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From the terrific democracyos of Argentina, a piece fronted by Pia Mancini, commissioned by BBC Newsnight in the run-up to the UK election:

Here is DemocracyOS in BBC Newsnight, in case you missed it. 

“Technology alone is not going to do the trick. And so to get real change we decided we had to hack the system from the inside”

democracyos.org

In the last three years the climate for online free expression in Turkey has gone from relatively bad to awful. Mirroring the more general human rights situation that has progressively deteriorated, online free expression has become a key battleground. In this context, it should come as little surprise that the “usual suspects” – the “Dictators Little Helpers” as some have called them – have begun delivering increasingly advanced software and hardware to the Turkish government (Kehl & Morgus, 2014).At this point, it seems credible to assume that not only mass censorship and filtering but wide scale mass surveillance is taking place. Responsibility for such a failure cannot be laid at the feet of the Turkish government alone. If anything, the spiral into violence in Turkey also represents a failure of its key partners and neighbours. For example, the politics of Turkey’s EU accession made it impossible to “lock in” any progress made in the area of human rights. Instead repressive measures against free expression and other political rights have dominated Turkish politics since 2011, with successively more repressive measures since May 2011 heavily influencing Turkish politics. These authoritarian methods are reminiscent of other countries in the region but also of other authoritarian states such as Russia. Frustratingly, many of the countries affected by the Arab uprisings have praised the Turkish model and attempted to emulate it in some way or another. It should be emphasized however that the “Turkish model” in which even moderate political reform was considered possible no longer exists and that post-revolutionary countries would do better to look elsewhere for guidance.

Fundamentally, the Berkman Center is an incubation space that fosters experimentation in the study of the Internet and the development of tools and services that address the online world’s many challenges. After seven years at the Berkman Center, the DMLP has grown from an experimental project that addressed the legal needs of an emerging class of bloggers and citizen journalists into a service organization that provides structured legal resources for the entire range of independent online journalism. We are extraordinarily proud of the work the DMLP has done, but now that the experimentation phase of the project is over, we have determined that the best path forward is to identify the most useful elements of the DMLP’s operation, and make sure that they have permanent homes. Some of our services – most notably our Legal Guide and Threats Database, along with our collection of research studies – will remain at the Berkman Center, reintegrated into the Cyberlaw Clinic where they will benefit from the support of law students and serve not only as an important resource for the public but as a tool to train young attorneys about legal issues vital to online communication. While our blog will cease publishing new posts, our archive of blog entries will remain available to the public. The Online Media Legal Network will find a new home outside of the Berkman Center with a non-profit organization that shares the DMLP’s commitment to providing legal services to online media (we have a very exciting prospect lined up, but it’s a bit early to report). While different aspects of the DMLP’s work will continue in different places, we expect that the organizations taking on this work will work closely together to provide a coherent set of resources that address the diverse legal needs of online media.

Seven Years of Serving and Studying the Legal Needs of Digital Journalism | Digital Media Law Project – this tab has been open in my browser for months, and I’m finally getting round to dealing with this news…

The collaborative economy involves using internet technologies to connect distributed groups of people make better use of goods, skills and other useful things. It is going through a period of growth and experimentation and in order to gauge where the collaborative economy is headed, we need to start by getting a better grasp of its current state. The report identifies five defining traits, some or all of which can be found in the collaborative economy ventures studied. Four pillars of activity, collaborative consumption, production, learning and finance are also identified.

This article provides a critical comparative analysis of mobile versus personal computer (PC)-based forms of Internet access. Drawing from an interdisciplinary body of literature, it illustrates a wide range of ways in which mobile Internet access offers lower levels of functionality and content availability; operates on less open and flexible platforms; and contributes to diminished levels of user engagement, content creation, and information seeking. At a time when a growing proportion of the online population is “mobile only,” these disparities have created what is termed here a mobile Internet underclass. The implications of this argument for digital divide policymaking and, more broadly, for the evolutionary trajectory of the Internet and the dynamics of Internet usage are discussed.