Digital Media Mash Up: December 2011, Week 3

In this Issue

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

In the News:


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

Washington, DC

Revolution 2.0: The Power Of The People
January 18, 2012, 6:30pm
George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs, in association with Politics and Prose, will host Wael Ghonim, author of the upcoming memoir "Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power," for a discussion and book signing.
Featuring: Wael Ghonim
Location: The George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St., NW, Washington D.C.

Beyond Washington

Share the MADness: A Social Media BarCamp for Lebanese Civil Society
Saturday, December 17, 2011, 8:30am
About: Media for Advocacy and Development: a social media trainer certification program designed to develop the skills needed to be a successful social media trainer/coach in the Arab advocacy and development context.
Featuring: SMEX, AUB, AltCity, Annahar, AddWork, EMediaT, Girl Geek Camp, IndyAct, LOST, Ma3bar, Maharat Foundation, أن ~ n community creativity, Naharnet, and YASA.
Location: American University of Beirut, Lebanon

In the News

Global Censorship Update

View the Global Censorship Update in a Google Map.

BRAZIL: Blogger Found Dead, Hanged: Suicide or Assassination?
Brazilian blogger Altamiro Borges announces [pt] on his blog, the death of blogger Hamilton Alexander, the "Mosquito", found dead, hanged, at his home. He adds that friends and family are not convinced of this version, because the blogger was famous for attacking politicians in his state, Santa Catarina, south of Brazil, and alerted he was being threatened. (Global Voices, 12/15)

CHINA: China Shuts 200 Microblogs for Porn, Vulgar Content
Chinese authorities have shut down 206 microblogs for carrying pornographic and "vulgar" content after receiving tip-offs from the public, state media reported on Friday, as the country increases scrutiny of the massively popular medium. (Reuters, 12/9)

CHINA: China Detains Pair for Spreading Rumors Online
Police in the central province of Hunan detained two men for online rumor-spreading after they said 5,000 police were guarding a wedding convoy in the provincial capital of Changsha, the latest in a string of detentions as part of a growing government campaign to manage information online. (Wall Street Journal, 12/12)

CHINA: Top China Official Urges More 'Forceful' Web Controls
A top Chinese government official has urged authorities to be "more forceful" in the way they manage the web, state media said, as Beijing tries to tighten online controls over fears of social unrest. (AFP, 12/12)

CHINA: China Protest in Guangdong's Wukan 'Vanishes from Web'
China's internet censors have blocked searches relating to an ongoing protest in the village of Wukan, web users say. (BBC, 12/15)

CHINA: China Plans Tighter Laws on Film and Cinema Content
China has proposed a new law to ban film content which it deems to disturb social stability or promote religious fanaticism. (BBC, 12/15)

CHINA: Beijing to Tighten Noose on Microblogging
Local government says that users have three months to register with their real names or face legal consequences. (Al-Jazeera, 12/16)

EGYPT: Egypt Drops Some Charges Against Blogger
A civilian court in Cairo dropped two charges against a prominent blogger and activist, Alaa Abd El Fattah, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Tuesday. (New York Times, 12/13)

EGYPT: Maikel Nabil Sentenced to 2 Years in Jail
A military court on Wednesday sentenced Maikel Nabil, a blogger charged with insulting the military, to two years in prison and a fine of LE200, said activist Noor Ayman Nour from the advocacy group No to Military Trials for Civilians. (Al-Masry Al-Youm, 12/14)

EGYPT: Prominent Blogger Sentenced to Two Years as Egyptians Vote
A prominent Egyptian blogger was sentenced to two years in jail by a military court Wednesday, as Egyptians cast ballots in the second phase of parliamentary elections, the first vote since the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak. (Washington Post, 12/14)

EGYPT: Maikel Nabil Sanad's Two-Year Jail Term "Insults Spirit of Egyptian Revolution"
Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns the two-year jail sentence that the supreme military court of appeals in Cairo imposed today on Maikel Nabil Sanad, a blogger who has been held since March on a charge of insulting the military in a blog entry. (Reporters Without Borders, 12/14),41301...

