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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

openDemocracy's managing editor Becky Hogge takes a fortnightly reality check on all things virtual. From information feudalism to the digital divide, welcome to the interface between technology and democracy.

Dumping on the world: e-waste 2.0

E-Waste is the new emerging pathology of the ecosystem, born during the current historic period of capitalist production.

Dimon Don't Cry

The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, doesn't like his online nickname “Dimon,” but whatever we think of Dimon’s playground problems how does one stand up to online bullies? And why are so many of them Russian?

Kremlin games: when programming meets politics

THE CEELBAS DEBATE// Russia has a booming and influential video-game market. The authorities want to capitalise on the industry, but do they really understand how it works? 

The knowledge revolution

The global transformation of the market in intellectual property is provoking elite resistance, but also creative initiatives to develop the potential of the new knowledge economy. Becky Hogge maps the state of debate.

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.

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.

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 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.

Some grown-up questions for Google

What does Google mean when it says "don’t be evil"? The company’s expansion in China will reveal whether it is on the side of citizen or state, says Becky Hogge.

The abuse of 'fair use'

American free speech is being squeezed by bad case law and the disproportionate power of intellectual property owners. US citizens must be vigilant, says Becky Hogge.

Global voices: blogging the world

The pioneering Global Voices initiative hosted bloggers from Algeria to Zambia at a conference in London. An impressed Becky Hogge reflects on the challenges it may soon face.

The online public finds its voice

The Open Rights Group campaign for online freedom of information, individual liberty and the integrity of the public domain is a new stage in the defence of digital rights, says Becky Hogge.
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