Digital Media Mash Up: December 2011, Week 1

In this Issue

Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C. and Beyond

In the News:


Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C. and Beyond

Washington, DC

The Impact of Search Technology on Journalism
Monday, December 5, 2011, 8am
Search has a profound impact on the journalism industry and all content creators including citizen journalists and bloggers. Algorithms have a important effect on page views, advertising rates and the diversion of revenue with the news room. For online news readers, search technology is changing the news we receive, at times offering us news that may strengthen our biases. Media Access Project will be presenting two panels on the impact of search technology on journalism.
Featuring: Howard Fineman: Editorial Director, AOL Huffington Post Media Group; Erik Wemple: Blogger, Washington Post; Caroline Little: CEO and President, Newspaper Association of America; Jim Brady: Editor-in-Chief of Digital First Media, Journal Register Company; Hemal Jhaveri: Executive Director of Digital Innovation, Politico; Alicia Mundy: Writer, Wall Street Journal; Gerard Waldron: Partner, Covington & Burling
Location: South America Room, Pew Conference Center, 901 E Street NW, Washington DC
Twitter hashtag: #MAPForum

Media in Transition: Coverage of the 2011 Election in Kyrgyzstan and Beyond
Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 2pm
Join us for a discussion on the media's coverage of the recent presidential election in Kyrgyzstan, including prospects for press freedom.
Featuring: Alisher Khamidov, Johns Hopkins University; Erica Marat, American University; Mariya Rasner, Internews Network; Miriam Lanskoy, National Endowment for Democracy
Location: Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington DC
Twitter hashtag: #cimaevents

Beyond Washington

Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live
Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 12:30pm
Public Parts argues persuasively and personally that the internet and our new sense of publicness are, in fact, doing the opposite. Jarvis travels back in time to show the amazing parallels of fear and resistance that met the advent of other innovations such as the camera and the printing press. The internet, he argues, will change business, society, and life as profoundly as Gutenberg's invention, shifting power from old institutions to us all.
Featuring: Jeff Jarvis, blogger, professor, and best-selling author
Location: Room 107, Pound Hall, Harvard Law School, Boston, MA

Friday, December 9, 2011
The key purpose of the conference is to facilitate a global dialogue about the responsibilities of governments from around the world with an interest in pro-actively furthering human rights on the internet, thereby engaging closely with companies, NGOs, and representatives of international organizations to develop an active agenda to further internet freedom through concrete commitments.
Featuring: Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal
Location: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
Facebook: http://
Twitter: @ifreedom_2011; hashtag: #ifreedom

FAILfaire NYC 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 7pm
Tech projects for social change succeed sometimes, but more often than not, they fail. The successes are reported on, and the failures are quietly pushed under the proverbial rug. Well, it's time to bring out the failures, with a sense of humor, and with an honest look at ourselves at FAILfaire NYC 2011. FAILfaire features case studies of projects using tech in social change that have, to put it simply, been a #FAIL. Busted, kaputt. Tongue firmly in cheek, we take a close look at what didn't work and why the projects failed amidst the hype of tech changing the work - hype that we all are subjected to (and are sometimes contributors to).
Organized by: - a global network of people using mobile technology for social impact. Hosted by: The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, with participation from UNICEF's Innovation Unit
Location: U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038-4999

In the News

Global Censorship Update

View our Global Censorship Update in a Google Map.

DENMARK: "Pirate Blogger" Law Student Raided by Police for File-Sharing Articles
Anti-piracy group RettighedsAlliancen say they have been busy recently tracking down piracy 'masterminds'. After busting who they claim is the leader of a huge movie piracy group, last week they had the police detain a less likely target - a 19-year-old law student who runs a file-sharing blog. RettighedsAlliancen say that guides on his site showed readers how to break the law, an act serious enough to involve the police. (Torrent Freak, 11/28)

EGYPT: The #freemona Perfect Storm
It was a calm, quite night, almost nine o'clock, on the eve of Thanksgiving holiday when, out of the corner of my eye, a tweet shook me: "@monaeltahawy: Beaten arrested in interior ministry." (Technosociology, 11/25)