EGYPT: Post-Mubarak Egypt's First Prisoner of Conscience Sentenced
Egypt may have completed the second round of its first democratic elections, but the sentencing of a dissident blogger is a disturbing sign of authoritarian resilience, say rights groups. (Democracy Digest, 12/15)

INDIA: That's the Unkindest Cut, Mr Sibal
There's Kolaveri-di on the Internet over Kapil Sibal's diktat to social media sites to prescreen users' posts. That diktat goes far beyond the restrictions placed on our freedom of expression by the IT Act. But, says Sunil Abraham of the Centre for Internet and Society, India is not going to be silenced online. (Center for Internet and Society, 12/12)

INDIA: Invisible Censorship: How the Government Censors Without Being Seen
The Indian government wants to censor the Internet without being seen to be censoring the Internet. This article by Pranesh Prakash shows how the government has been able to achieve this through the Information Technology Act, the Intermediary Guidelines Rules it passed in April 2011. It now wants methods of censorship that leave even fewer traces, which is why Kapil Sibal talks of Internet 'self-regulation', and has brought about an amendment of the Copyright Act that requires instant removal of content. (Center for Internet and Society, 12/15)

INDIA: India Moves to Restrict Online Content
VIDEO: Concerns over freedom of speech raised over government plans to limit "objectionable material." (Al-Jazeera, 12/15)

IRAN: Jailed Blogger on Hunger Strike
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, jailed blogger, is on hunger strike over his jail's conditions. Hossein is serving a 15 year prison sentence in the security ward of Evin Prison. (Global Voices, 12/15)

LATVIA: Website Editor Arrested After Publishing Emails Linking Mayor to Spying and Corruption
Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns yesterday's arrest of Leonids Jakobsons, a news website owner and editor who for the past month has been posting copies of a series of compromising emails that had been sent or received by Nils Usakovs, mayor of Riga and a former member of the Latvian parliament. (Reporters Without Borders, 12/16),41564....

MIDDLE EAST: In Syria and Egypt, Bloggers Face Harsh Punishments
An outspoken blogger who was detained last week in Syria is now facing criminal charges, according to the human rights group she works for in Damascus, the Syrian capital. (New York Times, 12/14)

PERU: Bloggers Report Police Harassment During Discussion Group about Conga Mining Project
Members of the group "Casa Cultural Poco Floro" blogged denouncing [es] an alleged case of police harassment during a discussion group about the Conga mining project, one of the most heated social conflicts at the moment. The representative of Poco Floro talks about the incident in an interview (audio) [es]. Other bloggers [es] and Twitter users are using the hashtag #pocofloro to report on the incident. (Global Voices, 12/14)

RUSSIA: The Darkness Is Clearing: Navalny's Message to Protestors
Anti-corruption blogger and activist was arrested and jailed for 15 days on Dec. 5, during the first day of protests against the fraudulent Duma election. Navalny coined the now eponymous phrase "Party of Crooks and Thieves," in referring to the ruling party of United Russia. He wrote this letter from jail. (Open Democracy 12/12)

RUSSIA: Russia Needs 'China-Style' Web Controls: Official
Russia needs Chinese-style government regulation of the internet, a top official said, after election protesters organised nationwide rallies through social networking sites. (The Times of India, 12/14)

SOUTH KOREA: S. Korea Tightens Monitoring of Social Media
South Korea has tightened monitoring of popular social networking sites to curb illicit content including an upsurge in North Korean propaganda, officials said Thursday. The Korea Communications Standards Commission said an eight-member team was launched on Wednesday to examine Facebook and Twitter posts and smartphone applications. (AFP, 12/8)

SYRIA: Syrian Blogger Charged with Weakening National Sentiment
We recently reported on the arrest of Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi, a Syrian blogger and activist who works for the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM). (The Next Web, 12/12)

SYRIA: Syrian Regime Charges Blogger and Fires on Mourners, Activists Say
The Syrian authorities have charged a US-born Syrian blogger with trying to incite sectarian strife, and the regime has fired on a funeral procession, according to activists. (The Guardian, 12/14)

Digital Media News Affecting Journalists and Activists

International Anti-Corruption Day: Investigative Journalists Use Technology to Combat Corruption
In honor of International Anti-Corruption Day, IREX staff Erin Murrock shares insight on how journalists are combating corruption. (IREX, 12/9)

Using Smartphones Wisely
If you have a smartphone, you may have spent hours discovering all the things you can do with it. But you may also have discovered its downside: repetitive movements of your shoulders, neck, elbows, and thumbs can create pain and even structural changes in your joints, muscles, tendons, and nails in addition to straining your eyes. By using your smart phone with some modifications, you can avoid or decrease discomfort or pain. The following tips were created by occupational therapy practitioners who specialize in hand therapy and ergonomics. (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2011)

