Global Digital Download

The Global Digital Download is a weekly publication that aggregates resources on Internet freedom, highlighting trends in digital and social media that intersect with freedom of expression, policy, privacy, censorship and new technologies. The GDD includes information about relevant events, news, and research. To find past articles and research, search the archive database.

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  • (Bangkok Post, Wednesday, December 17, 2014)

    From navigating gridlocked city roads to playing a favourite national sport, new homegrown apps are blossoming in Myanmar as cheap mobile technology ignites an Internet revolution in the once-isolated nation. 

  • (Global Voices, Wednesday, October 29, 2014)

    A new study by the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information at the University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, suggests that Internet governance, rather than just being the host of institutions and multilateral formulas, is a contested space for the control and management of this unique technology. It also argues that the multi-stakeholder model, often upheld by civil society as the key to unlocking a more equitable and human rights-abiding approach to policymaking for the global Internet, may not be the silver bullet that some want it to be.

  • (Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Saturday, October 25, 2014)

    This paper investigates sentiment in the online conversation about the Ukrainian Euromaidan protests across a range of English- and Russian-language social and traditional media sources. Results from this exploratory research show more support for the Euromaidan protests in Russian-language sources, including among sources and users based in Russia, than originally expected. Sentiment in English-language sources, including those located in the United States and United Kingdom, is more negative than anticipated given the rhetorical support among western governments for the Euromaidan protests. However, social media content in Ukraine, the US, and the UK is more positive than traditional media outlets in those countries.

  • (The Wall Street Journal: China Realtime, Friday, October 17, 2014)
    As the pro-democracy protest crowds in Hong Kong have ebbed and flowed, one thing that has not changed is the level of censorship on China’s most popular instant messaging app.
  • (Ars Technica, Thursday, October 16, 2014)

    Malware-based espionage targeting political activists and other opposition is nothing new, especially when it comes to opponents of the Chinese government. But there have been few attempts at hacking activists more widespread and sophisticated than the current wave of spyware targeting the mobile devices of members of Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Revolution.”

  • (Eurasia Review, Thursday, October 16, 2014)

    Long before Snowden, it was suggested that the best way forward was to abandon ‘the Internet’ and embrace multiple internets – essentially privatising networks, allowing customisation and different types of internet experiences. The splintering of the Internet is one possible consequence of viewing Internet rights through the prism of private property. As mentioned earlier, it was the push to enforce copyright that led to certain location-based restrictions. It is not such a stretch to imagine privacy and personal data being protected in the same way, with rights being enforced on such a basis.

  • (The New York Times, Thursday, October 16, 2014)
    Cisco Systems is making an unusual case for itself: The Internet must be subject to a higher amount of control, and big companies will work with governments to make that possible. The message came in an announcement on Monday, rich in corporate partners and allies, that was intended to show Cisco’s progress in creating its so-called Intercloud, a proposed network of cloud computing systems with high performance, security and control.
  • (The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, October 16, 2014)

    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called Saturday for the European Union to update regulation of the Internet and digital economy, as France begins work on a new package of “digital” legislation aimed for next year.

  • (Tech in Asia, Thursday, October 16, 2014)

    According to Indonesian news outlet Tempo, the local government launched a nationwide high-speed internet access initiative yesterday. The goal of the program is to boost economic competitiveness throughout the archipelago. Titled the 2014-2019 Indonesia Broadband Plan, it will require Rp 278 trillion (US$23.2 billion) in financing.

  • (Reuters, Thursday, October 16, 2014)
    Chinese Communist Party censors have blocked the website of Britain's national broadcaster, the BBC said in a statement, as tensions rise in Hong Kong between pro-democracy protesters and police. The broadcaster said that the move seemed to be "deliberate censorship". It did not say what may have prompted the move by Beijing, which also blocks the websites of the New York Times, newswire Bloomberg and the BBC's Chinese-language website.