Too much information: links for week ending 14 October 2011

“Marco Civil” reaches Brazilian Congress
A draft bill to establish a civil rights-based governance framework for the internet has reached the Brazilian Congress. A2K Brasil has published an English translation of the bill, and a blog post summarising its contents, which were devised as the result of an inclusive consultation process spear-headed by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

US: Secret orders target email
The Wall Street Journal reveals that the US government obtained a secret court order to force companies including Google to hand over the communications traffic records of WikiLeaks volunteer (and US citizen) Jacob Applebaum. The revelations “provide a rare public window into the growing debate over a federal law that lets the government secretly obtain information from people’s email and cellphones without a search warrant”. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is campaigning to change this law.
Report | EFF campaign

Russia: State funded blogging school opens in Chelyabinsk
Global Voices publishes a short, English-language summary of a Russian-language report about a new state-funded blogging school.

Cuba: Radio/TV Martí texting is ‘cyberwar’
The Miami Herald reports on allegations made by the Cuban authorities that a service funded by the US government to send censored news from the US to Cuban mobile phones via SMS violates the country’s laws and may disrupt the network.

Italy: Wikipedia restores service
The Italian Wikipedian community has restored access to Italian Wikipedia after amendments to a draft law they say threatens the existence of Wikipedia were proposed in the Italian Parliament. Last week, the entire Italian Wikipedia was replaced by a message protesting against the law.

Views on Open Data contrast during ICIC sessions
This short report from the 7th International Conference of Information Commissioners underlines the contrasting view open government data activists and freedom of information (FOI) campaigners hold of each other’s disciplines. reports: “One Canadian open data advocate called reforming FOI laws a low priority. FOI traditionalists… warned that politicians are using open data portals to avoid legal reforms”.

Report: Casting a wider net
This new report from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs describes a series of real-world tests to deliver access to BBC websites into Iran and China and draws lessons from these tests for broadcasters and other media players seeking to use the internet to get their content into countries who are likely to block it.

Financial Times special series: Cyberwar – the new arms race
This US-focused in-depth report into cybersecurity examines the issues, the politics and the economics of so-called “cyberwar”. It includes an interactive visualisation of the defence companies the FT says are “creating a cyber-industrial complex”.
Special issue | Visualisation

TV white spaces can open up low-cost, high-speed internet across Africa
This Association for Progressive Communications (APC) report details a recent meeting of civil society organisations, government officials, industry and regulators to discuss how to make better use of so-called “TV white spaces” – wireless spectrum freed up by advances in wireless technology. The meeting was convened in the hopes of persuading regulators to open up spectrum allocation beyond incumbent licence-holders, in order to “enable a new generation of wireless entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa”. The report includes an APC interview which explores the issues at stake with Henk Kleynhans, chair of the South African Wireless Access Providers Association, Google Africa’s Ory Okolloh and South African wireless entrepreneur Steve Song.
Report | Background

Speaking stats to justice
Chance magazine publish this feature from Benetech’s Daniel Guzmán about the statistical work he undertook as an expert witness in a 2010 legal case against the police in Guatemala which “set a historic precedent for human rights”.

Video: John Palfrey and Jeremie Zimmerman on Net Neutrality
This 13 minute video from the Open World Forum, featuring the Berkman Center for Internet and Society’s John Palfrey speaking to La Quadrature du Net’s Jeremie Zimmerman, is an excellent introduction to global issues surrounding net neutrality.

Audio: Algorithmic Culture
In this interview for the CBC Spark podcast Ted Striphas, an associate professor at Indiana University’s Department of Communication and Culture, examines how our cultural life is affected by the growing automation of cultural curation. The interview builds on a series of blog posts Striphas has published on the topic.
Interview | Blog posts

Audio: How telecom providers respond to government surveillance requests
Chris Soghoian reveals the real story behind the small print of telecoms companies’ privacy policies.

Comments are closed.