IGF Japan, the Japanese chapter of the Internet Governance Forum, where people involved in web come together to discuss Internet governance challenges, will be held on March 14, 2014 at Aoyama Gakuin University. Sessions cover topics such as personal data and privacy, emerging generic top-level domains in Japan, and global online trends.
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Any international readers interested in North Korea would probably come across at least once this famous photo of Korean peninsula from NASA demonstrating a stark difference in the light emission of two Koreas at nighttime. NASA finally updated a new satellite image and it is ‘even more dramatic than the monochrome NASA satellite image of old', writes North Korea Tech blog. The blog also introduces a video version of the image which shows North Korea in context with the rest of East Asia.
The first meetup of the Lahore Brigade members took place on Sunday, 23 February, in Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). The brigade consists of civic hackers – software developers, designers, urban mappers who will be working to solve civic problems in Pakistan. Code for Pakistan and Technology for People Initiative partnered to launch the Lahore Brigade.
Code For Pakistan blog reports:
All the attendees introduced themselves and also proposed potential solutions to civic problems, pertaining to the areas of health, transportation, education, and governance. Some of the participants expressed interest in some of the projects that had been created at the Lahore Civic Hackathon. The ideas were all captured, followed by a rigorous discussion of them. A couple of Brigade Project Mentors were also present and they, like everyone else, expressed their interest in certain ideas. 6 promising project ideas or areas were agreed upon by the group.
Tech blogger Amitha Amarasinghe alleges that Facebook is being portrayed negatively in mainstream media in Sri Lanka accompanied with saucy headlines like “Student commits Suicide over a Facebook photo”, “Facebook love ends in Death” etc:
All of a sudden, there is a huge increase in number of mass media content highlighting the bad side of Facebook and Social Media. If you look at these stories, the local media is highlighting the “Facebook” part of the story as the ‘news’, but undermine the social, cultural, and political factors leading to those sad incidents.
The Social Media Week Lagos 2014 (February 17-21) is currently going on in Lagos, Nigeria:
SMW Lagos is only in it’s 2nd year and has already claimed its place as the largest, tech, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa. It attracts some of the continents most forward thinkers, brands, learners and creators. With a population of over 20M Lagos is the largest black city in the world and is arguably the epicenter of the continent and home to the powerhouses of Africa’s creative, business and tech communities. Recognizing the importance of a connected continent, while aiming to encourage collaboration, our 2014 conference them is: A CONNECTED AFRICA IS THE FUTURE.
The only event of it’s kind, Social Media Week Lagos is a world class conference with Africa’s brightest minds that is free and open to the public. SMW Lagos is also unique in that 70% of the weeks amazing panels, parties and workshops are organized by the public
Recent amendments to Brazil's pioneer bill of rights for Internet users, the “Marco Civil da Internet” (Internet Civil Rights Framework), put net neutrality and users’ privacy at stake. The bill is expected to be voted on by Congress during the last week of February 2014.
Activists have launched an online campaign asking for the removal of one of the new provisions, Article 16, that mandates service providers to store personal data of their users. The hashtag in use is #16igualNSA (“Article 16 leans towards NSA surveillance”).
Joana Varon, a Brazilian researcher from the Center for Technology and Society at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, points to an article on the PrivacyLatam blog as the “most accurate post in English regarding changes on #privacy protection at #marcocivil“:
This measure not only contradicts all previous versions of the Bill (which is a work in progress started by a draft generated by a public consultation in 2010). It establishes an unprecedented duty to all “for profit” Brazilian Internet players who run a site or service to keep private information of their users for 6 months, regardless of any consideration about their users’ consent.
Even if the Bill mention protection measures for the data owners, it is clear that the simple fact of the existence of the mandatory personal data register is, ‘per se’, a danger that users cannot avoid since their free consent would be not taken into account. Moreover, the lack of a general framework for personal data protection makes the whole environment at least very prone to the misuse of personal information.
The Brazilian Institute for Consumer Rights (Idec) created an online petition [pt] asking for “neutrality, privacy and freedom of expression in Marco Civil”. The platform allows sending letters to the Members of Parliament.
Marianne Díaz, lawyer, digital activist and Global Voices Advocacy author, has been making constant appeals from her Twitter account asking users to collaborate on collecting data related to access to some websites and online platforms from Internet service providers in Venezuela, due to growing reports of partial or total blockage of online content and services.
