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The question of how best to respond to the unauthorised dissemination of copyright-protected expression over the internet has long troubled copyright owners. But the proposed solution of a Copyright Alert could potentially erode free speech, writes Graham Reynolds.
The UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions has released guidelines on when social media users should be prosecuted. But there are still not adequate guarantees for freedom of expression, writes Dominic Burbidge.
At the invitation of Index of Censorship and the Editors Guild of India, Timothy Garton Ash joins Kirsty Hughes at a panel discussion in Delhi with Shri Ajit Balakrishnan, Shri Sunil Abraham and Ramajit Singh Chima.
The world of academic publishing stands at a crossroads with public institutions demanding open access to publicly funded research. Dominic Burbidge explores the difficulties that stand in the way.
Human Rights activist Aryeh Neier speaks about the future of free speech.
At the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), authoritarian governments staked worrying claims. But the US-dominated model of non-governmental internet governance brings its own problems, writes Alison Powell. Beware of the Clinton Paradox.
Despite Brazil’s democratic accomplishments, laws used to regulate websites date from the 1960s, giving arbitrary power to the state. A proposed ‘Marco Civil da Internet’ has the capacity to change this, writes Marcos Todeschini.
Our web developer, Simon Dickson, explains the cookies in FSD’s kitchen.
Former MI5 agent Annie Machon speaks about how the internet has made things easier and safer for whistleblowers.
Former MI5 agent Annie Machon speaks about how the intelligence services need to increase internal oversight.
Former MI5 agent Annie Machon speaks about when it is in her opinion justified and necessary to break the Official Secrets Act
While Wikileaks may be closed down, the idea and technology is in the world now.
Former British MI5 agent Annie Machon revealed, together with David Shayler, alleged criminal behaviour within the agency. In an interview with Sebastian Huempfer she speaks about the need for official channels through which whistleblowers can voice their concerns.
In 2008 two convicted murderers asked for their names to be removed from Wikipedia and other online media outlets, in accordance with German law. Does the individual’s right to be forgotten take priority over the public’s right to know?
The Oxford Internet Institute’s Ian Brown writes from Azerbaijan, asking whether a country that suppresses online freedom should be allowed to host a gathering devoted to discussing it.
Aleph Molinari, founder of Fundación Proacceso ECO, speaks to Brian Pellot about why his Mexico-based non-profit organisation promotes information and communication technologies for development and why the internet should be considered a basic right.
Type 'Bettina Wulff', the name of a former German president’s wife, into Google and the autocomplete function will add 'escort'. Is this algorithmic addition a form of defamation? Sebastian Huempfer explores the case.
FSD user and regular commenter Luke Landau, a telecommunications engineer, argues the International Telecommunications Regulations are long overdue for an update.
In response to our sixth draft principle and whether violent intimidation has caused him to self-censor criticism of the government, Mansoor says: "The only limits that I put to myself are the ethical limits...I believe free speech is the prerequisite for any development to happen in any place and any country, and I'm driven totally by my passion and my love to this country".
While in prison and since his release, Mansoor has been the target of online death threats, defamation campaigns and physical attacks. He says the government has done little to address these assaults.
Mansoor says his laptop was attacked by "a very sophisticated version of malware apparently that the authorities in the region have been using against individuals, which allows authorities to gain illegal access to someone's emails and computer".
Mansoor was sentenced to three years in prison but released after just seven months when the president pardoned him and the other four activists. He says media reports on their imprisonment "enlightened people about the reality of the case, because inside the UAE the campaign was really [a] smear [campaign]".
One of the United Arab Emirate's most prominent human rights activists, Ahmed Mansoor was imprisoned in 2011 for criticising the country's leadership. Here he discusses the death threats, defamation campaigns and physical attacks he continues to face for speaking his mind.
In 2002 Wang Xiaoning was sent to prison for 10 years after Yahoo passed on personal information Chinese authorities used to identify him. Judith Bruhn explores a case of conflicting laws and moral expectations.
Judith Bruhn explores the theory and practice of privacy in Europe and whether a court injunction was enough to salvage the Duchess of Cambridge's privacy.
Social media and satellite television played a crucial role in the Arab uprisings, but Daoud Kuttab argues community radio must be embraced to effect positive change in the region.
Eli Dourado provides an overview of what WCIT is and what's at stake. He co-founded WCITLeaks to bring transparency to the ITU's proceedings.
In July the ITU Governing Council released one summary document of proposed ITR amendments. Dourado says this move did not represent real transparency.
Dourado suspects only the most egregious proposals have been uploaded to WCITLeaks for fear that a mass upload could bring diplomatic backlash.
The WCITLeaks.org co-founder discusses how anonymous uploads to his website are shedding light on the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications.
The Swedish Pirate Party's outspoken MEP explains why the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in July and discusses WCIT, the internet's next four-letter foe.
What exactly was wrong with a historian publishing caustic anonymous reviews of his competitors' books on Amazon? Katie Engelhart explores the issues raised by a tragic-comic case.
The speed and ubiquity of mobile devices have changed the context of "hate speech" online, writes Peter Molnar.
Scott A Hale explores the effect of language in seeking and imparting information on the broader web.
Amendments approved by the senate of the Netherlands limit the ability of internet service providers to block or slow down applications and services on the internet, writes Graham Reynolds.
Open access publishing models are having a significant impact on the dissemination on scientific information but their impact on the developing world is uncertain, writes Jorge L Contreras.
In 2008, six British ISPs blocked access to a Wikipedia page featuring an album cover with an image of a prepubescent naked girl, writes Maryam Omidi.
The author of The Facebook Effect talks to FSD about privacy, anonymity whether the social network plans to go into China.
