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About Becky Hogge

Becky Hogge is a writer and researcher. Between 2006 and 2008 she ran the Open Rights Group, a UK-based grassroots campaign to establish and protect our rights in the digital world. Between 2008 and 2013 she was a non-executive director of open data pioneers the Open Knowledge Foundation. She has just finished a major piece of research work commissioned by Omidyar Network “Open Data: Six stories about impact in the UK”. The full report, whose findings are reflected in this piece, is available here.


Articles by Becky Hogge

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

How the BBC can create a better digital public sphere

The BBC’s remit is not just broadcast. It has the power to improve our experiences online, and to realise the digital public sphere we want.

Now is the time to defend the public’s right to know

Britain has just attended the Open Government Partnership Summit in Mexico as the world leader on open data policy – a clear winner, now under threat. How come?

Networked activism meets the dominant culture of technocratic managerialism in Westminster

The first full-time executive director of the Open Rights Group (and one-time openDemocracy technology director) describes the clash of cultures she experienced as a citizen activist trying to influence digital policy. Expect centralising managerialism to continue to have all the wrong instincts on digital law. (Extracted from Barefoot into Cyberspace)

The freedom cloud

The tools that help Arab democracy protesters also extend the reach of three United States corporations. The power of Facebook, Google, and Twitter represents an appropriation of the hacker-utopian ideals of the early internet, says Becky Hogge. The challenge to those who still uphold these ideals is to recover a true freedom path.

The internet's fading promise

Governments around the world are becoming more sophisticated in restricting their netizens' freedom, finds Becky Hogge.

Digging in

The corporate pressure on the successful user-generator news aggregator Digg highlights the flaws in the legal architecture governing next-generation media outlets, says Becky Hogge.

Campaigning in cyberspace

If politicians really want to reach voters via the internet, argues Becky Hogge, they need to exploit the best features of the new communications environment.

We are the web

Like language, the internet exists as a function of its users, who define and generate its structure. As the complex digital world evolves, however, some shared values are needed writes Becky Hogge.

'Data is the pollution of the information society'

How can free people grapple with growing threats to their privacy and liberty? A computer-security guru's view of the surveillance dystopia worries Becky Hogge.

A gain for the public domain

After a surprising breakthrough in negotiations, the scene is set for a full debate on intellectual-property rights and human development. Becky Hogge is encouraged, but the fight isn’t over yet.

Reporting Africa, blog by blog

A new collaboration between the citizen journalists of Global Voices and Reuters promises refreshing perspectives by and from Africa, says Becky Hogge.

One high, one low note for downloaders

As the music industry begins to move away from digital rights management, writes Becky Hogge, the European Union considers criminalising the infringement of intellectual property.

An Irish challenge to the EU's snooping law

The Data Retention Directive is incompatible with a democratic society, argues Becky Hogge, who backs Digital Rights Ireland's legal battle.

The future of intellectual property: Andrew Gowers interviewed

Andrew Gowers, commissioned by the British government to map the next generation's intellectual-property framework, explains his thinking to Becky Hogge – and leaves her feeling that the "copyfight" for a public domain of information has only just begun.

Let the IP debate begin !

An imminent British report on intellectual-property law will shape government policy on the balance between consumers and rightsholders. Becky Hogge sets the scene – and takes sides – in the debate to come.

Free software's Faustian moment

A recent deal between Microsoft and Novell has ignited the long-smouldering controversy about whether code can be owned. Is it the first step towards a two-tier software economy?

Flash! Web's creator doesn't fear for its future

After discussing reputation and the blogosphere, Tim Berners-Lee found his words turned upside down. Becky Hogge helps uncross the wires.

Information between old and new worlds

The defence of independent news and quality journalism is vital, but is it best served by recourse to law? Becky Hogge, unillusioned techno-utopian, considers the lessons of Google's multiple legal entanglements.

Consumer or citizen?

The marketisation of public choice is an infringement of freedom. At the heart of a fightback is the reclamation of language, says Becky Hogge.

Revolution at our fingertips

As the networked information revolution reaches a threshold for repression, Becky Hogge finds its future has already been written, and the battle lines are clear.

Anonymity on the net

The promotion of "darknets" is one response to corporate surveillance of personal data. But there is a better way to ensure privacy online, says Becky Hogge.

Whose space? Abuse and control in social networks

Social-networking websites are drawing fire as adults lure teenagers into real-world liaisons. Defending online communities, Becky Hogge argues for education not legislation.

Amnesty's China hit-list

An Amnesty International report on leading companies' complicity with China's internet censorship is the latest stage in a vital campaign, says Becky Hogge.

The Crown's copyright con

As the UK government abuses copyright law to stifle free speech and obstruct freedom of information, the case of Craig Murray reveals how the impulse of power to control dissent is crushing democratic rights anew.

'The Long Tail', Chris Anderson

Has the rise of "niche culture" brought about the demise of the smash hit blockbuster? Chris Anderson's seminal book explores a new era of cultural consumption and distribution.

The web's hall of mirrors

From Wang Xiaofeng to Sandi Thom, writers and artists – and their commercial promoters – have learned how to pull new technology's strings. But the blogosphere is not so easily fooled, says Becky Hogge.

Open source ubuntu

Despite its world-saving image, open source software has not made much real revolution. But Becky Hogge finds hope in new software "for human beings", designed to bridge the digital divide.

The battle for net neutrality

A proposed new law in the United States reflects the desire of cable and telecommunications companies to turn the internet’s information-flows into a market. It shall not pass, says Becky Hogge.

Microsoft: closed windows and hidden vistas

While Microsoft faces tough questions about anti-competitive practices, the world outside is turning towards open development and more innovative technology, says Becky Hogge.

Internet hoaxes hit politics

In Japan and South Africa, faked emails have been wreaking havoc on political careers. Reader beware! Becky Hogge looks into the internet's hoaxing tradition.

Payday for the free internet

The open-content revolution is transforming business models, relationships and minds on its way to creating "Web 2.0". Becky Hogge is already there.

Internet freedom comes of age

As the corridors of power resound with debate about internet control, Becky Hogge champions the internet freedom movement fighting for the right to information, and the diversity of the web.
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