Here are the links from last week’s Information Program mailout, a weekly update of interesting information policy stories and features I help to compile. I’m posting it late, some of it is chip-wrappings, but most of it is still useful.
Chile mandates net neutrality
The Chilean congress has passed amendments to the country’s telecommunications law that will make it illegal for internet service providers (ISPs) to block or slow down downloads if users are engaged in legal activities. The law will also subject ISPs to tightened transparency requirements. Chile is the first country to approve a net neutrality law.
UK: ISPs challenge copyright enforcement law
UK internet service providers BT and TalkTalk are seeking judicial review of the controversial Digital Economy Act, a law that includes mandatory online copyright enforcement measures, and that was rushed through Parliament in its dying days before the recent UK elections. Even if the challenge is unsuccessful, the complexity of the issues may delay any changes implemented by the law for many years.
Concerns over new communications law in Serbia
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) has expressed its concern over the recently-adopted Electronic Communications Law in Serbia. The law creates a database of Serbian citizens’ personal electronic communications, granting access to national security and police forces without the need for prior permission.
Chinese thinktank accuses West of using social networking sites to stir political unrest
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a Chinese government-backed thinktank, has called for increased surveillance of popular social networking sites, accusing the US government of using sites such as Facebook to stir political unrest.
Proposed Brazilian copyright reforms protect fair use rights from DRM
Michael Geist reports on the sections of Brazil’s proposed copyright reform bill which permit circumvention of digital rights management (DRM) technologies for fair use and public domain purposes, and shows how it establishes equivalent penalties for hindering or preventing users from exercising their fair use rights.
Audio keylogging: new security threat
The Economist reports on a new surveillance technique that allows audio-based key-logging. Sounds of individual keystrokes can be distinguished via laser microphone, making it possible to eavesdrop on computer users from afar.
Russian government spending: data visualisation
This English language blog post introduces a new website that visualises data released by the Russian government on government spending, and details the work – and the data – still needed to make the project a success.
Highlighting the role of Western tech in Iranian online surveillance
Interview with artist Deena DeNaro about her recent “subvertising” project which aims to highlight the role of Siemens AG and Nokia in shipping surveillance technology to Iran.
Report from Wikimania 2010
Noam Cohen reports for the New York Times on last weekend’s Wikimania event in Gdansk, and outlines the challenges the Wikipedia community now face.
Measuring scientific impact on the web
This paper proposes using social media to enhance traditional citation-based approaches to measuring scientific impact, and evaluates current initiatives and services experimenting with this approach.
How to fund the news industry
This project gathers policy and scholarship around new business models in journalism, summarising each proposal with links to the original material.
Audio: The Digitisation of Science
Listen to this lecture by Victoria Stodden which argues that scientific data and code must be published in the open for science to remain credible in the information age.