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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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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Wisdom of the Crowd: Multistakeholder Perspectives on the Fake News Debate

Social media platforms are increasingly accused of shaping public debate and engineering people’s behavior in ways that might undermine the democratic process. In order to vitalize a much-needed multistakeholder dialogue on corrective measures against the spread of false information, this project has undertaken a truncated multistakeholder consultation, addressing experts from academia, civil society, governments and the industry to assess diverging perspectives on institutional proposals, legislative responses, and self- regulation resolutions that have sprung up around the world. It also asks what new challenges platform moderation and related “fake news” issues pose to what might be called the “procedural fitness” of the current multistakeholder internet governance system. Finally, it suggests recommendations for architectural changes that could promote constructive and inclusive debate on the topic.

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The Internet Policymaking Landscape in Pakistan

By Usama Khilji & Saleha Zahid
The tempo of technological change in Pakistan is constantly escalating. Millions of users are getting online for the first time, using an ever-expanding array of new services and devices, and governments and policy-making bodies are struggling to respond to this influx of users and new technologies. This research study attempts to provide a mapping of the policymaking process in the information technology sector in Pakistan during this critical time.

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