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Special feature: How to respond to the erosion of civil liberties as governments around the world pass laws that legalise mass online surveillance in the name of national security? How can ordinary people and communities take action to minimise corporate intrusions into our personal lives online? What sorts of legal, political, social and creative initiatives are pushing back against these powers behind the screen? What are the implications of national digital agendas for the future of work, leisure, and education? What alternatives are there to the corrosive effects of cyber-bullying, revenge porn, or the political manipulations of news? How are people mobilising in response to the subsequent chilling effects on fundamental rights and freedoms – freedom of expression, of education, and the right of assembly? In this series, scholars, digital and human rights activists, artists, technical and legal experts develop a critical agenda to address the interconnection between human rights and internet futures. Read on »

Mental health and artificial intelligence: losing your voice

While we still can, let us ask, "Will AI exacerbate discrimination?" as the productive forces of mental health are restructured within a techno-psychiatric complex. Poem.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Mental health and artificial intelligence: losing your voice

While we still can, let us ask, "Will AI exacerbate discrimination?" as the productive forces of mental health are restructured within a techno-psychiatric complex. Poem.

“Same story, different soil”: the Deathscapes Project gets under way

Hawk Newsome: “It’s the same story, different soil... from Long Bay to the USA. In Sydney, his name is David Dungay. In New York City, his name is Eric Garner.”

Do you agree?: What #MeToo can teach us about digital consent

The conversation around sexual consent could radically change the way we think of consent online.

The right to be forgotten risks becoming a tool to curb free press

Online news archives highlight the tension between the right to know and the right to be forgotten.

Dreadful symmetry: kill boxes, racism and US sovereign power in the digital age

Nearly all of the killings and excuses for killings carry this mark of the “pre-insurgent”. All the time we hear, “we thought he was reaching for a gun”.

Manifesto on algorithmic humanitarianism

The nature of machine learning operations mean they will actually deepen some humanitarian problematics and introduce new ones of their own. This banality of machine learning is also its power.

Snowden to Cambridge Analytica – making the case for the social value of privacy

Constitutionally inculcated rights and morality are slowly being undone “by the use of automated processes to assess risk and allocate opportunity”.

The scramble for data and the need for network self-determination

The scramble for data is unleashing a new form of colonialism: turning a quintessentially open internet into a series of closed, controllable cyber-spaces, where a few players have unprecedented influence.

Listen to a recorded audio version of this article courtesy of curio.io.

Digital giants are trading away our right to privacy

Today, the big tech race is for data extractivism from those yet to be 'connected' in the world – tech companies will use all their power to achieve a global regime in which small nations cannot regulate either data extraction or localisation. 

Scrapping FCC net neutrality rules would be a mistake

Repealing net neutrality would result in the de facto concentration of internet control of revenue from accessible services into the hands of certain gatekeepers, undermining the open architecture that allows the free exchange of ideas.

Net neutrality at a crossroads: why India’s policy process has important lessons for the US

Digital equality demands that access to the internet is seen as indivisible from a democratic internet. Net neutrality is not just about an open architecture, but about genuine egalitarianism – meaning internet access.

The UK government spied on human rights groups – now they’re taking it to court

After human rights groups challenged the government for its mass surveillance infrastructure, they were themselves illegally spied on. Illegal state spying jeopardises all our freedoms, and must be stopped.

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.

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