Center for Global Communication Studies

Internet Policy Observatory

Search results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
  • Publication
    Benchmarking Public Demand: Russia’s Appetite for Internet Control
    (2015-02-01) Nisbet, Erik C
    This report explores the Russian public demand for internet freedom. Produced by Erik Nisbet with the Center for Global Communication Studies and the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, the study seeks to uncover attitudes and opinions about internet regulation, censorship of online content, and the potential for citizen mobilization and protest. Key findings from the report include: Almost half (49%) of all Russians believe that information on the Internet needs to be censored; A plurality (42%) of Russians believe foreign countries are using the Internet against Russia and its interests. About one-quarter of Russians think the Internet threatens political stability (24%); About four out of five Russians (81%) stated a negative feeling toward calls to protest against the government and change political leadership; The Russian government and the Russian security service were virtually tied in the percentage of Russians (42% and 41% respectively) that cited these organizations as trusted regulators of the Internet; 51% of Russian believe the primary motivation of government legislation creating a blacklist of websites is the maintenance of political stability versus 13% who believe the primarily motivation was limiting democratic freedoms; 39% of Russian believe personal blogs should be regulated the same as mass media websites.
  • Publication
    Welcoming the Dragon: The Role of Public Opinion in Russian Internet Regulation
    (2015-02-01) Asmolov, Gregory
    This reflection on the report “Benchmarking Public Demand for Internet Freedom: Russia’s Appetite for Internet Control,” argues that protecting internet freedom is not possible without a shift in public opinion. Using Russian examples, Asmolov suggests that public opinion concerning internet regulation is a function of whether the online communications environment is perceived as dangerous–giving officials a chance to play an instrumental role in fostering a sense of peril online and fomenting an “internet as threat” narrative in the minds of the public.
  • Publication
    Digitalizing Myanmar: Connectivity Developments in Political Transitions
    (2014-12-01) Calderaro, Andrea
    In the midst of rapid socio-political transition, Myanmar is building its telecommunications infrastructure by opening its market to international mobile companies and engaging in national regulatory reform. With one of the lowest internet and mobile subscriber rates in the world, Myanmar faces multiple challenges in building connectivity from both an infrastructural and a policy perspective. Telecom developments could play a significant role in modernizing the country as it emerges from decades of political repression, and although the domestic connectivity plan is moving forward, several challenges need to be dealt with quickly in order to ensure a safe and accessible digital environment. This paper explores connectivity developments in Myanmar, paying particular attention to the opening of the mobile market to international companies, the launch of the new national telecom law, and the development of policies securing digital rights.
  • Publication
    Chaos & Control: The Competing Tensions of Internet Governance in Iran
    (2015-01-01) Marchant, James; Robertson, Bronwen
    This report offers a comprehensive overview of Iran’s engagements with internet governance issues by tracking Iran’s public statements at internet governance forums, studying its delegations to international events, and comparing its international policy stances against its domestic practices. The report also examines the Iranian public’s engagement with internet governance issues, and the state of multistakeholderism in Iran. It achieves this by monitoring Iranian press coverage of internet governance debates and appraising Iran’s emerging domestic multistakeholder initiatives.
  • Publication
    The Rise of the Global South on the World Wide Web: Bridging Internet Policies and Web User Behavior
    (2014-08-01) Taneja, Harsh; Wu, Angela Xiao
    Scholars of internet governance have traditionally focused on how institutions such as sovereign nation states and multilateral organizations establish public policy. In doing so, experts and policy makers often presume the impact of Internet policies on Internet usage, but rarely do they examine usage aggregated from the behavior of individual web users. In this study, authors Harsh Taneja and Angela Xiao Wu examine the relationship between internet governance and internet user behavior, empirically investigating web user behavior on a global scale. The authors utilize web use data from ComScore to construct a network for the 1,000 most visited websites globally in September 2009, 2011 and 2013. Analysis of these networks revealed a number of “clusters” of websites, whereby sites within the cluster had more users in common than they did with sites outside the cluster. In each of the three years, the most salient means upon which websites clustered together were both language and geography (and not content type). Thus, the authors interpret such clusters as online expressions of place-based cultures, or “regional cultures”, with data suggesting a de-Americanization and rise of the Global South on the WWW since 2009.
  • Publication
    Beyond NETmundial: The Roadmap for Institutional Improvements to the Global Internet Governance Ecosystem
    (2014-08-01) Drake, William J; Price, Monroe
    Beyond NETmundial: The Roadmap for Institutional Improvements to the Global Internet Governance Ecosystem explores options for the implementation of a key section of the “NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement” that was adopted at the Global Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial) held on April 23rd and 24th 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. The Roadmap section of the statement concisely sets out a series of proposed enhancements to existing mechanisms for global internet governance, as well as suggestions of possible new initiatives that the global community may wish to consider. The sixteen chapters by leading practitioners and scholars are grouped into six sections: The NETmundial Meeting; Strengthening the Internet Governance Forum; Filling the Gaps; Improving ICANN; Broader Analytical Perspectives; and Moving Forward.