¿Tienes un rato libre? Ayúdame a probar si las páginas web de esta lista están accesibles donde sea que estés. https://t.co/JZ5Okqd9MF
— Marianne Díaz H. (@mariannedh) February 16, 2014
Do you have some free time? Help me test if the websites on this list are accessible where you are located.
Marianne believes that putting together this kind of information is very important in the current climate in Venezuela. After three people died in protests on February 12, demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces have continued across the country. Marianne states that “data is evidence, and evidence resists more than opinion.”
As the world comes together to take a stand against mass surveillance on February 11, 2014, Brazilian citizens, organizations and collectives are bringing momentum to #TheDayWeFightBack campaign.
Anti-surveillance collective Antivigilancia.tk (@antivigilancia on Twitter), one of the 15 Brazilian signatories of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, has a website with complete information in Portuguese on how to participate in #TheDayWeFightBack, as well as several resources for the day of action, such as banners and memes.
Well-known Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff took on the challenge launched by Web We Want early in February to create original visual works on digital surveillance and the right to privacy.
On Twitter, many Brazilians are linking the day of action with the country's pioneer bill of rights for Internet users, the “Marco Civil da Internet” (Civil Framework for the Internet), which will be brought to the floor in a plenary session [pt] in the House of Representatives today. A group of civil society organizations is expected to meet the Minister of Justice [pt] to voice “serious concerns” regarding the latest modifications to the bill, especially with respect to “the right to the inviolability and secrecy of the flow and content of private communications, the right to privacy and freedom of expression.”
All submissions to the Web We Want contest are available on Flickr.
Tanqeed, a quarterly magazine on politics and culture on Tumblr, is an experiment in critical reflection on Pakistan. It is a blogzine, a scrapbook and a reporters’ notebook. This year, Tanqeed is accepting recommendations of lectures, essays, articles, videos on a range of subjects including politics, culture and society from Pakistan and beyond and plans to publish them bi-weekly.
Women's rights campaigning is the focus of a new info-activism toolkit by Tactical Technology Collective.
The toolkit is particularly useful to women's rights activists, advocates, NGOs and community-based organisations who want to use technology tools and practices in their campaigning.
It includes step-by-step guides from basics like how to launch a campaign to more complex issues such as digital security and privacy.
The Toolkit was developed as part of a project with CREA, along with seven partner organisations
based in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and East Africa. It is now available in English only but will soon be translated into Arabic, Swahili, Bengali and Hindi.
Vietnam-made game Flappy Bird is today's number one app in the iOS App Store in over 100 countries. It already has more than 50 million downloads and it even beat Facebook's Paper app. Anh-Minh Do of Tech in Asia explains the popularity of the game:
It’s so hard that it’s ridiculously frustrating, annoying, and somehow existentially hilarious. It’s so hard it’s funny. In this way, Flappy Bird is punishing. If you take a gander at the reviews on the App Store, you’ll immediately see how much people love to hate it. And this is probably the single biggest reason for its success. People love to torture themselves, and they love to share it. The difficulty of the game is engineered for virality.
The organizers of Re:Publica in Berlin, Germany have extended the deadline for submission of papers for speaking topics to February 7, 2014. The topic for this year's conference, which typically attracts around 5,000 people, is INTO THE WILD, exploring the unknowns of a post-Snowden era. Submit your papers today! The event will be held on May 6-8. Expect to see Global Voices there too. #RP14
In preparation for the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance that will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 23-24 April 2014, the organizers are now accepting pre-registrations through a form for expression of interest. The event is a partnership between the state-convened Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br), and the non-governmental multistakeholder platform ./1net.
According to the website of the event, NetMundial.br:
This meeting will focus on crafting Internet governance principles and proposing a roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem.
The organization of a global Internet governance event began a few weeks after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivered a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013, when she criticized the United States for spying and mentioned that Brazil “[would] present proposals for the establishment of a civilian multilateral framework for the governance and use of the Internet and to ensure the effective protection of data that travels through the web.”
ICT Pulse recommends 5 critical building blocks upon which organizations can develop an effective social media strategy.
North Korea has released its own operating system, Red Star Linux, which remarkably resembles Apple's Mac OS X. One tech writer calls it ‘basically a Linux distro skinned to look like OS X‘ and if you want to check yourself, visit North Korea Tech blog who explains in detail with many screen shots.
