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Category Archives: Censorship

8 challenges for open government posed by emerging technology

Sunlight Foundation: 8 challenges for open government posed by emerging technology – “As 2018 begins, the big tent of open government holds both promise and peril, as nationalism, populism, low trust in institutions, and voter anger and apathy put years of gains at risk. We continue to see meaningful ways for better laws and policies to enable more open, accountable, ethical and effective governance at every level of government though the civic uses of technology, but it would be disingenuous to see the present through rosy glasses. (We watch Black Mirror, too.) 2017 was a bad year for Internet freedom, from the repeal of net neutrality in the USA to censorship, shutdowns, surveillance, and the poisoning of civic discourse online…We expect to confront fresh challenges posed by emerging technologies as well, making sense of how sunshine laws should adjust to novel context. In no particular order, here are eight areas that the press, public and governments have asked us about in recent months, with some thoughts about how lawmakers and regulators should adjust…”

Freedom in the World 2018 Democracy in Crisis

Freedom House – Freedom in the World 2018, Democracy in Crisis: “Democracy is in retreat globally and, some say, in the United States. Exacerbating the democratic backslide are authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China, which have increased both repression at home and efforts to export instability abroad. On the home front, indifference toward democratic… Continue Reading

Martin Luther King’s entire FBI file as posted by the original Memory Hole

Russ Kick – “The existence of MLK’s full file had been known in certain circles; many university libraries have it on microform/microfiche, and it’s been used as source material for numerous books through the years. So in 2008, I filed a FOIA request specifically asking for the entire thing on PDF. And I got it.… Continue Reading

LIS News – Ten Stories That Shaped 2017

LIS NEWS – Can you believe it’s almost 2018? That means it’s time to look back at some of the notable library-related stories from the past year. 10. Librarians Fight Fake News The problems with fake news caused many of us to revamp our web evaluation handouts into guides for spotting bogus information sources. 9.… Continue Reading

What Can Be Done to Protect Endangered Government Data?

“The federal government has made significant strides towards making vast amounts of government data freely available to the public, and businesses, researchers, civil society groups, journalists, and many others have put open data to good use. However, recent events suggest that some open government data may be at risk. For example, in February 2017, the… Continue Reading

2017 Was a Big Year for Scrubbing Science from Government Websites

MotherJones: 2017 Was a Big Year for Scrubbing Science from Government Websites. Here’s the List. Are the changes routine, rebranding, or censorship? “Moments after President Donald Trump took the oath of office last January, nearly all references to climate change disappeared from the White House official website. A page detailing former President Barack Obama’s plans to… Continue Reading

Agency officials instructed to employ designated vocabulary divergent from accepted procedures

Washington Post – Multiple HHS divisions instructed to avoid words including ‘diversity’ and ‘vulnerable’ – “…The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Policy analysts at the… Continue Reading

Impact of Decision to Roll Back Net Neutrality

On December 14, 2017 the FCC voted to “roll back the 2015 rules that banned internet service providers from prioritizing certain internet traffic over others….[this has ended the] difference between a free and open online experience, and one where corporations dictate what you can see, and how fast you can see it. To understand the… Continue Reading

Tim Berners-Lee – future of the web is dimming

theguardian uk: “Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s optimism about the future of the web is starting to wane in the face of a “nasty storm” of issues including the rollback of net neutrality protections, the proliferation of fake news, propaganda and the web’s increasing polarisation. The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was… Continue Reading

Report – Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy

Freedom House – Freedom of the Net 2017: “Governments around the world have dramatically increased their efforts to manipulate information on social media over the past year. The Chinese and Russian regimes pioneered the use of surreptitious methods to distort online discussions and suppress dissent more than a decade ago, but the practice has since… Continue Reading

Research – The Slippery Slope of Internet Censorship in Egypt

Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University – “The first Internet Monitor research bulletin summarizes the recent, dramatic increase in Internet censorship in Egypt, examines the Twitter conversation around website blocking in Egypt, and identifies ways that users disseminate banned content.” “Internet filtering in Egypt illustrates how censorship can be a slippery slope. After an extended period… Continue Reading

NYT – Facebook Faces a New World as Officials Rein In a Wild Web

The web is not as open as it once was, with nation-states exerting their power over the internet: “…Facebook encapsulates the reasons for the internet’s fragmentation — and increasingly, its consequences. The company has become so far-reaching that more than two billion people — about a quarter of the world’s population — now use Facebook… Continue Reading