  • Publication
    Turkey’s Internet Policy After the Coup Attempt: The Emergence of a Distributed Network of Online Suppression and Surveillance
    (2017-02-28) Yesil, Bilge; Kerem Sözeri, Efe; Khazraee, Emad
    In July 2016, Turkey was shaken by a bloody coup attempt. Although the would-be putschists failed, their insurgency led to an unprecedented reshuffling of Turkey’s political economic and socio-cultural landscapes. Notwithstanding the critical reverberations on the army, judiciary, law enforcement and civil society, the abortive coup set in motion a massive purge of civil servants, closure of media outlets, arrests of journalists, and blocking of websites and social media accounts. This report offers an examination of the evolution of internet policy in Turkey from the early 2000s to the post-coup conjuncture. It begins with an overview of internet legislation in Turkey during the 2000s under the AKP government (Justice and Development Party), and proceeds to discuss the deployment of different forms of control between 2013-2016 to contain the fallout from political and security crises and the potentially disruptive affordances of social media platforms. The report then focuses on the emerging policy developments and online restrictions in the aftermath of the coup attempt, which include 1) the closure of the TIB—Turkey’s telecommunications authority, 2) direct government control of ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and interception of digital communications by way of decree laws, 3) facilitation of social media censorship by means of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube content removals and 4) coordinated online harassment campaigns by pro-government users against alleged coup planners, Kurdish activists and government critics in general.
  • Publication
    Stakes are High: Essays on Brazil and the Future of the Global Internet
    (2014-04-01) Price, Monroe; Lemos, Ronaldo; Schulz, Wolfgang; Beckedahl, Markus; Nolasco Ferreira, Juliana; Hill, Richard; Biddle, Ellery
    This workbook seeks to provide some background to the Global Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial) scheduled for April 23rd and 24th 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. It is designed to help outline the internet policy issues that are at stake and will be discussed at NETmundial, as well as background on internet policy in Brazil. The workbook includes essays on the history of the NETmundial meeting and the Marco Civil process in Brazil; some background on the environment in Germany—with particular attention to the link between the meeting and the Snowden case; questions of legitimacy surrounding open processes for lawmaking; and comments on the material presented to the organizing committee by official and unofficial commenters. This workbook was produced as a part of the Internet Policy Observatory, a program at the Center for Global Communication Studies, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. It was edited and curated by a steering committee including Ellery Roberts Biddle of Global Voices, Ronaldo Lemos of the Rio Institute for Technology and Society, and Monroe Price of the Annenberg School for Communication. They were assisted by Alexandra Esenler, Laura Schwartz-Henderson, and Briar Smith.
  • Publication
    Benchmarking Demand: Pakistan and the Internet Users’ Perspective
    (2016-05-01) Khan, Arzak; Nisbet, Erik C
    This report is the third in a series that examines public attitudes and preferences about Internet censorship and regulation in states in which media and Internet use are subject to increasing restrictions. In the context of Pakistan, where rapid increases in internet access and usage are accompanied by a propensity to regulate this new cyber-territory, the goal of this report is to uncover the views of Pakistani Internet users with respect to the regulation and control of online spaces. In each of these reports, we seek to provide insight into who uses the Internet in each country and the most used and trusted sources of online and offline information. But more than that, the surveys seek to add to a process: learning how to plumb general views about the influence of the Internet on politics and society and chart attitudes concerning censorship on various political, religious and social grounds. The reports test an approach to determining who, among competing institutions, people trust to regulate the Internet, what constitutes their policy preferences about Internet regulation, and the extent to which Internet regulation issues might figure in political mobilization efforts in furtherance of Internet freedom.
  • Publication
    Mapping the Internet Terrain
    (2014-02-01) Klimburg, Alexander; Mirtle, Philipp; Gjorgieva, Snezana
    The rise of the internet has had a marked effect on how we view political power. Around the turn of the millennium, the nation-state as a political factor seemed to be in retreat, and was described as being “under siege”. Giving individuals instant and affordable access to vast amounts of information, the Internet “has collapsed the world, transcending and blurring political boundaries.” As everyday lives have been perceived as being significantly transformed by the Internet, so, too, were traditional concepts of territoriality and state sovereignty. It was even claimed that “[t]he new technologies encourage noninstitutional, shifting networks over the fixed bureaucratic hierarchies that are the hallmark of the single-voiced sovereign state.” However, while there is no doubt “that significant deterritorialisation has taken place in human affairs, territory remains a crucial factor for many key aspects of humankind’s social, economic and especially political structures.” In our near future, the pre-eminence of the state will thus very likely continue to outrange that of non-state actors, but states today will find it much more difficult to maintain their accustomed degree of control. The information revolution has, in fact, triggered a considerable diffusion of power among a broad variety of different state and non-state actors. In such an environment, “[p]olitical leaders will enjoy fewer degrees of freedom before they must respond to events, and then they will have to share the stage with more actors.” The present paper looks at one of the most relevant fields reflecting the ongoing power shifts between state and non-state actors. This field – really a collection of different processes or regimes – is most commonly referred to as “internet governance.” Essentially, internet governance deals with the management of the global resources that effectively make up the Internet. Perhaps one of the most significant features of this field is the multistakeholder concept, which has been instrumental in bestowing legitimacy on a number of different actors and institutional arrangements that are key to the functioning of the global internet.