How To Embed Tweets in Your Blog
All the Twitter-obsessed authors have a new tool: embeddable tweets. As you can see by the Tweet embedded above, it is a slick way to share your favorite Twitter posts on your blog. (MediaBistro, 12/14)

December's "Carnival of Journalism" Roundup
This month the Guardian Developer blog hosted the "Carnival of journalism", asking what journalists and programmers might exchange as presents during the festive season. (The Guardian, 12/15)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

5 Ways Twitter's New Redesign Makes It More Like Sina Weibo
Twitter's slick new redesign has brought it - visually and practically - closer to China's most dynamic microblogging platform, Sina's (NASDAQ:SINA) Weibo. It shows, perhaps, that Sina's rapid rate of change on its most popular service is now actually leading the way for Twitter. (Penn-Olson, 12/9)

FACEBOOK: AddThis: Facebook Makes Up 52% of Sharing on the Web
AddThis, the sharing platform owned by Clearspring, is huge (or uuuuuugggggge, as Donald Trump would say). It's used by more than 11 million sites, which gives it aggregate sharing data for more than 1.2 billion users -- and a bird's-eye view of the relative popularity and influence of everything from a Facebook Like to a click on a Google +1 button. (AdAge, 12/13)

TWITTER: Twitter And 37 Other Internet Startups Are Fighting The SEC's "500 Shareholder" Rule
They might not be your typical working-out-of-a-garage operations, but Twitter and Gilt Groupe are fighting to ease restrictions on startups. (MediaBistro, 12/14)

WIKIPEDIA: Wikipedia Mulls Total Blackout to Oppose SOPA
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales wants to blank out all pages of the online encyclopedia to oppose the pending SOPA anti-piracy bill in the US. Wales, who has asked the Wikipedia community for input on the idea, fears the bill could seriously hurt the Internet and thinks that blanking out Wikipedia will send a strong message to lawmakers. (Torrent Freak, 12/14)

Digital Media in the Middle East

MBC and YahLive Enter HD Partnership
MBC Group, the largest free-to-air satellite broadcaster in the Arab World, and YahLive, the UAE based satellite operator, have announced a partnership to broadcast seven of MBC's channels in HD through YahLive's satellite service. (Digital Production Middle East, 12/5)

The Role Of New Media And Communication Technologies In Arab Transitions - Analysis
The pace of events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in early 2011 led analysts to identify Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as an important catalyst of the Arab spring. Looking at the role of these tools in processes of political change, we distinguish two phases: firstly, their role in bringing down old regimes, and secondly, their significance in consolidating transitions to democracy once the revolutionary dust has settled. Whilst it is clear that ICTs made an essential contribution to the overthrow of Mubarak and Ben Ali, experiences from other parts of the world show that their role in sustaining the democratic transition process in the longer run is less certain. (Eurasia Review, 12/10)

How the Arab Spring Moved Citizen Journalists to Use Maps, HTML5 Instead of Text
Covering countries in political turmoil has opened the door to innovation: activists and citizen journalists are using maps, HTML5 and video to report the events of the Arab Spring instead of relying only on text. (Mashable, 12/13)

Middle East Responds to Media via Webcam
VIDEO: Talk Back TV Middle East provides a way for people from in the Middle East and North Africa can talk back and give their take on state controlled television and mass media using only a webcam and computer. (Global Voices, 12/15)

PALESTINE: Palestinian Bloggers, Activists Demand Freedom for Detained Syrian Blogger
Following the arrest of Syrian-American blogger Razan Ghazzawi on December 4 by Syrian authorities, Razan subsequently faces various anti-state charges that carry up to 15 years of imprisonment. Today, a group of Palestinian bloggers and activists issued the following statement of support, which appeared on a range of internet outlets and blogs and follows weeks of campaigns for her release. (12/14)

SYRIA: Syria's Information Revolution Brings News Out of the Dark
Fadi Aho describes his childhood in northeast Syria in the 1980s as "living in a fortress within a fortress." In Qamishle, near the borders of Turkey and Iraq, he was separated not only by the 650 kilometers between him and the political and cultural capital Damascus, but also by the tightly controlled police state, which he said had prevented him from knowing much about either home or abroad. "There was no real source of news," he recalls. "No one talked about anything or knew anything." (The Daily Star, 12/15)

TUNISIA: Post-Revolt Tunisia Can Alter E-Mail With `Big Brother' Software
In Tunisia, Big Brother goes by an alias: Ammar 404. A play on the "Error 404" message for blocked websites, Tunisian bloggers dreamed him up as a fictional front man for the sprawling surveillance state of former ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. (Bloomberg, 12/12)