The online retailer has been criticised for profiting from ebooks featuring terror and violence. No one should tell us what to read, says Jo Glanville.
"Stretch friends" - individuals who are outside of your social circle online - will help break down cultural barriers.
To mark the launch of the St Antony's International Review, a panel of experts discuss Ushahidi technology, academic journals in Latin America and the geographies of the world's knowledge.
A panel of experts joins FSD Director Timothy Garton Ash at London's Frontline Club to discuss some of the world's most pressing free speech issues.
According to a new report, annual global internet traffic will increase nearly fourfold between 2011 and 2016, moving us into the zettabyte era, writes Maryam Omidi.
"People in Africa don't have the freedom to speak freely and hold governments accountable," says Nqobile Sibisi of Highway Africa's Future Journalists Programme.
Google's executive chairman believes online connectivity benefits everyone; social psychologist Aleks Krotoski tries to introduce a little more serendipity into the equation, writes Maryam Omidi.
The director of international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation talks about the ethics and motivations of hacktivism.
This latest episode looks at the ethics of hacktivism, crowdsourcing in war zones and the right of Christians in the UK to wear the cross at work.
Punishing internet intermediaries for their content will have a chilling effect on free speech, says Kevin Bankston of the Centre for Democracy and Technology.
An academic, an NGO worker, a Member of European Parliament and an activist go head-to-head on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
EU member states should reform the data protection framework to address the realities of life in the Web 2.0 age, writes David Erdos
China may provide censorship tools to autocratic regimes in Africa, but western companies still dominate this market, writes Iginio Gagliardone, a post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University.
The distribution of knowledge on Wikipedia shows vast geographical inequalities, according to research from the Oxford Internet Institute.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed a law to punish readers of websites promoting terrorism and violence, writes Clementine de Montjoye.
Egypt made more edits to Wikipedia than any other African country between 2010 and 2011, according to new research.
Liam Stacey, a 21-year-old student, was sentenced to 56 days in prison for posting racially offensive comments on Twitter, writes Maryam Omidi.
Online censorship is futile as it can almost always be circumvented, says Moez Chakchouk, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency.
The third episode of the On Free Speech podcast features exclusive interviews with filmmaker Nick Sturdee on the Russian art collective Voina and stand-up comedian Tom Greeves on the UK's parody laws.
The proposed law contradicts the ruling coalition's pledge to end the retention of internet and email data without good reason, writes Ian Brown.
The former head of Al Jazeera denies allegations that the network was in any way partisan under his watch, a criticism frequently levelled at the broadcaster, which is funded by the emir of Qatar.
Lord Allan of Facebook and author Viktor Mayer-Schönberger wrangle over the social networking site's real name policy, its claim to transparency and its use of personal data.
In 2010, the Hungarian prime minister passed a series of laws, giving excessive control over all private media to the government, writes Peter Bajomi-Lazar, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford.
How the Obama administration continues use of Bush-era powers to suppress legitimate debate about the needs of US national security. By Jeff Howard.
The co-founder of Global Voices discusses the nexus between governments, internet companies and citizens.
Belarus and Bahrain are the latest additions to the Reporters Without Borders’ “Enemies of the Internet” 2012 list while France and Australia are "under surveillance".
The second episode of FSD's monthly podcast looks at free speech in India, internet censorship in China and Facebook's attitude towards privacy.
The professor of political science says that while new technologies offer opportunities, they also lead to political and social polarisation.
In 2009, the Chinese authorities blocked access to the Berlin Twitter Wall from within China following a flood of tweets calling for an end to internet censorship, writes Judith Bruhn.
Naguib Sawiris was accused of contempt for tweeting an image of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, respectively sporting a bushy beard and veil, writes Jacob Amis
As of August 2012, Saudi Arabian writer Hamza Kashgari faced a trial for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter, writes Brian Pellot.
YouTube was banned for three years in Turkey on the grounds that certain videos were insulting to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the modern republic's founder, or to "Turkishness", write Funda Ustek and Irem Kok.
The right to be forgotten should give us greater control over the data we post about ourselves online, writes Sebastian Huempfer.
The author of the Master Switch says that while the right to be forgotten is a good idea in theory, the reality is that it may hamper entrepreneurship in Europe.
The first of Free Speech Debate's monthly podcasts, featuring selected highlights from the site.
The Grass Mud Horse Lexicon, a catalogue of subversive online witticisms in China, is an example of the unflagging creativity of the human spirit, writes Amy Qin.
The author of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires tells us why Facebook should not go into China and why Twitter's new take-down policy may harm the microblog.
The chairman of the German Pirate Party talks about ACTA, the right to be forgotten and privacy in Germany.
In part one of this interview with Timothy Garton Ash, Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute talks about the internet and freedom of expression, net neutrality, internet service providers and censorship by both democratic and autocratic governments.
For those of you who missed it first time round, here's Timothy Garton Ash, director of Free Speech Debate, speaking to the Wikipedia co-founder, a day after the encyclopedia's English pages were blacked out in protest against two anti-piracy bills in the US. They talk about SOPA and PIPA, the controversial Muhammad cartoons and Wikipedia's decision to go dark.
The founder of the free software movement talks about internet giants Google and Facebook, Creative Commons and internet freedom.
Private powers are not a "large threat" to free speech, the Canadian lawyer and publisher tells Katie Engelhart.
US blogger Joe Gordon was sentenced to two and a half years in a Thai prison for publishing links on his blog to an unauthorised biography of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A case study by Maryam Omidi.
With a readership of over 300 million, Han Han is one of China's most influential online personalities. Judith Bruhn looks at his blog as an example of an individual citizen creating more open and diverse media in difficult circumstances.