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The Pew Charitable Trusts;
This report from the Pew Charitable Trusts highlights practices for state programs aimed at expanding broadband access to un- and underserved areas.Based on interviews with more than three hundred representatives of state broadband programs, Internet service providers, local governments, and broadband coalitions, the report identified five promising and mutually reinforcing practices: stakeholder outreach and engagement at both the state and local levels; a policy framework with well-defined goals that connects broadband to other policy priorities; planning and capacity building in support of broadband infrastructure projects; funding and operations through grant programs, with an emphasis on accountability and data collection; and program evaluation and evolution to ensure that lessons learned inform the next iteration of goals and activities. The study explores how nine states — California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin — have adapted and implemented different combinations of those practices to close gaps in broadband access.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Technology has invaded our daily lives and has changed the way we go about work. However, technology seems to have changed more significantly the way individuals interact than the extent to which organisations are transforming.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
In contemporary society, social media has made access to information easier. Social media has the potential to fundamentally change the character of our social lives, both on an interpersonal and a community level (Baruah, 2012: 1). It is obvious that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace, Skype among others, are used extensively for the purpose of communication. One of the most important advantages of the use of social media is the online sharing of knowledge and information among different groups of people. Online tools and technology have facilitated communication in countless ways. They have also influenced our perceptions and attitudes towards communication.
Open Technology Fund;
This research study seeks to identify the various surveillance and censorship technologies and strategies deployed by the government and military in Myanmar. In doing so, the study utilizes a diverse combination of analytical methods including technical network measurements, interviews, and key research analysis of newspaper archives, media reports, and government publications. Throughout the overall assessment process, the study focuses not only on technology but also on offline spaces and legal loopholes which tend to obscure transparency and allow the authorities in Myanmar to implement surveillance and censorship practices in unchecked manners.The goal of this project is to shine a light on these troublesome tactics helping both the people of Myanmar as well as other internet freedom researchers around the world. In countries such as Myanmar where information on existing surveillance practices is limited this type of research is all the more difficult - and important - to conduct. It is therefore the hope of this study the information produced by this research serves as a seed that will ultimately sprout and grow into a tree of resistance hope and change.The study begins with an overview of Myanmar's relevant political and internet-based background. Next the study's methodologies and limitations are discussed. The core of the study is then devoted to findings from research and measurements followed by findings from interviews. Finally, the study finishes with concluding thoughts and key acknowledgements.
Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET);
The use of social media platforms and chat applications in Asia has grown exponentially in recent years. Throughout the 2010s, violent extremists (VEs) in different parts of the continent exploited this growing access to audiences, disseminating their divisive messages broadly, while targeting individuals in fringe online groups. Technology companies and governments eventually imposed relatively effective measures to moderate overtly terrorist content, remove accounts and limit reach. However, the dynamics of broader communication on platforms that reward contentious engagement is continuing to inflame domestic political polarisation and societal division.Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and India are four Asian nations with unique but comparable experiences regarding the impact of online communications on social fault lines, extremism and violence. This report outlines and analyses these respective contexts.
This white paper provides an overview of the human rights situation for these populations in Myanmar and Bangladesh and the causes of the internet shutdowns in both countries. The report illustrates that, by impeding the rights of IDPs and refugees, violations of digital rights are violations of human rights. At the heart of Lockdown and Shutdown are sixteen semi-structured qualitative interviews, conducted with Rakhine, Rohingya, Chin IDPs in conflict-affected areas in Myanmar, and Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh, which give a voice to those who have been deprived of one, as well as reveal the devastating impacts of the internet shutdowns in the two countries.The report also demonstrates that there are commonalities in the impacts of the shutdowns in Myanmar and Bangladesh, specifically in the areas of public health information around COVID-19, education, and access to reliable news in misinformation-rich environments, as well as differences in areas like work, access to healthcare, and physical security and offers key recommendations to the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
This is the first comprehensive study regarding the state of automated decision-making in Europe. Experts have looked at the situation at the EU level but also in 12 Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. They assessed not only the political discussions and initiatives in these countries but also present a section "ADM in Action" for all states, listing examples of automated decision-making already in use.
Worldwide, small-scale fisheries (SSFs) contribute over half of global fish and invertebrate catch and generate employment for 90% of those working in the fishing capture industry, the majority of whom live in developing countries. Despite their importance, most of the world's estimated 10,000 SSFs are data deficient. Community data is critical to understanding fish stocks, and evaluating fisheries management policies, particularly in remote areas. This pilot study explores the potential for smartphones and the Open Data Kit software to assist in the collection of shark landings data in southwest Madagascar, where sustainable fisheries management is critical to economic and food security. The pilot builds on a previous study of participatory data collection using paper notebooks (2003–2016), which continued in eight villages throughout the smartphone trial (2013–2016), allowing comparisons in speed, accuracy and user experience to be drawn. Initial challenges, which included limited electricity supplies to charge the smartphones; typing errors caused by wet hands; and interpretation difficulties, were overcome during the trial with additional training and data accuracy improved as a result, with only 5% fewer records recorded on phones vs. paper notebooks by 2015. One major challenge - limited mobile network coverage – often prevented data from being uploaded from phones to an online database, meaning manual data extraction was required, with associated travel costs. With appropriate training, smartphones show promise as a useful and accurate tool for participatory fisheries data collection. However, this method may be better suited to regions with stronger mobile coverage.
Carnegie UK Trust;
Switched On brings together recent research and evidence about key issues related to digital inclusion, with a particular focus on children and young people. Digital access is complex picture with multiple factors driving, compounding and impacting those who are included or excluded.The report explores a number of features of the digital inclusion debate including analysing the components that comprise appropriate digital access, examines the impacts around a lack of access, maps exclusion factors in the UK and outlines the current policy and practice landscape, including successful interventions.
Fondation Internet Nouvelle Generation (FING);
This report suggests 50 new ways to connect the digital and the ecological transitions. Published in March 2019, it targets innovators, public actors, companies and research organisations and aims to inspire their agendas for innovation, research, R&D and public action.This publication was produced by Fing as part of its Transitions² program, in partnership with ADEME, Iddri, Inria, GreenIT.fr, the Conseil National du Numérique and Explor'ables.
How the multibillion-dollar business behind online advertising could reinvent public media, revitalize journalism and strengthen democracy
Open Society Foundations;
Concern over online interference in elections is now widespread—from the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the pernicious effects messaging apps have had in elections in Kenya or Brazil. Yet regulatory and monitoring efforts have lagged behind in addressing the challenges of how public opinion can be manipulated online, and its impact on elections. The phenomenon of online electoral interference is global. It affects established democracies, countries in transition, and places where freedom of expression and access to information are tightly controlled.But fundamental questions of what should be legal and illegal in digital political communication have yet to be answered in order to extend the rule of electoral law from the offline to the online. Answering these questions would help determine the right scope for online election observation, too. This scoping report explains why social media is one of the elements of a democratic, rule of law–based state that observer groups should monitor. It aggregates experience from diverse civil society and nongovernmental initiatives that are innovating in this field, and sets out questions to guide the development of new mandates for election observers. The internet and new digital tools are profoundly reshaping political communication and campaigning. But an independent and authoritative assessment of the impact of these effects is wanting. Election observation organizations need to adapt their mandate and methodology in order to remain relevant and protect the integrity of democratic processes.