Russia and Eurasia

ARMENIA: More Online Diplomacy
Following the recent Question & Answer session on Twitter with the UK's new Ambassador to Azerbaijan, his outgoing counterpart in neighboring Armenia, Charles Lonsdale, is due to answer questions on Facebook on Friday 16th December. (Global Voices, 12/14)

KYRGYZSTAN: Crowdsourcing Tapped in Initiative to Add Kyrgyz to Google Translate
Kyrgyz speakers recruited on Facebook and other social networking sites have submitted nearly 30,000 pairs of texts in Kyrgyz and English in an effort aimed at getting Google to add Kyrgyz to the list of languages available on its automatic translation site. (Net Prophet, 12/14)

RUSSIA: Twitter Political Protests in Russia Being Drowned Out by Spam
Botnets, networks of compromised zombie computers, can be put to use to take down websites, send junk mail, break into networks and more. Now a botnet is believed to be used to drown out the political protest in Russia. Ten pro government messages are showing up in the #triumphalnaya hashtag every second, making it very hard for protest tweets to be seen. (Interchange Project, 12/10)

RUSSIA: About 10,000 Facebook Users Decry Medvedev's View Of Protests
Just 16 hours after President Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page that he disagrees with demonstrators who protested parliamentary elections on Saturday, more than 10,000 Russian facebook users commented on his status, almost all with criticism. (Wall Street Journal, 12/12)

RUSSIA: After Mass Protests In Russia, Is The Kremlin Using Facebook To Ease The Pressure?
After posting a message on Facebook ordering officials to look into reports of possible violations at polling stations during the December 4 vote, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's page has been overwhelmed by negative comments. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 12/12)

RUSSIA: Gregory Shvedov on Braving the Putin Regime Online
Saturday's rally in central Moscow drew to a close to the sounds of the iconic Soviet rock group Kino. The largest protests since the end of the Soviet Union criticized the outcome of Russia's parliamentary elections on 4 December. And it wasn't just the music that brought back the spirit of upheaval from over two decades ago. (Global Voices, 12/13)

UZBEKISTAN: An Uzbek PM on Facebook; A Funny Fantasy or for Real?
Have you gotten a "Friend Request" from O'zbekiston Respublikasi Bosh vaziri, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Facebook yet? His personal page has 1,818 Friends, explains him to be a 100% Conservative believer in Islam, interested in Women and Married, inspired by various Westerners politicians and so on. There are even some professional photos, both uploaded and tagged, on his profile. But is this all real? (NewEurasia, 12/7)

Digital Africa

AFRICA: A Discussion on Local Content within the African Context
When listening to discussions on local content, it is sometimes a bit vague what the intended meaning is. Is it content that is created locally for local consumption exclusively? Is it content that is just created locally but could be consumed by anyone, anywhere? Is it content that is not necessarily created locally but is consumed locally? If anything really, just the term 'local content' is quite ambiguous in itself as really what we are concerned with here is 'Local Digital Content'. What really is local content? And why is it that there's such a push for more local content? (Afrinnovator, 12/6)

AFRICA: Mobile Technology in Africa: A Comparative View between Kenya and South Africa
A recent GSMA report stated that Africa is currently the second biggest market for mobile in the world. This means that there is huge innovation potential in terms of mobile technology application development, as well as creating solutions (think access to information, ability to transfer money, creating jobs) for the more than 649 million handset owners on the continent. (MIH Media Lab, 12/12)

LIBERIA: AFP Features Ushahidi Liberia
VIDEO: Agence France-Presse visited Ushahidi Liberia's office during the recent presidential elections to learn how the electoral process, and conflict across the country, was being mapped by partner organizations on the ground. (Ushahidi, 12/12)

SOMALIA: Somalia's Insurgents Embrace Twitter as a Weapon
Somalia's powerful Islamist insurgents, the Shabab, best known for chopping off hands and starving their own people, just opened a Twitter account, and in the past week they have been writing up a storm, bragging about recent attacks and taunting their enemies. (New York Times, 12/14)

SOMALIA: Somalia's Shabab Fighters Take to Twitter
Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri "twinterviews" the hardline fighters who want to replace the Somali government with an Islamic state. The group began tweeting on December 7 under the handle HSM Press Office - an acronym for Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen, or Movement of Holy Warrior Youth. (Al-Jazeera, 12/14)