EGYPT: How Twitter Helped Rescue Mona El Tahawy
Destabilized by the collapse of its dictatorial regime and governed by military forces, Egypt is a dangerous place to be a dissident, especially one who has drawn the government's fire by blogging and tweeting about its failings. For Mona El Tahawy, who was arrested and tortured by Egyptian security forces last week, that profile may have made her a target - but it also helped her quickly assemble a network of supporters and a Twitter campaign that eventually freed her from her captors. (GigaOM, 11/28)

EGYPT: @alaa Charged with Murder? How Confusion from a Mistaken News Story Played Out on Twitter
On November 29, 2011, news sources posted stories claiming that arrested blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah had been charged with murder, on top of other charges previously announced that have been dismissed by human rights activists. After I tweeted the news reports, an intense discussion broke out across Twitter. It now appears the news reports were wrong. I've put together this story to capture how a claim can spread from mainstream news sources to Twitter, only to be debunked by Twitter users. (Andy Carvin, 11/29)

EGYPT: Journalism, Social Media, and Packs and Cascades: Lessons from an Error
My case study begins yesterday when the prominent Egyptian newspaper Shorouk posted an article stating that prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd-el Fattah, whose case was recently transferred from military to civilian courts as a result of pressure from Tahrir and elsewhere, was now charged with premeditated murder, among other charges, for his activities the night of the Maspero killings in Egypt which resulted in the death of 27 Copts during a protest march. Alaa is well-known by many people in the West (including Andy Carvin and myself) and the charges were fairly ridiculous even before premeditated murder were added. (Technosociology, 11/30)

EGYPT: Detention of Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah Extended
The Supreme State Security Prosecution on Sunday extended the detention of Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah for another 15 days pending an investigation into charges of unlawful assembly, vandalism and resisting arrest during the Maspero events of 9 October. (Al Masry Al Youm, 11/30)

EUROPEAN UNION: Landmark Digital Free Speech Ruling at European Court of Justice
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered a landmark case for protecting free speech in the fight against online piracy. In a decision issued today on the Scarlet Extended SA v SABAM case, the Court stated that web filtering systems used to prevent illegal downloading on peer-to-peer networks was incompatible with fundamental human rights. (IFEX, 11/25)

PAKISTAN: Pakistan Bans 1,100 Naughty Words from Text Messages
Phrases such as "beat your meat," "fairy," and "lovegun" are among the list of words banned in text messages by the Pakistani Telecommunication Authority. (Ars Technica, 11/30)

RUSSIA: The Russian Internet (Runet) Becomes More Opaque
Recent implementation of amendments to Russian Law make the Russian Internet (Runet) more opaque to anyone other than the Russian security services. (Jeffrey Carr, 11/27)

SYRIA: Syrian Authorities Ban the Use of iPhones
Syrian authorities have banned the use of iPhones in the country, restricting the use of the device by activists to document government violence, Lebanese website Al Nashara reports. (The Next Web, 12/2)

UAE: Five Activists Sentenced to Jail Then Pardoned
Last April, Five activists were arrested in the United Arab Emirates for signing an online petition that demanded reforms in the wealthy Gulf country one of them was blogger Ahmed Mansoor. (Global Voices Advocacy, 11/28)

UAE: Ahmed Mansoor and Four other Pro-Democracy Activists Pardoned and Freed
Reporters Without Borders hails the decision by the president of the United Arab Emirates today to pardon blogger Ahmed Mansoor and four other pro-democracy activists a day after they were convicted of insulting the country's leaders. All were expected to be released later in the day. (Reporters Without Borders, 11/28)

UAE: UAE Pardons Jailed Activists
Five United Arab Emirates political activists received presidential pardons and were released after eight months in prison, just a day after they were convicted of anti-state crimes. (Al-Jazeera, 11/28)

UNITED STATES: SOPA Gets Taiwanese News Animation Treatment
VIDEO: Want to know when a bit of news has really hit the mainstream? It's when the Taiwanese company Next Media Animation does a computer generated animation of the story. These videos have become a media sensation. Guess what they just took on? Yup, the battle over SOPA, which they animate by showing Hollywood lobbyists seeking to attack the internet, and showing not only how tech companies teamed up to fight this, but that internet users are pushing back. Amusingly, they make use of the imagery from the UC Davis pepper spray incident to show how Hollywood and the government can "knock out" sites under SOPA. (Tech Dirt, 11/29)