The Web We Want invites cartoonists, creatives and artists to join The Day We Fight Back on February 11, 2014 by creating an original cartoon about online surveillance and the right to privacy. The cartoons should help increase awareness about the NSA and demand accountability for mass digital surveillance in a way that makes people want to click and share.
Deadline for submissions is February 8.
1st place: USD $1000
2nd place: USD $500
3rd Place: USD $250
1. Anyone can participate.
2. By submitting the work, the author agrees that it is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution Share Alike license. There is no limit of submissions per author.
3. The Author will provide a name or pseudonym to the submission. Further personal details will be requested for the winners – but their real name will remain private upon request of the author.
4. The winners will be announced on February 11, 2014. The winner will be picked by members of the Web We Want Executive Committee.
5. The award will be transferred to the winners within 30 days after the announcement.
1. By email: send your cartoon – high definition, .jpg, .pdf, .svg or .png to
email@example.com SUBJECT: Cartoon by February 8th.
2. By Twitter: Tweet your uploaded image to @webwewant with the hashtag #webwewant
3. Adding your nationality and country of origin is optional but highly encouraged.
Tactical Technology Collective, an organization dedicated to the use of information in activism, has produced a series of short films that focus on digital security and privacy.
The movies are in a film noir style and include three interviews with human rights defenders from different regions, talking about the digital security threats they face in their countries.
The video above is called “The digital traces we leave behind” and is only one of three that can be found here.
Colombian blogger Javier Moreno typed “[Name of country] is” on Google search to see auto-complete suggestions for each country in Latin America and Europe. He modeled his experiment after the English version of the Google search “Why [country] is.”
From his search in Colombia he got results like “Ecuador is dangerous,” “Brazil is a Latin country”, “Bolivia is God's people,” “France is socialist,” “Belguim is expensive,” and “Spain is different.”
He added his results to two maps in his blog Rango Finito [es].
While commenting on the a list of 10 most inspirational Bangladeshis around the world published by the London-based organization ‘British-Bangladeshi Power and Inspiration’, blogger Aminul Islam Sajib points out that 3 of them had significant contribution in technology field.
Harinjaka, founder of the co-working space Habaka and Madagascar-based blogger, created the 2014 Antananarivo Start Up Cup [fr] whose objective is to select and support the best business ideas in Madagascar. He thinks that there is a bright future for entrepreneurship and innovation [fr] in Madagascar. Here is a poster for the event [fr] :
ICT Pulse takes a look at the recent decision about net neutrality in the United States and the potential consequences for the Caribbean.
The 2014 BAKE Kenyan Blog awards is now accepting submissions until February 10, 2014. Users can vote online from March 1 to April 30, 2014 for their favorite blogs in 17 different categories, including the new additions of Best Health Blog and Best County Blog.
The Kenyan Blog Awards, an initiative of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), seeks to reward bloggers that post on a regular basis, have great and useful content, are creative and innovative. Other categories include:
- Best Technology Blog
- Best Photography Blog
- Best Creative Writing Blog
- Best Business Blog
- Best Food Blog
- Best Environmental/Agricultural Blog
- Best Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog
- Best Politics Blog
- Best New Blog
- Best Corporate Blog
- Best Topical Blog
- Best Sports Blog
- Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Blog
- Best Travel Blog
- Kenyan Blog of the Year
Below is a video of the inauguration of the Kenyan Blog Awards:
Blogs can be submitted using this link.
ICT Pulse names the three cybersecurity resolutions it thinks Caribbean organisations should make this year.
On the column Breviario [es] from the website El MalPensante [es], Argentinian author Hernán Casciari [es] concludes that many timeless fairy tales that are part of children's imagination and many other stories would have never taken place had their main characters had access to the current technology:
What happens with the chosen story? Will the plot go smoothly, now that the characters can call each other from any place, now that they have the choice to chat, generate video conferences and send SMS? It doesn't work at all, right?
With a phone on her hands, for instance, Penelope does no longer wait full of uncertainty for Ullises the Warrior to come back from combat.
With a mobile phone in her basket, Little Red Riding Hood would alert her granny just in time and the lumberjack's presence is no longer necessary.
And he concludes by saying that “our plots are losing their charm because we've become lazy heroes”.
That’s Twitter – it makes a joke out of serious issues and takes jokes seriously.
- comments blogger Purba Ray while discussing Sunanda Pushkar’s sudden death who underwent a Twitter spat with a Pakistani journalist. The unusual death of the wife of Indian minister Shashi Tharoor has created a lot of controversy pointing fingers at Twitter.