SOUTH AFRICA: Yahoo! Launches its Portal in South Africa
Yahoo has launched its portal for South Africa. This is a late move since there was a time when Yahoo was the only website which Africans knew until when the executives grew big heads and did not take emerging markets seriously. Google took the opportunity and stopping it will be so hard. (TechMtaa, 12/6)

Net Freedom

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission Responsible for the Digital Agenda
Speech on ICT for democracy: supporting a global current of change Freedom Online - Joint Action for Free Expression on the Internet The Hague, 9 December 2011. (Europa, 12/9)

Dutch Give €6m to Support Cyberactivists, Internet Freedom
The Netherlands is allocating €6m to boost 'internet freedom' and help cyber activists in countries where the population is oppressed. Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal announced the cash help at the end of an international summit in The Hague on internet freedom. (Dutch News, 12/10)

Netizen Report: Fight for the Future Edition
Meet Khaled Alaa Abdel Fattah, born last Tuesday to two Egyptian cyber-activists: mother Manal Bahey al-Din Hassan and father Alaa Abd El-Fattah, who is currently in prison. Khaled is named after Khaled Said, the young man whose violent death at the hands of police in 2010 became a symbol and rallying point for activism that brought down the Mubarak regime earlier this year." (Global Voices Advocacy, 12/12)

VIDEO: MEP Marietje Schaake meeting on Self-Regulation: Should Online Companies Police the Internet? (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, 12/12)

European Commission Promotes Online Freedom with No Disconnect Strategy
The European Commission has outlined plans to ensure that citizens globally have access to the internet and other communications services to protect their privacy and facilitate protests against repressive regimes. (, 12/12)

ifreedom - ihope
"What is the internet that we hope to create?" That question, posed by Ben Wagner, was answered by a multitude of voices from government, business, academia, and civil society: an internet that is open and maintains the principles of human rights. At the Freedom Online conference (or iFreedom) held in the Netherlands, several representatives from these sectors were present to discuss what governments can do to protect human rights online, how to support bloggers and cyber dissidents, and how companies ensure freedom online. (NDI Tech, 12/12)

Launch of Europe's "No Disconnect Strategy"
VIDEO: Press conference by Neelie KROES, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda and Karl-Theodor zu GUTTENBERG, Member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). (European Commission, 12/12)

O.E.C.D. Calls on Members to Defend Internet Freedoms
As a rising tide of digital dissent raises alarms in many capitals around the world, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday called on member countries to "promote and protect the global free flow of information" online. (New York Times, 12/13)

OECD Internet Policy Plan Needs Careful Interpretation
Today the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) formally adopted as Recommendations the OECD's Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy Making. The Communiqué, agreed to by the OECD's thirty-four member nations in June 2011, sets out a series of overarching commitments and principles intended to guide the development of Internet policy in member states. While neither the June Communiqué nor today's newly adopted Recommendations are legally binding, the OECD's Recommendations have a strong track record as normative pillars that serve as strong influences on national and international debates and policymaking. Additionally, the OECD uses adherence to the Recommendations as one factor for evaluating nations seeking membership in the organization. (Center for Democracy and Technology, 12/13)

SOPA Denounced by Newspaper Journalists, Too
As the Stop Online Piracy Act heads to a vote in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning, its opponents are lining up to stop it. The bill's newest foe? Journalists. (Washington Post, 12/14)

Net Founders Fight Piracy Law with 'Censorship' Claim
The founders of Google, Twitter and eBay have signed a strongly worded letter criticising controversial US legislation ahead of a debate in Congress. (BBC, 12/15)

The Internet Erases Borders, SOPA Puts Them Back
The House today is conducting a hearing in order to mark up the Stop Online Piracy Act - a proposed law that has mobilized Silicon Valley in a way that goes far beyond issues such as privacy or even network neutrality. (GigaOM, 12/15)

Democracy-Supporting Innovation Under Threat from Congress
In Dd's work around the world, we have seen first-hand the critical need for ordinary citizens to access unfiltered content online. Take Thailand, where we have profiled the work of journalist Chiranuch Premchaiporn who has faced jail time for content posted to the comment section of the news site Prachatai. Currently, legislation is afoot in US Congress that reminds us all too closely of internet rules that have negatively impacted the lives of our partners abroad. (Digital Democracy, 12/15)

Google's Brin Calls SOPA Censorship Akin to China, Iran
Google has emerged as one of the biggest corporate critics of a House anti-piracy bill, with co-founder Sergey Brin now likening the proposal to Internet censorship practices in China and Iran. (Washington Post, 12/15)

