Online Activism On Russia Election Underscores Need To Protect Internet Freedom

On March 4, Russia held a Presidential election in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was returned to the Presidency for a third non-consecutive term.  However, the opposition and protestors allege widespread vote fraud, and thousands rallied in Moscow the day after the election.  These mass demonstrations, and those in December around Russia’s parliamentary elections, were…

Internet Freedom and Jackson-Vanik

One of the most prominent trade issues in 2012 centers on Congressional approval of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia.  While extending PNTR to Russia would provide some economic benefits to both countries following Russia’s WTO entry, we believe that there is another aspect to this issue to be considered: that of Internet Freedom.…

Twitter’s Difficult Choice: The Unenviable Position of U.S. Internet Companies

Yesterday, Twitter announced that it had created a targeted solution to removing locally “illegal” material on a country-by-country basis.  Perhaps understandably, the company has been accused of abetting censorship, particularly because Twitter is one of the online platforms that has played such an important role in empowering traditionally silenced minority groups, democracy activists and protestors around the world. However,…

European Commission Presents E-Commerce Action Plan

On 11 January 2012 the Commission presented its Communication on e-commerce. The Communication sets out an action plan to double online sales and the share of the Internet economy in EU GDP by 2015. To this end, the Communication aims to address the still fragmented nature of Europe’s digital market and highlights five policy priorities: Develop…

SOPA Markup This Thursday: What You Can Do Now To Save the Internet

What’s at stake and why should I care? Rebecca MacKinnon’s recent editorial in the New York Times says it well: “Compliance with the Stop Online Piracy Act would require huge overhead spending by Internet companies for staff and technologies dedicated to monitoring users and censoring any infringing material from being posted or transmitted. This in turn would…