Digital Media Mash Up, August - Week 3

In this Issue

Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C.

In the News


Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C.

Independent Media in Egypt and Tunisia
Thursday, September 1, 2011
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Center for International Media Assistance / National Endowment for Democracy / Internews
Participants: Enrique Armijo, Covington & Burling, LLP; Toby Mendel, Centre for Law and Democracy; Jamal Dajani, Internews Network; Joan Barata Mir, Universitat Ramon Llull; Amy Hawthorne, U.S. Department of State; Natasha Tynes, International Center for Journalists; Drusilla Menaker, International Research & Exchanges Board; Moderated by: Stephen Fuzesi, Jr., CIMA Advisory Council
About: Join us for a roundtable discussion on media law in Egypt and Tunisia after the Arab Spring. As the two countries prepare for elections in the fall, media assistance stakeholders are analyzing how reforms will affect the legal enabling environment for independent media. A recent report by the Center for International Media Assistance, Media and the Law: An Overview of Legal Issues and Challenges, finds that the legal conditions under which news media operate are crucial factors to the sector's success. A liberal and empowering legal regime can enable the growth of media and allow them to fulfill their function as watchdog of democratic society without fear of legal sanction, thus helping to make governments more accountable. What current laws, regulations, and practices affect journalists in Egypt and Tunisia? What legislation is being drafted to replace or supplement them, and how will it have an impact on independent media? How can local civil society organizations, donors, implementers, and policymakers use this transition to negotiate meaningful change in the legal enabling environment?
Location: National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004

In the News

Global Censorship Update

Argentina Telecoms Regulator Opens Net Censorship Pandora's Box
The telecoms regulator in Argentina, CNC - National Telecommunications Commission - officially opened the Pandora's Box of internet censorship by caving in to a Federal Judge's order and issuing a notice that instructs all local ISPs to block access to a pair of web sites. (TechEye, 8/15)

Leading Woman Blogger Could Be Tried By Court Martial over Tweet
Reporters Without Borders condemns a decision by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to prosecute a blogger, Asmaa Mahfouz, over several messages criticizing the council that she posted on Facebook and Twitter. (Reporters Without Borders, 8/16),40794.html

Right to Information Campaigner Shehla Masood Shot Dead
Reporters Without Borders expressed deep shock today at the murder of Indian freedom of information activist and blogger Shehla Masood and called for an impartial and independent investigation, the arrest of the killer, respect for the right to information and protection of its supporters. (Reporters Without Borders, 8/17),40804...

Biden visits China Amid Crackdown on Writers, Dissidents
As Vice President Joe Biden meets with Chinese leadership this week, he'll do so in a country that for the most part has silenced the few remaining dissident voices in a particularly harsh clampdown this year. (Miami Herald, 8/18)

Digital Media News Affecting Activists

Eight Journalists to Follow on Twitter for Information on China
Twitter can be a great resource for news about China. Yolanda Ma, senior editor of IJNet's Chinese channel, offers these picks for whom to follow on the microblogging service for updated information on China in English. (IJNet, 8/12)

AP, Google Offer Scholarships to Digital Journalism Students
The AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship program will provide $20,000 scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year to six students pursuing or planning to pursue degrees at the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media. (Poynter, 8/15)

Networked Audiences: 10 New Rules for Engagement
InterMedia COO Susan Gigli and Dr. Ali Fisher, who directs their Networked Communication Research, advise media organizations on how to embrace and benefit from new digital platforms through their 10 New Rules of Engagement. (AudienceScapes, 8/17)

SFTW: 9 Data Journalism Tools
There have been quite a few tools springing up over the past few months that I've not had time to blog about, so here's a roundup post on all of them - a bumper Something For The Weekend (let me know how you find these). (Online Journalism Blog, 8/19)

The 50 Best Websites of 2011
We honor the scrappy newcomers and established players that make the Web so useful, entertaining and just plain indispensable. (Time),28757,2087815,00.html

