FoE logoThe Freedom of Expression Project

Challenges and opportunities for freedom of expression in the networked environment

News Stories (10th - 16th October 07)

info: Submitted by Lisa Horner on Tue, 2007-10-30 11:23.

Information and debate

Google and the public interest
Google have reportedly taken down a controversial blog belonging to a Serbian neo-Nazi. Is self-regulation like this the best way to reduce harmful content and hate speech on the internet? Can we trust private companies like Google to act in the ‘public interest’? At least in the arena of arts and culture, US campaign group Public Knowledge suspects not, They argue that the company’s new efforts to reduce copyright violation on YouTube go too far, threatening users’ ‘fair use’ rights over content. These issues are particularly salient given that half of all internet word searched carried out in August were done through Google.

Democracy

Politicians must let go – Cameron
UK opposition leader David Cameron has called for more transparency and ‘bottom-up’ politics in the information age.

Syrian victims of internet repression
A new report from Human Rights Watch details the arrest and sentencing of three people who have been critical of the Syrian and Saudi governments online.

Phone carriers quiet on US surveillance program
Phone companies in the USA have refused to answer questions in congress about whether they violated user privacy as part of government surveillance operations in the wake of 9/11.

Culture & Education

Is DRM enabling new business models?
The US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation comment on the admission by a manager at Yahoo that stringent digital rights management of music has failed to create a new business model for selling music in the internet age. EFF suggest that charging users a flat annual fee for unlimited downloads would be an effective solution.

Russian schools move to Linux
In a boost for the Open Source movement, Russia has announced plans to use Linux in all schools. The move will keep licensing costs down and will also give the country more independence from Western software companies.

Drivers of Change

Kenya awards internet cable deal
Progress is being made with plans for the first submarine cable linking East Africa to the global telecoms network which should improve internet access in the region.