UNITED STATES: Federal Judge Orders Google, Facebook to Disappear Hundreds of Sites
After a series of one-sided hearings, luxury goods maker Chanel has won recent court orders against hundreds of websites trafficking in counterfeit luxury goods. A federal judge in Nevada has agreed that Chanel can seize the domain names in question and transfer them all to US-based registrar GoDaddy. The judge also ordered "all Internet search engines" and "all social media websites"-explicitly naming Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Bing, Yahoo, and Google-to "de-index" the domain names and to remove them from any search results. (Threat Level, 11/30)

VIETNAM: Appeal Court Reduces Blogger's Jail Sentence But Upholds Three Years of House Arrest
An appeal court today reduced French-Vietnamese blogger Pham Minh Hoang's jail sentence from three years to 17 months but upheld an additional sentence of three years of house arrest after his release from prison. As Hoang has been detained since August 2010, he is due to be released from jail on 12 January. (Reporters Without Borders, 11/29),4...

Digital Media News Affecting Journalists and Activists

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents
The handbook offers practical advice and techniques on how to create a blog, make entries and get the blog to show up in search engine results. It gives clear explanations about blogging for all those whose online freedom of expression is subject to restrictions, and it shows how to sidestep the censorship measures imposed by certain governments, with a practical example that demonstrates the use of the censorship circumvention software Tor. (Reporters Without Borders, 9/19)

SYRIA: Cyberwar Explodes in Syria
VIDEO: A familiar digital chime rang on the computer. Someone was calling via Skype from Syria. It was a law student and opposition activist from the city of Homs who uses the pseudonym Musaab al Hussaini to protect himself from arrest. He had fresh reports that security forces were shooting guns wildly in the neighborhood Baba Amrr. Hussaini was calling via Psiphon, an online encryption system he had just installed that morning. (CNN, 11/22)

LATIN AMERICA: #Occupy and Digital Media in Latin America: Observations
Young people from many countries in Latin America have organized themselves and occupied public places just like their counterparts around the globe. While some protesters are still camped, others are not. In both instances, the spread of these ideas through digital media and social media has been impressive. In Rio de Janeiro, a nonviolent occupation is happening in Cinelandia Square downtown. More than 100 tents have been pitched and protesters have decorated them with placards opposing capitalism, consumerism and social inequality. (DML Central, 11/29)

Protecting Your Privacy Online Is Easier Than You Think
There has been a lot of talk among regulators and in offices about the lack of online privacy and the need for government intervention. Although a comprehensive federal privacy law is unlikely, protecting your privacy online is easier than you think. (Des Moines Register, 11/29)

How Social Media Are Changing Journalism
VIDEO: Watch the video of our lively discussion of the impact of social media on journalism, featuring Liz Heron, Social Media Editor at The New York Times,Karen Pinchin, founding editor of OpenFile Vancouver, and Steve Pratt, Director of CBC Radio 3 and CBC Radio Digital Programming and myself. The event was held on November 7, 2011, at UBC Robson in Vancouver, sponsored by UBC Continuing Studies and the UBC Graduate School of Journalism. (, 11/29)

How ProPublica's Journalists Share Their 'Digital DNA'
Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief of ProPublica on how diversity in experience has been key to the success of the investigative news site. (, 11/29)

How Facebook Open Graph is Revolutionising the News Industry
Open Graph is possibly one of Facebook's greatest achievements. It has allowed the social network to permeate the lives of its users like never before, creating opportunities to share more and more of what they do with friends. It has also allowed media organisations to benefit hugely from this social commerce. The 'frictionless sharing experience' provided by Open Graph, which essentially means sharing without having to click a button, has been enormously beneficial to the media. (Editors Weblog, 11/30)

How the Internet Helps Long-Form Journalism
With just one online journalist for every 10 still working in a traditional newsroom, the digital age is still in its infancy, says one expert. Ramon Salaverria, online journalism professor and Director of the Journalism Projects Department at the University of Navarra, says that digital versions of articles often lack depth. (ijnet, 11/30)

