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Challenges and opportunities for freedom of expression in the networked environment

News Stories (18th-24th April 2007)

info: Submitted by Lisa Horner on Wed, 2007-05-02 15:43.

Information and debate

Bloggers from association in Nepal
Nepal’s small contingency of bloggers have formed an association for the promotion and protection of blogs, motivated by the role they played in the movement to re-establish democracy in the country.

The massacre at Virginia Tech, USA and networked communications
The New York Times reports on the speed at which Wikipedia gained an informative and collaboratively produced entry on the tragic shootings in the USA.

Democracy

Texts monitor Nigerian elections
A network of mobile election monitors used SMS messaging to report rigging or tampering with the election process in Nigeria’s presidential elections.

Bloggers publish photos of Iranian women’s movement

Online Freedom for All
A blogger highlights disparities in the extent to which bloggers are writing about the arrest of cyber dissidents in countries across the world. A useful overview of the extent to which governments are fighting against freedom of expression online. This blog suggests that differences in levels of attention paid in the blogosphere to the arrest of two bloggers in Egypt is due to differences in their religious and political beliefs.

China aims to tame internet and spread party line
Reports that the Chinese government is to make further efforts to ‘purify’ the internet and use it to instil socialist values in citizens.

Culture and Education

China says US piracy case will harm trade ties
Reuters reports on battles between China and the USA over piracy and copyright violation.

Drivers of change

Mobile phones represent next frontier for search
Google Chief Executive believes that the mobile phone is the technology that offers the most new opportunities for the company.

Wi-Fi mesh network switched on in City of London
The central business district of London is now covered by a Wi-Fi mesh network, allowing workers to log on from anywhere in the area. However, the network isn’t free – users have to pay a service provider for access.

Web 2.0 wave starts to take hold
Discussion about the migration of software from being stored on PCs to being stored online. More software becoming free online is posing challenges to the business models of software companies.

Microsoft to sell cut-price software to developing countries
Microsoft have launched a scheme to sell software to governments in developing countries if they agree to provide schools with free PCs. This is the latest in a string of efforts by companies to address the digital divide, although all are keen to stress that they are acting strategically rather than philanthropically. Such moves are acting counter to a growing movement which is advocating the benefits of free and open software for poor countries. Meanwhile, in the EU Microsoft faces anti-trust regulation for using high prices to discourage competitors from making server software.