Around the Blogosphere

#jcarn: Journalism Needs More Journalists that Appreciate Programming and Technology
Journalism needs programmers. Journalism needs journalists who know how to program. Journalism needs journalists that appreciate programming. (Interchange Project, 12/9)

General Cartwright's Inflammatory Remarks Are Hurting, Not Helping
Now that General Cartwright is free from the restrictions that he had to operate under as an employee of the U.S. government, his remarks regarding China are even more inflammatory than they were when he held the position of Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Cartwright's opinion that the best cyber defense is a good offense is a throwback to his honorable career as a Marine waging war in on a physical battlefield. Unfortunately, that strategy doesn't work in cyberspace. (Jeffrey Carr, 12/12)!/2011/12/general-cartwrights-inflammatory.html

#mediamonday - IJNet
One can imagine the clack clack of a typewriter punching in information about opportunities for journalists onto crisp sheets of paper, which were then Xeroxed (back then, everyone said "Xerox" for copy), hand-stuffed into envelopes, stamped, and mailed. Eventually, fax machines eliminated the need to copy, stuff, and mail, but faxing still required a lot of time. These were the early days of IJNet. (CIMA Media Blog, 12/12)

Digital Literacy: Search Algorithms are Mechanical Turks
One of the most pervasive features of computing culture are algorithms, the sets of processes or instructions contained in computer code that determine how a particular task will be completed. While algorithms power everything from your automatic coffee maker to your smart phone, because they are frequently hidden from their users, it can be easy to ignore these algorithms and their impact on how we gain access to information. (DML Central, 12/8)

Why We Should Stop Asking Whether Bloggers Are Journalists
In the rush to defend blogs as a medium of journalism, we ask the wrong questions about what press freedom seeks to protect. (The Atlantic, 12/13)

The Digital Others
Based on my research on young people in the Global South, I want to explore new ways of thinking about the Digital Native. One of the binaries posited as the Digital 'Other' -- ie, a non-Digital Native -- is that of a Digital Immigrant or Settler. I am not comfortable with these terms and they probably need heavy unpacking if not complete abandonment. Standard caricatures of Digital Others show them as awkward in their new digital ecologies, unable to navigate through this brave new world on their own. They may actually have helped produce digital technology and tools but they are not 'born digital' and hence are presumed to always have an outsider's perspective on the digital world order. (DML Central, 12/14)

Stopping SOPA's Anti-Circumvention
The House's Stop Online Piracy Act is in Judiciary Committee Markup today. As numerous protests, open letters, and advocacy campaigns across the Web, this is a seriously flawed bill. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Darrell Issa's proposed OPEN Act points out, by contrast, some of the procedural problems. (Wendy Seltzer, 12/15)

CHINA: FT Says Sina Weibo Becoming Less Vibrant, User Warns Of Castration
The Financial Times writes in China's love affair with blogging wanes that:
Many heavy users of Sina ($SINA) Weibo, the country's leading Twitter substitute, told the Financial Times that they felt that the microblog had become less vibrant as new controls were introduced over the last few months. (DigiCha, 12/12)

CHINA: China Needs Common Ground Online
Lately, the stink has been rising online and offline. Traditionally, internet users with differing value orientations in the online space have been quite cut off from one another. (China Media Project, 12/12)

EUROPEAN UNION: Witnessing the Birth of EU's Digital Diplomacy
Last week in the Hague, at the Internet Freedom Conference, European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes outlined the elements for the EU's digital diplomacy strategy for dealing with Internet policy issues. (Reflections on Diplomacy, 12/12)

FRANCE: HADOPI Wants To Research File Downloads: Shouldn't It Have Done That First?
One of the most important aspects of the UK's Hargreaves Report was that it called for copyright policy to be based on evidence. It also noted that so far that simply hadn't been the case, and that practically all of the so-called "studies" used to justify laws in this area came from the copyright industries, with missing or dubious methodologies. The French three-strikes scheme known as HADOPI (actually the name of the government agency that oversees its implementation) is a perfect example of such dogma-based legislation: no research was done into how files were being shared or even whether they did any harm (there's a fair amount of evidence that file sharing increases sales). (TechDirt, 12/12)