Storify Seen as Innovative Tool to Thwart "Media Blackout" of Social Movement Coverage
VIDEO: Storify, the media aggregation platform that aims to help "users tell stories by curating social media," has become a prominent tool in covering the Occupy Wall Street movement. (Knight Center, 11/30)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

Twitter, Mixi form Japan Tie-Up as Facebook Gains
Twitter Inc. and Japan's biggest homegrown social networking site mixi Inc. joined forces Wednesday to strengthen their ground against a rapidly expanding Facebook. (Naharnet, 11/30)

AL-JAZEERA: Al-Jazeera English Launched in India
Al Jazeera English has been launched across India on the country's number one DTH platform. (Trade Arabia, 11/20)

FACEBOOK: Old News Is Good News: How Facebook Is Breathing New Life into Old Stories
News today is all about being first; 'real time' is king; users want the latest information in the quickest possible time delivered straight to their mobile device so they are constantly kept abreast of unfolding world events. Right? Well, yes... and no. It seems that Facebook is producing something of a Lazarus effect for old news content. Stories that were written more than a decade ago are increasingly becoming viral phenomena thanks to the new 'frictionless sharing' system introduced by the social network in September. (Editors Weblog, 11/12)

FACEBOOK: Facebook Faces a Crackdown on Selling Users' Secrets to Advertisers
The European Commission is planning to stop the way the website "eavesdrops" on its users to gather information about their political opinions, sexuality, religious beliefs - and even their whereabouts. (Telegraph, 11/26)

FACEBOOK: Does Facebook Have a Foreign Policy?
Toward the end of 2008, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was musing about a massive political rally in Colombia earlier that year. A young man had started a Facebook group to show his revulsion against the FARC guerrillas, and one month later, on Feb. 4, millions of people across Colombia and around the world rallied in opposition to FARC. The anti-FARC protests were the first ripple in what would become this year's global wave -- the use of social media in massive political movements, as Facebook and Twitter have almost overnight become the world's collective soapboxes, petition sheets, and meeting halls. (Foreign Policy, 11/28)

FACEBOOK: The FTC-Facebook Settlement
Earlier today the FTC released the proposed settlement agreement it reached with Facebook. (Standford Law School Center for Internet and Society, 11/29)

JIKE: "People's Search Engine" Jike Won't Totally Imitate Google (But Maybe It Should)
Last year, state-owned Party mouthpiece newspaper People's Daily decided to get into the search game and launched Perhaps because that name was widely criticized as derivative of already-existing search services Sogou and Soso, they later changed the name to Jike. (Penn-Olson, 11/28)

TWITTER: 39% Of All Tweets Are In English, But Arabic Now Fastest-Growing Language On Twitter
Last month, more than 2 million tweets were posted every day on Twitter in Arabic, up from about 30,000 per day in July 2010, says a new study. (MediaBistro, 11/28)

WIKILEAKS: Lawyer: WikiLeaks Cables Did Little Harm
The lawyer for the U.S. Army private accused of leaking thousands of classified documents said in a court filing that the information in question did not do "any real damage to national security." (CNN, 11/29)

YOUTUBE: YouTube Reinvents Itself with Massive Relaunch
YouTube is rolling out one of its most ambitious redesigns since its launch in 2006 this Thursday afternoon, putting channels front and center in an attempt to become the Internet's answer to cable TV. The new design features a completely revamped home page that focuses on a user's video subscriptions and pulls in video recommendations from social networks like Facebook and Google+. (GigaOM, 12/1)

Digital Media in the Middle East

Twitter the Medium of Revolution in the Arab World
Twitter came into its own in the Arab world as the medium of revolution this year. But since then people from Morocco to Qatar have learned the value of 140-word spurts to broadcast news, comment, gossip and advertising. As a result, Arabic has become the fastest growing Twitter language in the world over the past year. (Jerusalem Post, 11/27)

EGYPT: When Tech is the Least of Your Problems
I'm on the ground in Cairo supporting the first big electoral test of Egypt's revolution. At least that's the plan. As you might have noticed if you've been anywhere close to a media outlet in the last week, things have been a bit chaotic, and it's not a lock that the polls will take place on time. NDI works in a lot of volatile places, particularly around elections. Unpredictable environments like this leave us with a lot of factors that are simply not in our control. (NDI Tech, 11/27)

