US internet censorship bill delayed
Following significant public pressure, including an open letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee from 96 founding internet scientists and engineers, the EFF report that the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act” will not be considered further until after the US midterm elections in October. It had been feared that the deeply flawed bill, which included proposals to use the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) to boot suspected copyright infringers off the ‘net, would be rushed through without proper scrutiny in order to appease lobbyists.
India ID project begins in earnest
India’s project to create a unique, biometric-linked identification for each of its 1.2 billion citizens kicked off in earnest this week, amid stiff resistance from civil society groups, who say the project is intrusive, expensive, and possibly illegal.
New media law in Syria to target bloggers?
The New York Times report that a draft law being proposed in Syria would force bloggers and journalists to register as syndicate members and submit their writing for review: “Other Arab countries regularly jail journalists who express dissident views, but Syria may be the most restrictive of all”.
e-Voting dealt double blow
Flawed electronic voting technologies were dealt a double blow this week, with hacker infiltration ending an online voting trial in Washington DC, and the Indian Electoral Commission bowing to mounting pressure to provide a paper trail alongside their electronic systems. e-Voting campaigners are now calling for all charges against Indian security researcher Hari Prasad – who was arrested in August after he revealed flaws in e-voting machines – to be dropped.
US | India
ACTA “Ultra-Lite” emerges from Tokyo negotiations
The Tokyo round of negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement concluded last week, with mixed messages coming from country delegates, and in particular the US and the EU, about whether a final agreement had been reached. A draft of the consolidated text released this week shows that harmful provisions had been watered down, including those to do with intermediary liability for copyright infringement and the circumvention of digital locks to enable fair use of copyrighted works.
What is the impact of digital activism?
The impact of digital activism has been in the headlines for most of the past week. A New Yorker essay by Malcolm Gladwell kicked off a lively debate which included input from Evgeny Morozov and Howard Rheingold in the New York Times, and Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber.
Essay | NY Times response | Crooked Timber response
A Tour through the Visualization Zoo
A wonderful crib sheet detailing a wide variety of data visualisation techniques.
Free to Learn: Guide to OER for higher education
This booklet from Creative Commons is aimed at higher education governance officials, particularly boards of trustees and senior academic leaders, to help them better understand Open Educational Resources (OER) and their benefits to students, faculty and institutions.
Rise of the Online Autocrats
Evgeny Morozov shows how officials from autocratic regimes are using social media to disseminate pro-government views and undermine their critics. “The decentralized nature of online conversations often makes it easier to manipulate public opinion, both domestically and globally”
Who’s suing who in the mobile business
A handy visualisation of the many intellectual property lawsuits currently being fought by mobile companies against each other.