TECHNOLOGY: Recognising the Potential of ICT in the Pacific
Information and communication technology (ICT) is internationally recognised as a key tool for sustainable development. It is therefore essential that the full potential of ICT is harnessed for the benefit of all Pacific people and in particular for the marginalised or disadvantaged groups. (Islands Business)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

Google to Buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion
In a surprise deal that would be its largest acquisition ever, Google has agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, the two companies said Monday. (CNN, 8/15)

Why the Google-Moto Deal May Not Result in Better Phones
There was a frenzy of tech news across the Internet on Monday morning about Google's acquisition of Motorola's mobile phone division. (CNN, 8/15)

Google Improving Privacy Policies, Says Information Commissioner
Internet giant promised to improve how it handles users' data after Street View controversy (Guardian, 8/16)

'Chinese YouTube's' Shares Fall in Disappointing Debut
Tudou is first company to go public since last week's market turmoil (Guardian, 8/17)

China's State Broadcaster Attacks Baidu
China's main state broadcaster has attacked Baidu, the country's largest online search company, in a move likely to fuel concern among foreign investors about the risks of operating in the Chinese internet industry. (Financial Times, 8/17)

3 Ways Google-Motorola Doesn't Make Sense (And 5 Ways it Does)
Google's $12.5 billion deal to purchase Motorola Mobility was foolish, savvy, naive or clever, according to various analysts commenting over the last two days. (PBS MediaShift, 8/18)

Digital Media and Riots in the United Kingdom and United States

What the England Riots Tell Us About Social Media
When England instituted the Riot Act of 1714, it did so to prevent "tumults and riotous assemblies, and for the more speedy and effectual punishing the rioters." (PBS MediaShift, 8/12)

Zimbabwe: UK Social Networks Boomerang
BRITAIN'S double standards have been exposed through ongoing moves to block social media in the aftermath of riots that rocked the country despite having encouraged the use of the same tools in destabilising Africa. (The Herald, 8/13)

UK and BART Officials: Don't Shoot the Messaging Services
Many people in the United States and Europe have praised the role that Twitter, Facebook and text messaging played in the uprisings in the Middle East that had contributed to democracy movements in Iran, Tunisia and other countries and led to the resignation of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. (Huffington Post, 8/16)

San Francisco's BART Transit System Has a Website Hacked for 2nd Time
A hacker publicly posted Wednesday the home addresses and other information of all 102 police officers with San Francisco's Bay Area Transit system, the second hacking incident against one of its websites since Sunday, a spokesman said. (CNN, 8/17)

Ban Political Grandstanding, Not Social Networks
Last week, Prime Minister Cameron suggested that new controls on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry Messenger should be considered in response to reports that these services might have been used during the UK riots. (ARTICLE 19, 8/17)

BART and the New Era of Censorship
I have spent most of the week poring over news stories, blogs and commentary on last week's decision by Bay Area Rapid Transit officials to shut off cellphone service to quash planned protests on its trains and platforms. (Huffington Post, 8/18)

Digital Media in the Middle East

EGYPT: Activists Use Social Media to Help Slum-Dwellers
A few months ago Mahmoud Salem, aged 30, used to sit at his laptop and join various online forums in a bid to help the effort to overthrow former President Hosni Mubarak. Now, and after Mubarak is gone, Salem is back at his laptop, but this time as an activist of a different sort. (IRIN, 8/12)

Bahrain Satellite Channel Jammed, Launches on Livestation Instead
Livestation, launched in 2008, gives users an easy way to keep up with major news channels including Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN, from their computers, or on the go using the iPhone app or mobile site. (NextWeb, 8/14)

Libya Threatens Death for Unauthorised Thuraya Use
The regime of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi threatened on Friday to execute anyone found to be using a Thuraya satellite telephone without official authorisation, saying they will be deemed to be communicating with the enemy. (Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 8/16)

Facebook Becomes Divisive in Bahrain
It has been six months since anti-government protests inspired by the successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt first erupted in Bahrain. And as in Egypt, many Bahrainis used social media Internet sites such as Facebook to help organize the protests. (Voice of America, 8/17)

