Global Digital Download
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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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) demanded to know why the FBI wasn’t tracking the Boston bombing suspect’s web traffic during an appearance on Fox News this morning, possibly validating civil liberties activist fears that the attack would lead to calls for further digital surveillance: “If you Google terrorists you will find the older brother on the web, Youtube videos of him declaring war on us, saying we’re a Christian nation. We’re infidels. How could the FBI after the interview in 2011 not pick up that traffic where this guy is visiting radical web sites?“
Report: Obama Officials Authorized New 'Cybersecurity' Warrantless Surveillance Program, Fresh Immunity Given to ISPs
Yesterday, in a disturbing report published on CNET, new documents obtained by EPIC reveal that Obama administration officials have authorized a new government program involving the interception of communications on Internet service providers, including AT&T—one of the key players in the NSA warrantless wiretapping program. Under long-standing federal law, the government needs to use legal process to compel service providers to hand over customer communications, yet reportedly, the government is promising these companies they will not to prosecute them for violating US wiretapping laws if they hand over the information voluntarily.
Instead of polemical cowboy columns, a systematic approach around key concepts and underlying traditions (such as libertarianism) could have a more devastating effect on the study of the internet and its political and social potential. In March 2013 the Belarusian-American wunderkind Evgeny Morozov published his second book, not long after his bestselling The Net Delusion from 2011.
The national assembly approved an amendment to the computer crimes law on second reading yesterday by a big majority (42 to 2) without any changes to the version that was adopted on first reading after modification. The bill is now waiting to be signed into law by the president. Reporters Without Borders regrets that parliamentarians did not make further changes on second reading and, in particular, that they did not change a new provision under which revealing state secrets related to national security, defence of sovereignty and foreign relations will be punishable by one to six years in prison.
His bookshelves are filled with the collected works of Marx, Engels and Ho Chi Minh, the hallmarks of a loyal career in the Communist Party, but Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, 77, says he is no longer a believer. A former adviser to two prime ministers, Mr. Tuong, like so many people in Vietnam today, is speaking out forcefully against the government.
Remember all the businesses, internet techies and NGOs who were screaming about an “ITU takeover of the Internet” a year ago? Where are they now? Because this time, we actually need them. May 14 – 21 is Internet governance week in Geneva. We have declared it so because there will be three events in that week for the global community concerned with global internet governance. From 14-16 May the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) holds its World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF). This year it is devoted to internet policy issues.
The “quantity v. quality” debate around global digital access seldom gets the attention it deserves. Here I define “quantity” as the spread of internet access to remote and marginalised communities and “quality” as the extent to which these connections are free from corporate or government restrictions and surveillance. With more than four billion people yet to come online around the world, basic connectivity is an obvious and necessary prerequisite for digital access. But handing out one laptop per child and selling low-cost smartphones does not solve the quality problem, and can in fact worsen it.
Regulators in Germany, one of the most privacy-sensitive countries in the world, unleashed their wrath on Google on Monday for scooping up sensitive personal information in the Street View mapping project and imposed the largest fine ever assessed by European regulators over a privacy violation, Claire Cain Miller reports in The New York Times. The penalty? $189,225. Put another way, that’s how much Google made every two minutes last year, or roughly 0.002 percent of its $10.7 billion in net profit.
In South Korea where net users are accustomed to whizzing along with one of the fastest Internet connection speeds in the world, YouTube's sluggish performance is a source of constant complaints. But why does the video-hosting site run so slow compared to the rest of South Korea's Internet? The answer lies in the utter disrespect that South Korea's dominant corporations have for net neutrality.
In the summer of 2012, Steve Fan suspended his graduate studies at Stanford University and headed back to China, which he had left four years earlier. The motivation of this computer science major -- to launch a start-up and cash in on an idea he spotted in the world's largest Internet market -- was not uncommon. Less expected were the extra costs he incurred for doing business in China. These had nothing to do with common costs like equipment, rent, or hiring workers. Rather, daily life involved finding workarounds past China's immense national Internet censorship apparatus, widely known as the Great Firewall.
All content presented in the Global Digital Digest is aggregated from public news sources. This information does not reflect the opinions of Internews, and is not produced or verified by Internews.