PAKISTAN: SMS Content Filtering in Pakistan - The Real Story and Way Forward!
The recent news about Pakistan Telecommunications Authority PTA directive to filter SMS content and its sudden decision to withdraw SMS filtration orders drove the world media into a viral frenzy provoking questions such as why did PTA attempt this move in the first place, who ordered them to do it from the government, how did they come about deciding whether the technology to implement such a filter was even there or not and what do they intend to do now? (Internet Governance, 12/13)

RUSSIA: Coordinated DDoS Attack During Russian Duma Elections
Over the course of the weekend, a seemingly coordinated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack flooded a number of the leading Russian independent media, election monitoring and blogging sites. (Internet and Democracy Blog, 12/8)

RUSSIA: Russia's Virtual: The New Reality?
Russia's blogosphere has until recently been largely written off as a politically blunt parallel space. The Facebook mobilisation of 50,000 protestors has challenged such assumptions. (Open Democracy, 12/14)

SOMALIA: Welcoming (?) Al-Shabaab to Twitter
Somedays it seems that everyone has joined Twitter. And then a new account comes along and raises interesting questions about what the service is for and how it should be used. Welcome to Twitter, Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen Press Office, now tweeting at @HSMPress. (Ethan Zuckerman, 12/7)

SWEDEN: Collaborative Power: The Case for Sweden
Two weeks ago in Stockholm, half a dozen technologists hunkered down for a whole-day workshop with Sweden's foreign-facing government agencies (the usual suspects: The Swedish Institute, VisitSweden, the Swedish Trade Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). (Dliberation, 12/13)


CIMA Weekly Digital Roundup
Highlights from the digital world. (CIMA Media Blog, 12/9)

CHINA: Chinese Cyber-Attacks 'Pinned to Users'
String of hacking attacks means US should have clearer online retaliation policy, say security analysts. (The Guardian, 12/12)

CHINA: How Big is China's Social Media and Digital Market?
INFOGRAPHIC: The following infographic comes from We Are Social, a global consultancy agency that specializes in compiling reports on social media. This infographic vividly illustrates the sheer size and growth momentum of China's social, digital and mobile market and how that translates to commercial opportunities for potential investors. (Ministry of Tofu, 12/13)

CHINA: Microblogs Become Crucial State Tool
Government-related microblogs increase threefold this year as officials urged to use them to interact with the public and effectively counter negative news. (South China Morning Post, 12/14)

INDIA: Social Media is the Space for Change, Says the Youth of India
In a nationwide survey conducted amongst the youth of India, nearly 76 per cent of youth believe that social media empowers them to bring change to the world we live in. They are convinced that causes for women and movements against corruption can be driven through this medium that is now growing as a source for information. In fact, as many as 28 per cent source information from social media sites whereas around 54 per cent prefer a mix of print, television and social media. (India BizNews, 12/9)

INDIA: India's "Missed Call" Mobile Ecosystem
Imagine you want to use your cell phone to, say, order take-out food or chat with a friend, but you don't want to pay for making the call, or the text message. The answer to that ultra-low-cost question is India's fascinating growth of the "missed call" ecosystem, where callers that aren't willing to spend on, well, really anything, use the "ring once, hang up" to signal to commerce companies and friends alike on the receiving end that they want to communicate with them. (GigaOM, 12/13)

INDIA: The Indian Web and Mobile Markets by the Numbers
Sometimes it's just easier to get a high-level picture of a market if you look directly at the numbers. Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan gave a fascinating talk to our Geeks on a Plane India group this week, giving us a snap shot of the data that is driving the consumers, entrepreneurs, trends and investors in the rapidly growing Indian web and mobile markets. (GigaOM, 12/14)

How Citizen Journalism Can Vet Quality Through Lessons from Gaming
Unlike traditional newsroom journalists, "citizen journalists" have no formal way to ensure that everyone maintains similar quality standards. Which does not mean that quality standards are necessarily (or consistently) maintained at traditional newsrooms, but rather that a traditional hierarchical editorial structure imposes at least theoretical guidelines. (Citizen Media Law Project, 12/8)

Inside Forbes: The Inspiring Data Behind Two Digital Reporting Strategies
What works best on the Web, short or long-form journalism? The monthly audience statistics for two accomplished FORBES reporters prove that online news consumers crave both. They devour brief and timely information and seek out the in-depth coverage that news stalwarts feared would disappear in the digital age. (Forbes, 12/11)

ICANN Is Ready for Battle over Expansion of Web Suffixes
There's been a scramble to snap up domain names for the Internet's newest designation - .xxx - but not necessarily from those you'd expect. Adult sites have reserved their spot in the newly labeled section of the Web, but so have companies, charities, celebrities and politicians. (Washington Post, 12/12)

