The Chilean net neutrality regulation is one of the first national legislative efforts to recognize the principle of preventing arbitrary discrimination of Internet traffic. One of the main challenges in interpreting and implementing this law within Chile has been the regular practice of zero-rating, in which certain telecommunications providers prioritize certain applications through free data. Although this practice was initially characterized as a breach of net neutrality by the regulatory body (the Subsecretariat of Telecommunications (Subtel)), zero-rating is still practiced by mobile telephone companies as part of their subscription offers. This white paper summarizes the research and findings of a larger academic project that seeks to analyze both the legal status of zero-rating in Chile and the evolution of the Subtel criteria, which has led to the proliferation of this practice in the country. To read the English version of the report, click here.
Using Research in Digital Rights Advocacy: Understanding the Research Needs of the Internet Freedom Community
The importance of research within digital rights advocacy cannot be understated. Whether your objective is to persuade policymakers, communicate with companies, educate journalists, convince funders, or influence public opinion, you need accurate and systematically collected information. All advocacy organizations engage in research even if they don’t realize it—advocates are identifying a problem, strategically analyzing causes and effects, seeking potential solutions through information gathering, and communicating this information in a compelling way with core stakeholders. While most organizations have some capacity for research, many organizations do not have the time, funding, or expertise to understand how to deploy the best, most robust, and most convincing research methods to fuel data-driven advocacy. This is especially true for digital rights-related activism, where methods for studying the effects of internet policies, internet user behavior, and corporate decision-making online are often highly technical.
Network shutdowns impacting an entire country are now almost non-existent, but the practice of shutting down communications in certain cities or areas of a country, or suspending certain services continues globally. This has happened over the past decade or so for a variety of reasons, sometimes due to national security concerns but also to prevent the organisation of protests or the spread of civil unrest.
In the midst of rapid socio-political transition, Myanmar is building its telecommunications infrastructure by opening its market to international mobile companies and engaging in national regulatory reform. With one of the lowest internet and mobile subscriber rates in the world, Myanmar faces multiple challenges in building connectivity from both an infrastructural and a policy perspective. Telecom developments could play a significant role in modernizing the country as it emerges from decades of political repression, and although the domestic connectivity plan is moving forward, several challenges need to be dealt with quickly in order to ensure a safe and accessible digital environment. This paper explores connectivity developments in Myanmar, paying particular attention to the opening of the mobile market to international companies, the launch of the new national telecom law, and the development of policies securing digital rights.