Too much information: week ending 20 May

Demonstrators take to streets across Turkey to protest internet bans
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Turkey last weekend to voice their opposition to a new law that will mandate state-controlled internet censorship. The law is scheduled to come into force in August.

UK: Independent review rejects “lobbynomics” and suggests copyright reform could lead to economic boost
A six-month independent review commissioned by the UK government has recommended changes to the copyright system it says could add up to £7.9bn to the UK’s economy, the Financial Times reports. The changes revolve around strengthening exceptions and limitations to copyright law, and linking enforcement to licensing practice. Professor James Boyle, a copyright scholar and advisor to the review, has written a cogent analysis of its findings.
FT report | Boyle analysis

Burma: Ban on CDs, USB drives in internet cafes
Burma’s communications ministry has issued a new regulation forbidding the use of external data storage devices in internet cafes. Democratic Voice of Burma reports: “The ban on CDs, USB sticks and floppy drives comes two months after the government prohibited the use of services like Skype and VZOchat that allow internet users to make free or cheap international phone calls”.

EU to fund African internet infrastructure for research
The European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office and the international research network operator DANTE have announced a new contract to provide support for sub-Saharan African intra-regional research networking infrastructure to boost its connection to the pan-European research network, GÉANT. Worth just under €15m, 80% of the project funding will come from the Commission, with African partners contributing the remaining 25%.

The Quiet Revolution in Open Learning
This Chronicle of Higher Education feature reveals the history of the Obama administration’s landmark $2bn open education resources policy and charts the likely future of an initiative it says “could have a catalytic effect on a movement that increasingly looks like the future of higher-education reform”.

Fair Mobile – Two Years On
Steve Song compares the difference in price drops for mobile services over the past two years between South Africa and Kenya, and introduces a new survey from Fair Mobile of affordability across the continent.

Brazil’s Copyright Reform: Timeline
Pedro Paranaguá offers a useful timeline to help understand Brazil’s currently stalled copyright reform, eight years in the making. The process, writes Paranaguá, has gone from open and participatory to closed and opaque.

Video: What the internet is hiding from you
Eli Pariser of shows how advances in technology can tailor the web to each of its individuals users, noting the downsides this might have for education, pluralism and cross-cultural understanding: “What we’re seeing is a passing of the torch from human gatekeepers to algorithmic ones”.

Audio: NPR’s On The Media “The Data Show”
US National Public Radio explore the seductions of data in this special episode of On the Media: “Wallmart logs more than 2.4 petabytes of information about customer transactions every hour, equivalent to 167 times the books in the Library of Congress”.

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