In the Spirit of Failfare: Maji Matone. Time to Embrace Failure, Learn, and Move On.
It is no secret that Daraja's Maji Matone programme has not lived up to expectations. In particular, despite considerable resources spent on promotional work - printing and distributing posters and leaflets, as well as extensive broadcasts on local radio - we haven't had the response from the community that we had hoped for. A six month pilot in three districts resulted in only 53 SMS messages received and forwarded to district water departments (compared to an initial target of 3,000). So we've made a decision - to embrace failure, learn and share lessons from the experience, and to fundamentally redesign the programme. (MobileActive, 12/14)

NPR Granted $1.5 million by the Knight Foundation to Fund Digital Journalism Training
It's not just print that's going digital, but radio as well. NPR has been granted $1.5 million by the Knight Foundation to train staff at local radio stations to use digital media effectively. The money will be used to help member stations collaborate with each other as part of a news network and to grow the stations' audience across different platforms. (Editors Weblog, 12/14)

Behind-the-Times Judge Rules Bloggers Aren't Journalists
Although the "are bloggers journalists?" argument was declared over seven years ago in a lengthy essay by academic and media writer Jay Rosen (the answer: well ... sometimes), it isn't over - and it's going to be a long time before it is. (Gatekeeper, 12/14)

Net Access: EU Survey Shows Geographic Divisions
Almost a quarter of the European Union's citizens have never used the internet, according to official research. (BBC, 12/15)

U.S.-Funded Internet Liberation Project Finds Perfect Test Site: Occupy D.C.
When Sascha Meinrath saw the Occupy encampment in D.C., he saw something few others would - a testbed for technology. Meinrath has been chasing a dream for more than a decade, ever since he was a liberal arts grad student in Urbana, Illinois: community wireless networks. From that small beginning, Meinrath now runs a State Department-funded initiative to create an Internet in a Suitcase - the Voice of America of the digital age. (Threat Level, 12/15)

Apps vs. the Web: Are They Enemies or Allies?
George Colony, the chairman and CEO of Forrester Research, re-ignited a minor firestorm recently, with a presentation at the LeWeb conference in which he argued that the web is dead, and being replaced by the app economy - with mobile and smartphone apps that leverage the cloud or other services rather than the open web. That sparked some strong responses from longtime open-web advocates such as RSS pioneer Dave Winer, who argued that apps are not the future, and others who compared them to the "interactive" CD-ROMS of the 1990s. Do apps necessarily mean the death of the web, and if so doesn't that mean we are losing something important? (GigaOM, 12/15)

Lady Gaga and the Speed of the Information Age
VIDEO: This amazing video gives a few incredible statistics: 70% of Facebook users live outside the U.S., 550,000 Android devices get activated daily, Twitter registers 300,000 new users daily - Lady Gaga is by far the most popular human being. (Technology Liberation Front, 12/15)

19 Biggest Social Media Moments of 2011
SLIDESHOW: These days, it seems we can't go a week without encountering a viral video, a meme sensation or a new digital movement. The year 2011 forged an unprecedented path for these such social media phenomena. (Mashable, 12/15)


SERBIA: Mapping Digital Media: Serbia
The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs. (Open Society Foundations, December 2011)

Towards a Cyber Security Strategy for Global Civil Society?
Cyberspace is at a watershed moment. Technological transformations have brought about an architectonic change in the communications ecosystem. Cyber crime has exploded to the point of becoming more than a nuisance, but a national security concern. There is a seriously escalating arms race in cyberspace as governments scale up capabilities in their armed forces to fight and win wars in this domain. Telecommunication companies, internet service providers (ISPs), and other private sector actors now actively police the internet. Pressures to regulate the global network of information and communications have never been greater. (Global Information Society Watch, December 2011)

mHealth: New Horizons for Health through Mobile Technologies
Based on the findings of the second global survey on eHealth, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched this report on the state of mobile technology usage in the field of health. It was written with support from the mHealth Alliance, the United Nations Foundation, and the Vodafone Foundation. The survey enquired about national trends in the adoption of mHealth in 14 specific areas ranging from the use of mobile technologies for health call centres and treatment compliance to mobile telemedicine and community mobilisation for health promotion. Member States were also asked to assess the most significant barriers to mHealth adoption for their country situation, as well as the practice of evaluating existing programmes. (Communication Initiative Network, 12/15)