Opening Spaces for Digital Rights Activism: Multilateral Trade Negotiations

Trade agreements today are the main source of rule-making at the global level, encompassing an expansive list of issues. These agreements cover a wide array of subjects that extend far beyond traditional trade matters. In the past, they have been effective tools for dominant industries to dilute or eliminate domestic policies and priorities, minimize regulatory costs, and maximize corporate interests. In most cases, trade agreements set constraints on domestic regulations, override regulatory safeguards, challenge domestic consumer protections, and weaken the leverage of local producers.

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Mapping National Internet Governance Initiatives in Latin America

This report presents an effort to map different Internet governance initiatives in the Latin American and Caribbean region in order to better understand the ways these organizations have evolved over time and to be able to compare their governance structures, formal and informal procedures, funding mechanisms, the stakeholders included in decision-making, as well as other characteristics relevant to deliberative and policy outcomes. The research addresses the cases of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Mexico and Nicaragua. Those initiatives have already developed their own national Internet governance mechanisms and are all in different stages of institutionalization .

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Digital Media and the Promotion of Deliberative Debate in Cuba

This report aims to examine digital independent media projects in Cuba within the broader media ecosystem in which they operate. More specifically, it looks at the context in which some journalists become disengaged from the Cuban institutional media system and decide to create independent spaces for debate and deliberation online. However, this research also complicates the commonly believed notion that these alternative digital publications naturally catalyze debate that is both critical and oppositional. The report draws on previous literature, digital debates on political ‘centrism’ in Cuba and in-depth interviews with Cuban journalists in order to assess the way in which an intellectual elite claims a disenfranchisement of politics from the state. This report is part of the Internet Policy Observatory’s Research For Impact series, and is included within a wider project that seeks to produce content aimed at a variety of audiences. On the academic side, the author has submitted a corresponding paper for peer review that examines the impact of the Internet and digital technologies on (1) journalistic discourses, (2) journalist’s in-group and out-group interactions and (3) larger media structures in Cuba. On the journalistic side, it is published in parallel to the dossier “Sobre Internet in Cuba” , produced by the independent magazine Periodismo de Barrio. For more details about this work, please email garcias.sara@gmail.com

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Creating the Last Line of Defense? On the Public Related Activities of Digital Rights Advocates

This white paper explores the work of civil society organizations that advocate for digital rights in their countries, focusing on how these organizations engage and mobilize their publics.  Derived from a larger research project, this report examines how digital rights advocates seek to involve the public in their causes by analyzing the work of 14 civil society organizations from 12 different countries and 3 different continents. The results of the research describe: (1) the activities offered by the organizations soliciting public engagement, (2) the rationales that guide the organizations in their public-related work (3) the challenges in getting the public engaged and (4) the organizations’ best practices for engaging with the public.

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