Open Access meeting held last week in Washington DC, which “focused on the benefits of putting research… into the hands of scholars, students, innovators, and the general public”.
EU agency warns of voluntary surveillance society
The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has published a report warning that “Europeans and others run the risk of creating a surveillance society that results in discrimination or the exclusion of some individuals, that lacks privacy and fosters paranoid behaviours by some in response to a sense of being constantly monitored, and that results in a loss of autonomy”, The Fierce Government blog reports.
Twitter ordered to yield data in WikiLeaks case
The New York Times reports on a federal court ruling that Twitter must hand over information to the US Justice Department about three of their account holders – Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp and Birgitta Jónsdóttir – under investigation for their involvement with WikiLeaks.
“The field [formerly known as?] ICT4D is messy”
Linda Raftree sums up “a flurry of sometimes harsh and pointed, always thoughtful posts” on the continuing relevance or otherwise of the ICT4D (Information Communication Technologies for Development) field.
China startup report
This short slideshow presentation is a good introduction to the Chinese internet market.
Book sprints and traditional publishing
O’Reilly Media Editor Andy Oram reports from a week-long “book sprint” held last month, which aimed to produce four manuals for four different free software projects. His postings analyse “the similarities and differences between conventional publishing and the intense community effort represented by book sprints”. The book sprint used the FLOSS Manuals platform.
Bibliography of digital resistance
This bibliography published by the University of Milan’s European Observatory on Digital Resistance, Liberation Technology and Human Rights contains key texts on the relationship between new technology and protest movements around the globe.
The next internet: netroots activists dream of global mesh network
This article on Ars Technica examines The Darknet Project, a new initiative to create “a decentralised web of interconnected wireless mesh networks that operate independently of each other and the conventional internet”.