International Hacktivists Help Syrian Citizens Circumvent Internet Censorship
As the government cracks down on protesters in Syria, hacker groups from abroad are helping people to get access to the Web and to communicate safely despite surveillance and repression. (Deutsche Welle, 8/18),,15324784,00.html

Mobile Technology in Africa

Africans Embracing Mobile Internet
Africans are among the world's top users of the internet on their mobile phones. That is if Opera's latest State of the Mobile Web report is anything to go by. Opera specialises in the development of internet browsers for mobile phones. (How We Made It in Africa, 8/15)

Phone Messages Improve Care, Study Finds
Using cellphones to broadcast text messages reminding health workers in Kenya how to treat children's malaria increased the number of cases handled correctly, a new study has found. (New York Times, 8/15)

Cyber Insecurity

Cyber Activists Hack Municipality's Webpage in Protest against Government's Attacks on Free Expression
On 4 August 2011, the web page of the municipality of Francisco de Orellana, a city in the Amazon region in northeastern Ecuador, suffered a cyber-attack by a group of cyber activists known around the world as "Anonymous". (IFEX, 8/11)

Online Anonymity: A Gateway to Freedom or Abuse?
Google+ has sparked many online debates, but the one at the forefront concerns online anonymity. By forcing users to use their real names, Google+ has sprung open a worldwide discussion regarding how this affects activists. (NextWeb, 8/14)

'Mafiaboy' Breaks Silence, Paints 'Portrait of a Hacker'
Michael Calce once briefly shut down this site. It was February 8, 2000, and the then-15-year-old was egged on by a fellow hacker who believed would be impossible to bring down because of its "advanced networks" and "huge traffic numbers." It took Calce just a few minutes. (CNN, 8/15)

How Americans Really Use Their Cell Phones

Americans and Their Cell Phones
Mobile phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information seeking and communicating--83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone--and these devices have an impact on many aspects of their owners' daily lives. (Pew, 8/15)

How Americans Really Use Cell Phones
If you've ever pretended to be talking on your cell phone to avoid talking to, or acknowledging, someone nearby -- you're not alone. One in 13 Americans have used this ploy, a new survey says. (CNN, 8/16)


China Launches Communications Satellite for Pakistan
Pakistan's PakSat-1R geostationary communications satellite was launched into space by a Chinese rocket from a site in southwest China on Thursday, IBN Live reports. (Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 8/13)

More Farmers Using Computers, Internet
A total of 62 percent of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared with 59 percent in 2009. The USDA says 65 percent of farms have access to a computer in 2011, up 1 percentage point from 2009. (USAgNet, 8/15)

On Digital Battleground, Obama Is Armed and Dangerous
President Obama holds the early advantage in the digital campaign for re-election, but his Republican challengers aren't ceding any ground in the race to gain an edge through social media and other online strategies. (Washington Times, 8/17)

Elections Canada Lobbies for Test of Online Voting
Internet and social media prompt look at reforming election laws (CBC, 8/17)


Americans and Their Cell Phones
Mobile phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information seeking and communicating--83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone--and these devices have an impact on many aspects of their owners' daily lives. (Pew, 8/15)

#ObamainBrazil: A New Media Research Case Study
In a new white paper Dr. Ali Fisher, who directs InterMedia's networked communication research, and analyst David Montez test new digital media research methods to evaluate the US State Dept's online campaign in Brazil. (AudienceScapes, 8/17)

Democracy and Society - Summer 2011
Includes articles such as: "Weighing the Limitations Against the Added-Value of Social Media as a Tool for Political Change;" "Between the Stirrup and the Ground: Relocating Digital Activism;" "Social Media and the Reconfiguration of Political Action in Revolutionary Tunisia;" "Digital Protectionism: Preparing for the Coming Internet Embargo;" and "Improving Governance Through Symbiotic Media Structures."