The Global Digital Download is a weekly publication that aggregates resources on Internet freedom, highlighting trends in digital and social media that intersect with freedom of expression, policy, privacy, censorship and new technologies. The GDD includes information about relevant events, news, and research. To find past articles and research, search the archive database.

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  • (Free Speech Radio News, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    In Istanbul, internet activists boycotted the UN’s annual Internet Governance Forum, and held a parallel event to protest the choice of Turkey as host of the event. The country has a poor record on internet censorship, and critics of Turkey’s net policies were excluded conference panels.

  • (Voice of America, Friday, September 5, 2014)
    In the wake of major whistleblower scandals—from the emergence of WikiLeaks to Edward Snowden's revealations about mass state surveillance operations conducted by the United States—concerns over increasing national and international surveillance is dominating the dialogue of several round-table talks at this year's U.N.-sponsored Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul.
  • (United Liberty, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    Ten years later, Nick Merrill still can’t discuss the details of the data request that came hand delivered to him from the FBI. If he could, Merrill says, people would be shocked by the implications for their online privacy. The request came by way of a National Security Letter, or NSL. The letters are not well known, but since 9/11 they’ve helped to dramatically expand the government’s ability to collect information about Americans directly from phone companies and Internet providers. Any FBI office can issue an NSL, without a court’s review and with a gag order

  • (Media for Freedom, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    With over 3,500 participants, many of them directly tuning in online, the Ninth Annual Meeting of the United Nations-backed Internet Governance Forum (IGF) concluded in Istanbul today after tackling key issues that “may determine the evolution of the Internet.”

  • (IFEX, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    A bill to protect personal privacy passed second reading in The House of Representatives on 12 August 2014. A congressman and media groups say once it becomes law, House Bill 04807 will have negative effects on press freedom and free expression. In a statement on 28 August, party-list representative Carlos Isagani Zarate called the bill an "anti-selfie bill." 

  • (Sinosphere, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    A man in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has sued his Internet service provider over his inability to access Google’s online services, which have been largely inaccessible since the beginning of this summer. The lawsuit against China Unicom is believed to be the first of its kind and has highlighted the continuing difficulties faced by the American Internet giant in China.

  • (LiveWire: Amnesty International, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    As you read this on your laptop, smart phone or tablet, 3,000 government leaders and representatives from companies and civil society are meeting in Istanbul to shape the future of the Internet, which enables you to see these words. But as the UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (#IGF2014) draws to a close today, it seems it will be remembered not for what was discussed but for what wasn’t.

  • (Tech in Asia, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, everyone is under complete surveillance by the authorities. His phrase “Big Brother is watching you” – the core “truth” of Orwell’s fictional society – assumed a new meaning when Wikileaks broke news about the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US listening to phone calls of its citizens, and reading the contents of private emails, text messages, and live chats on social media. In India too, the State seems to be using similar tactics in the name of security. 

  • (SFLC.IN, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    One quickly begins to realize that the Government of India's tolerance of US surveillance might have been brought on by more than a mrere desire to keep Indo-US relations from going sour. The government's remarkable restraint might have stemmed - at least in part - from the fact that it was busy with some "snooping" of its own. 

  • (Media Nama, Friday, September 5, 2014)

    A Right To Information (RTI) application filed by Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) has revealed that on an average around 7500 – 9000 telephone interception orders are issued by the central government every month.