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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The Spiral Of Silence on Social Media: Cultures of Self-Censorship Online & Offline in Kyrgyzstan

This white paper draws on survey research on self-censorship practices of Kyrgyz citizens conducted between October and November, 2017. The report provides a historical account of Kyrgyzstan’s political and media systems and an overview of the findings as they relate to contemporary practices of silence and expression online and offline in the country. It then offers analysis of these findings and recommendations to the policy and advocacy communities working on issues related to democratization and freedom of expression in the Central Asian region.

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