Too much information: week ending 30 September

Internet Governance Forum begins in Nairobi
The Internet Governance Forum, a multi-stakeholder forum created as a result of the UN’s World Summit on the Information Society and now in its sixth year, began in Nairobi, Kenya this week. The .nxt internet governance blog highlights competing bids by China, Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa and the EU for a stronger role for governments in internet control. And a paper prepared for the summit by Jeremy Malcolm of the Giganet network of internet governance scholars charts the decline of “multi-stakholderism” in internet governance.
Report | Paper

Kyrgyzstan to switch off foreign TV channels for elections
TREND reports that cable television cables in Kyrgyzstan will switch off transmissions of foreign TV channels this week until the end of October, in order to comply with laws governing the broadcast of political campaign messages.

Windows 8 secure boot: the return of “Trusted Computing”?
ZDNet report on a security measure proposed by Microsoft to link operating system (OS) software to the computer that runs it, a development that could have widespread ramifications for the computer market. The Light Blue Touchpaper blog likens the proposal to previous attempts by major computer firms to lock down computer hardware, concluding “The extension of Microsoft’s OS monopoly to hardware would be a disaster, with increased lock-in, decreased consumer choice and lack of space to innovate. It is clearly unlawful and must not succeed.”
ZDNet | Light Blue Touchpaper

Copyright reform back on the agenda in Canada
Proposed reforms to copyright law, which had been delayed by national elections, were scheduled to be re-introduced in the Canadian Parliament this week. Michael Geist analyses the political mood surrounding some of the proposal’s most controversial provisions and highlights the role the US played in promoting legal change, as revealed by leaked US State Department cables published since the elections took place.

89 countries ranked in world’s first rating of right to information laws
Access Info Europe and the Centre for Law and Democracy celebrated International Right to Know Day (28 September) this week by launching a detailed analysis of the legal provisions for exercising the right to information across 89 countries. Among the study’s findings are that more recent laws protect the right to know more strongly, and that countries in Europe, particularly those with older laws that are limited in scope and have weak appeals mechanisms, account for 15 of the bottom 20 rankings.

Anonymous accuses Chaoda of fraud
The Financial Times reports that “Anonymous, the amorphous cyber-collective, has made its first foray into securities analysis by accusing a scandal-plagued Chinese company of fraud”. The company in question is Chaoda Modern Agriculture, and the 38-page “Anonymous Analytics” report released this week accuses them of falsifying financial statements and swindling investors.

New website tracks net neutrality violations in Europe
Two European digital rights organisations, Bits of Freedom and La Quadrature du Net, have launched a new website called “Respect My Net”, which invites European users to report violations of net neutrality principles committed by their Internet Service Providers.

Six provocations for big data
This paper, presented by sociologist danah boyd to the Oxford Internet Institute last week, contains some interesting observations on how the current trend towards making extremely large data sets the object of scholarship “creates a radical shift in how we think about research… a profound change agt the levels of epistemology and ethics”.

Why the world is scared of hacktivists
This Financial Times feature by Joseph Menn provides excellent history and context on the activities of Anonymous and other hacktivists.

Audio: Cyber-spies
This podcast of the BBC’s flagship investigative radio program, File on Four, provides an excellent overview of the issues surrounding digital surveillance in open and closed societies.

Video: Evgeny Morozov on digital utopianism
This feature-length video for Dutch TV programme Tegenlicht invites Evgeny Morozov to respond to a range of video clips which explore ideas of digital utopianism. Although broadcast for a Dutch-speaking audience, the footage (from about 2 minutes in) is mainly English-language with Dutch sub-titles and is well worth watching.

Audio: Yochai Benkler on his new book “The Penguin and the Leviathan”
David Weinberger talks to internet and legal scholar Yochai Benkler about his new book “The Penguin and the Leviathan: How cooperation triumphs over self-interest”, which challenges the popular notion that human beings are entirely self-motivated.

Video: Zeynep Tufecki on Social Media and Dynamics of Collective Action under Authoritarian Regimes
This Berkman Luncheon Series video features Zeynep Tufecki talking about the role of social media in energising networks of dissent under authoritarian regimes, drawing on data gathered in Tahrir Square during the uprisings in Egypt.

Comments are closed.