EGYPT: Election Monitoring Crowd-Sourced in Egypt
VIDEO: Although some prominent Internet activists decided to boycott Monday's elections in Egypt to protest continued military rule, many well-known bloggers spent the day working as self-appointed election monitors. Using the same social media tools that helped them to force Hosni Mubarak from office, the bloggers posted images of long lines at polling places and passed on reports of apparent violations of the electoral code. (New York Times, 11/28)

IRAQ: Building a Virtual Revolution
Blog by blog and tweet by tweet, tech-savvy Iraqis are trying to reproduce the revolutions of the Arab Spring on a subtler, more incremental level: by encouraging activism, reporting news, holding officials accountable and creating a broadband society that is not beholden to checkpoints, car bombs and other obstacles in the non-virtual world of Iraq. (Washington Post, 11/26)

MOROCCO: Islamist PJD Victory in Post-Reform Parliamentary Election
Moroccans took to the polls on Friday 25 November, 2011, to elect a new parliament. It is the first election since a constitutional referendum in July approved a series of amendments introduced by King Mohammed VI. The youth-based pro-democracy movement, known as February 20, have criticized the new constitution for leaving the King with a strong veto power over the government, and have called for the boycott of the elections. (Global Voices, 11/28)

YEMEN: Phones Versus AK47s: Mobiles for Conflict Management in Yemen
VIDEO: In Yemen it's difficult to know just how many wars are raging in the country at any one time. For centuries the country has been plagued by revenge killings and tribal conflict and the result is hundreds of deaths each year with many more injured. These localized wars can last for decades and are one of the most serious issues facing the country today. (MobileActive, 11/29)


Carrier IQ Video Shows Alarming Capabilities Of Mobile Tracking Software
VIDEO: You may be aware of the growing controversy surrounding Carrier IQ, a piece of software found pre-installed on Sprint phones that, according to developers who have investigated, is capable of detecting, recording, and transmitting various user actions and inputs. Among the data CIQ potentially has access to are location, SMS, apps, and key presses. (TechCrunch, 11/29)

BURMA: Behind Blue Coat: An Update from Burma
Citizen Lab research into the use of commercial filtering products in countries under the rule of authoritarian regimes has previously documented the use of devices manufactured by U.S.-based Blue Coat Systems in Syria and Burma. In Behind Blue Coat: Investigations of commercial filtering in Syria and Burma, we identified Blue Coat devices in Burma through the error messages, hostnames and filtering behaviour on Burmese Internet service provider (ISP) Yatanarpon Teleport. (Citizen Lab, 11/29)

Trade in Surveillance Technology Raises Worries
Northern Virginia technology entrepreneur Jerry Lucas hosted his first trade show for makers of surveillance gear at the McLean Hilton in May 2002. Thirty-five people attended.
Nine years later, Lucas holds five events annually across the world, drawing hundreds of vendors and thousands of potential buyers for an industry that he estimates sells $5 billion of the latest tracking, monitoring and eavesdropping technology each year. Along the way these events have earned an evocative nickname: The Wiretappers' Ball. (Washington Post, 12/1)

Wikileaks' Spy Files Paints Damning Picture of Tech Surveillance
Wikileaks today released a database of tech providers that are involved in government tracking around the globe and quite a few familiar names are on the list, including Alcatel Lucent, Nokia and Cisco. Called The Spy Files , the project includes 287 records gathered and curated in conjunction with several newspapers, Working with Bugged Planet and Privacy International, as well as media organizations from six countries including the Washington Post in the U.S. While the tone of the essay accompanying the release is designed to inspire fear, the accumulation of product brochures, manuals and presentations are pretty damning. (GigaOM, 12/1)

The State of Surveillance: The Data
A comprehensive list of companies who sell cybersurveillance equipment across the globe by Privacy International. (Privacy International, December 2011)

The Spyfiles
A collection of files on companies that sell surveillance products. (Wikileaks, December 2011)

Conference and Event Roundup

The First Ushahidi Research Seminar
SLIDES: Ushahidi and iHub researchers met a few weeks ago to present our current research projects and to invite the global research community to suggest ways of working together in the future. The iHub event was attended by about twenty in-person researchers, user experience experts, designers and interested individuals from Nairobi and surrounds, and a virtual audience of about fifty others from around the world. (Ushahidi, 11/28)

