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Special feature: How to respond to governments’ plans to legalise mass online surveillance around the world and clamp down on media diversity in the name of national security, to relentless corporate intrusions into our personal lives online, or the corrosive effects of cyber-bullying? This new series brings scholars, digital activists, artists, technical and legal experts, and human rights advocates together to set a critical agenda for considering the full spectrum of how human rights should relate to the internet’s future. Read on »

The digital revolution in Havana: between liberation and submission

How might Cubans make actual the words of revolution, so that they recall not only past glory, but one that could come? Is digital development part of an agenda of renovation, and in what capacity?

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Digital capitalism, the military junta and Thailand’s permanent state of exception

In the last three years of military rule in Thailand, prosecutions for defamation, sedition and computer crimes offences have soared. Global social media platforms are ground zero in this repression.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The end of anonymity? Trump and the tyranny of the majority

Worldwide, there is an administration-sanctioned attack on anonymity, online and off.

Internet access, sustainability, and citizen participation: electricity as a prerequisite for democracy?

Democracy is not innate but learned, and access to information is the critical link between education and democracy. But access to information is fundamentally uneven, especially for people in the Global South.

Do we still need human judges in the age of Artificial Intelligence?

Technology and the law are converging, but what does that mean for justice?

The digital revolution in Havana: between liberation and submission

How might Cubans make actual the words of revolution, so that they recall not only past glory, but one that could come? Is digital development part of an agenda of renovation, and in what capacity?

Silencing dissent: digital capitalism, the military junta and Thailand’s permanent state of exception

In the last three years of military rule in Thailand, prosecutions for defamation, sedition and computer crimes offences have soared. Global social media platforms are ground zero in this repression.

Defending human rights in a digital age (III): activism behind the screen

What have human rights got to do with the technical running of the internet?

A new digital trade agenda: are we giving away the Internet?

Will this foster digital rights, or leave us with even lower standards and a concentrated, quasi-monopolistic market benefiting from public infrastructure?

The future of the internet depends on you

People from the freedom of expression, privacy and media development communities must get engaged, to ensure that one of the most important communications platforms ever invented remains open, pluralistic and democratic.

Digital skills in academia: let’s CryptoParty!

The question of how to secure research data in times of large-scale online surveillance remains unaddressed. CryptoParties might offer a preliminary solution. 

An alternative take on alternative facts

Trump is right: we should be dealing in alternative facts – they have important work to do. 

The EU must keep up with new technologies

Surveillance technologies infiltrating computer systems of human rights activists can result in their imprisonment or death. The EU needs to put greater emphasis on working with activists.

The future of US net neutrality under Trump

Administrative decisions related to the country’s telecommunications policy often go unnoticed by the majority of the US citizenry. But now, net neutrality in its purest form is in peril.

State surveillance is a global threat to press freedom

The state should not have the power to secretly identify then persecute whistleblowers.

Privacy and Data Protection Day: restoring trust for digital citizens

The web has made our world increasingly borderless, and digital security should be borderless too, not just a privilege of those who can afford it. 

A rights-based approach to technology: gathering admissible evidence and the eyeWitness to Atrocities app

The right to anonymity, whilst always promoted by accountability mechanisms has never allowed witnesses to give evidence without ever having to identify themselves to some sort of authority.

Facebook’s new role in Europe: protecting Poles from hate speech since 2016

A couple of years ago any nationalist statement against the “threat of muslimisation” was widely recognized as the very definition of hate speech across all European countries. By 2016, no longer.

Mexico's misinformation wars

How organized troll networks attack and harass journalists and activists in Mexico. Español

The Facebook President: fact trumps fiction

Did Facebook really turn Hillary Clinton from POTUS 45 into Al Gore 2016?

The free space for data monopolies in Europe is shrinking

If the new EU data protection regulation is enforced equally for EU and non-EU companies, supported by anti-trust and consumer protection laws, new types of data-based monopolization could be controlled.

Small steps in the struggle for digital rights?

In this rapidly expanding internet, the kinds of rights we need are often difficult to pin down – though pin them down we must if they are to be protected.

The UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill is about to become law – here's why that should terrify us

The evidence that these powers are all needed is thin indeed. And the cost to all of our privacy is huge.

European net neutrality, at last?

Article 3 of the Regulation defined the legal foundations of net neutrality in the EU, including the operators' obligation to "treat all traffic equally."

Governing Google

As for Google, without a more ‘joined up’ EU legal and regulatory framework integrating digital rights and economic concerns, users may need to look to solutions outside the law.

Belling the trolls: free expression, online abuse and gender

Freedom of expression is fundamentally about power: about who gets to speak or express themselves and on what terms and platforms.

Poland welcomes internet filtering

Any limits set for free expression online must be traced in pencil, not in ink, and not, and this is particularly important - within a hastily drafted piece of legislation.

Surveillance, power and communication

Coalitions of actors – scholars, activists, some politicians, and even some captains of industry, will need to collaborate if the pathway we pursue to a calculated, unequal future is to change.

Jurisdiction: the taboo topic at ICANN

The issue of jurisdiction seems to be dead-on-arrival, having been killed by the US government. Meet the new boss: same as the old boss.

Fear of surveillance is forcing activists to hide from public life in Belarus

A visitor to Minsk might conclude from its calm appearance that the human rights situation had changed. But beneath the surface, the invisible threat of surveillance keeps civil society in check.

Democracy – a call to arms

David Bernet’s profoundly European film, Democracy, is that rare thing, a documentary about the complex system that is democracy, and a triumphant democratic law-making process at that.

The right to online anonymity

Human rights should be considered proportionally in any governmental policy related to the Internet, in a way which will hopefully spur the private sector to follow.

With one bound he was free!

The Internet organisation ICANN’s charismatic CEO, Fadi Chehade has moved on. Did he achieve what he set out to do? Was it what we needed him to do? And what about human rights?

Whose data is it anyway?

Collection, categorisation, and experimentation on people’s data are presented as legitimate because online advertising is funding the free internet. But what about privacy, free expression, and autonomy?

Mobilisation for digital rights

Post-ACTA, decision-making has been adapted to avoid decision-moments. Of course, individual grassroots campaigns are still hugely valuable. But we need long-term advocacy.

We must understand threats in the technology we use every day

Like everyone else, human rights activists use mobile phones, email and social networks to connect. Unlike most people, they criticise states, challenging their actions. As such, they attract their attention.

After Snowden, can technology save our digital liberties?

In this wide-ranging interview with human rights lawyer and former Privacy International head of advocacy Carly Nyst, we discuss surveillance politics, radical thinking, and human rights on the internet.

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