Kenya - Mobile and Radio

KENYA: On the Air, from Mobile to Radio
Recently dubbed by TIME Magazine as the "Silicon Savanna," Kenya is home to innovative mobile phone technologies that have transformed the lives of millions of people. Ahead of much of the rest of the world, Kenyans have adopted mobile money as an everyday way to handle financial transactions. More than half the population use mobile phones for everything from transferring money to family members to paying bills - even cab fare. Now, community radio stations are integrating mobile money into their business models. Through a four-month pilot launched in August by Internews, in partnership with the mobile banking system MobiKash and a network of community radio stations, the stations will earn revenue while putting community voices on the air, through an innovative "M-Dedications" system. (Internews, 9/6)

KENYA: FrontlineSMS:Radio Trial Continues in Kisumu
Following from the post in September, "FrontlineSMS:Radio Trial Begins," Geoffrey Muchai, one of our FrontlineSMS developers gives an update on his visit to one of the radio stations which is taking part in the trial. (FrontlineSMS, 11/28)

Around the Blogosphere

My 10 Years of Blogging: Reflections, Lessons & Some Stats Too
Ten years is a long time. Sometimes it is so long that one forgets a lot more than one remembers - like the fact that it I have been blogging for a decade. I would have totally forgotten about the amount of time that has passed, had it not been for (what else) a blog post from Fred Wilson, one of the more engaging and rigorous bloggers on the web. It just so happens he is a venture capitalist, but he would be a great blogger without the VC tag as well. (GigaOM, 11/26)

A World Being Censored
In a world where everyone creates something, it is often a fine line between what is appropriate and what is necessary. The 'eye of the beholder' plays an important part in this decision-making process, which is what makes censorship and content policing such a hit-or-miss action. When one of the decision-makers happens to be the subject of a particular creation, then how does fairness come into play, especially if the decision-maker has a bigger influence on such things as legality and public sentiment? (Urban Times, 11/28)

CANADA: CIPPIC Tech Lawyer Tamir Israel Debunks Government Myths on Online Spying
As the lawful access debate moves into full swing, the government spin machine has been busy responding to the many emails received by MPs as a result of's recent letter-writing campaign set up in opposition to proposed online surveillance or 'lawful access' legislation. Although a number of individuals have previously addressed many of the misconceptions common in government discourse, these continue to persist in MPs' responses to apprehensive Canadians. In light of this, a few responses are included below as samples which capture the range of answers received and analyzed in this post. (Open Media, 11/28)

SOUTH AFRICA: We Need to Talk about South Africa
The controversial Protection of State Information Bill is threatening South African freedom of speech. South Africa's well wishers are hoping that the bill will be at least amended especially with a reintroduction of the public interest clause, meaning that transparency and accountability in public affairs would be respected. (Open Democracy, 11/29)

One Year after Cablegate: WikiLeaks' Legacy on Cyberactivism
This blog post by Citizen Lab Post-Doctoral Fellow Stefania Milan reflects the content of a talk she gave at Media@McGill titled Beyond WikiLeaks: Journalism, Politics and Activism one year after Cablegate on November 29, 2011. (Citizen Lab, 11/29)

Giving Evidence to Privacy and Injunctions Committee
VIDEO: Yesterday I gave evidence to Parliament's Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions. I tried to explain the difficulties in stopping a specific piece of information appearing anywhere on the Internet, particularly in user-generated content and on social media platforms. (Blogzilla, 11/30)

Case Law: Davison v Habeeb & Ors - The Liability of Blog Platforms in Defamation Cases - Gervase de Wilde
A blog offers unprecedented scope for self-publication. But can the providers of blog platforms, whose business model is to make the process as easy as possible, be held liable for their contents in English law? This question was addressed in the case of Davison v Habeeb ([2011] EWHC 3031 (QB)) handed down on 25 November 2011 by HHJ Parkes QC (sitting as a judge of the High Court). The decision was made on an application by Google Inc. to set aside an earlier order in a defamation action in which it had been named as a party. This was due to its ownership and control of popular blog publishing tool Blogger, which had been used to publish material about the claimant, Ms Andrea Davison. (Inforrm's Blog, 11/30)

UN and Ushahidi Collaboration Suggests an Interwoven Future Is Inevitable
During the 2011 Liberian Election process, Ushahidi Liberia proved to be an invaluable team member for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Their crowdseeding efforts provided the people of Liberia, UNMIL and others, with timely access to objective reports from around the country. Lighter and more agile than the UN structure, the Ushahidi Liberia team was able to collate nearly 5,000 reports from perspectives previously not readily accessible to most observers. (Ushahidi, 12/2)


An Olympic Youth Appeal
Continuing its effort to make sure young media consumers don't miss the coming Olympics, the International Olympic Committee is focusing the latest iteration of its promotional campaign on the 12- to 19-year-old market. "Those of us of a certain age, we were brought up in the golden age of network television," said Timo Lumme, managing director of television and marketing services at the Olympic committee. "In those days there was one way that you got your Olympic fix." And while the committee is including television as part of its campaign, it is also trying to reach younger viewers through social media, user-generated content and other digital offerings. (New York Times, 11/27)

MIT's Joi Ito and Ethan Zuckerman Named to Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers
From "Twitter revolutions" to WikiLeaks, 2011 was a year of profound transformation in how people both consume and produce news. So it is perhaps only fitting that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's pioneering media studies program hired two of the thinkers best poised to navigate the new media landscape -- because they helped create it.

The Tweets of War: What's Past Is Postable
Hitler spent decades plotting his campaign for world domination. Alwyn Collinson, 24, a recent graduate in Renaissance history from Oxford University, hatched his own plan to invade Poland in a mere five days. (New York Times, 11/28)

CHINA: Digital Reshapes China, Aids Booming Ad Economy
The digital media revolution is reshaping Chinese society to help make it one of the fastest-growing advertising economies in the world, according to a new trend report from WPP's MEC China. (MediaPost, 11/28)

CHILE: In Chile, Protesting Students Tweak Tweets to Win Global Support
Geography student and young communist Camilla Vallejo needed only to tweet to marshal thousands of her 320,000 followers, with kitchenware in hand, to the streets in protest of the steep costs of education. (Threat Level, 11/28)

Mobile Explodes: Connections To Reach 6 Billion This Year
The world's population recently hit 7 billion, and mobile connections aren't far behind. ABI Research predicts that mobile subscriptions worldwide will reach 6 billion by year's-end, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for more than half the total. (Media Post, 11/28)

Newspapers Told to Shift Gears or Be Stuck in the Mud
Integrating mobile workflows into existing newsrooms is imperative if newspapers are to survive in an age where social and multimedia are beating legacy organizations to the punch and often outpacing them with breaking news. (Huffington Post, 11/28)

RUSSIA: Russia Needs More Consumer-Focused Media, Expert Says
In some countries, the media are changing fast. In other parts of the world, the process is going more slowly, challenged not by the lack of technology, but the quality of the news. In a new book, media business consultant William Dunkerley examines today's Russian media. IJNet interviewed the author of Medvedev's Media Affair on what is happening to Russian media. (IJNET, 11/28)

Digital Mastery: The Rise and Rise of The Economist
Once upon a time, people may have stereotyped of The Economist as a dry, formal publication, which aged company executives would leaf through in their dusty studies. But if those days ever existed, they are certainly confined to the past now. The international magazine currently has over 100,000 digital-only subscribers and more than a million monthly mobile readers. Economist readers have downloaded more than 3 million apps since their launch and online traffic has grown by 45% since September of last year. The publication now has 7 million online users. (Editors Weblog, 11/29)

CHINA: China's Social Media Revolution
INFOGRAPHIC: In 2010, there were 1 million censored articles in China. But despite China's iron fist on social media censorship, the influence of the Internet is undeniable in the country, as its digital consumers continue to find ways to embrace social networking platforms by creating their own domestic versions. (The Next Web, 11/29)

EUROPEAN UNION: A Proposal for E.U.-Wide Data Protection Regulation
A top lawmaker on Tuesday proposed harmonizing European Union privacy rules so that an Internet company could operate across the 27-country bloc as long as its data protection policies had been approved by a single member state. (New York Times, 11/29)

Hackers Can Remotely Set Ablaze HP Printers, Researchers Say

A security vulnerability discovered in Hewlett-Packard printers would allow hackers to steal data from the printers, cause them to burst in flames or be used as a launchpad to attack other computers connected to the printers. (Threat Level, 11/29)

How Europe Is Giving the U.S. a Lesson in Internet Due Process
Last week, a European court struck down a rule imposing network-monitoring responsibility on an ISP with regard to copyright infringement, and experts believe the decision could help rein in the spread of SOPA-like laws throughout Europe. Meanwhile, the highly controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which imposes heavy burdens on service providers to sniff out and stop infringing activity, looks likely to pass once U.S. lawmakers actually get around to voting on it. (GigaOM, 11/29)

MEXICO: Mexican News Site Shuts Down after Cyber Attack
The website of the weekly newspaper Riodoce was taken down by a cyber attack. The DDoS attack follows the murders of two unidentified twitter users in Nuevo Laredo and the slaying of two workers of an Internet news site and blog. All occurred in the same state, Sinaloa, which is a hub for organised crime in Mexico. (Index on Censorship, 11/29)

The Broader Implications of Appliancization
Appliancization obviously has implications for how we interact with the internet; assuming we use tethered devices, we necessarily become consumers without the ability to generate changes to the technologies we use, and it's hard to think that some innovation will be lost without the tinkering that has been so typical of the internet thus far. Some think that anxiety is overblown or irrelevant, though. Is it really a problem if we lose the tinkering culture that was in part responsible for the growth of the internet if it means greater security and for many more intuitive functionality? (Yale Law and Technology, 11/30)

In Europe, Tablets Replace TV Viewing But Smartphones Complement It
Tablet use cannibalizes TV consumption and drives m-commerce, according to a new survey into the mobile media habits of 5,000 Europeans in the U.K., France, Spain and Poland. (AdAge, 12/1)

Pulitzer Prizes Will Recognize Web-Savviest Reporters
The rise of digital content over the last decade has caused an upheaval across all facets of journalism, from reporting to publishing to distribution. Recognizing this, the industry's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prizes, has also transformed its practices, reshaping its criteria and requiring all entrants to apply digitally, beginning with the 2012 awards. (Complex, 12/1)

How Infographics Jumped the Shark
We've tumbled headlong into the era of infographics. Visual presentations of data are everywhere, popping up on every type of online publication (even VentureBeat). There are so many infographics on the Internet that some bloggers are lashing out against the trend, and there's even a subset of infographics mocking the uselessness of infographics. (Venture Beat, 12/1)


Arab Spring or Arab Awakening? Find Key Resources
A collection of resources about the Arab Spring, including the role of social media. (Villanova University, 11/26)

Information Forensics: Five Case Studies on How to Verify Crowdsourced Information from Social Media
My 20+ page study on verifying crowdsourced information is now publicly available here as a PDF and here as an open Google Doc for comments. I very much welcome constructive feedback from iRevolution readers so I can improve the piece before it gets published in an edited book next year. (iRevolution, 11/29)

Cisco: Cloud Traffic Fast Approaching the Zettabyte Era
According to data released Tuesday as part of Cisco's Global Cloud Index, IP traffic over data center networks will reach 4.8 zettabytes a year by 2015, and cloud computing will account for one-third of it, or 1.6 zettabytes. The report itself is a refreshing reminder that while public Internet traffic gets most of the attention, data centers are working hard behind the scenes to make the web run. By 2015, data center networks will handle about five times the amount of data that will travel across the Internet. (GigaOM, 11/29)

The World of Social Media
VIDEOGRAPHIC: A collection of social media statistics. (MediaBistro, 11/30)

Do Attitudes Toward Technology Influence Internet Use?
Here at the Oxford Internet Institute we have been exploring the effect of attitudes towards technology on Internet adoption. Positive attitudes toward technology may make people more interested in adopting new technology, more willing to learn new technologies, and more willing to cope with the problems of technology. The latest OxIS report shows that Internet use is strongly related to age. More concretely, 80% or more of people younger than 55 years are Internet users, while the proportion of elderly Internet users is much lower, reaching as low as 16% for those age 75+. (Oxford Internet Institute, 11/30)