Between July and September, 2013, we surveyed members of the Global Congress community to learn more about their projects and priorities. We invited participation through email lists and solicited anyone who had either been to a Global Congress, been invited to one, or expressed interest in coming. We received around 90 responses.
Rather than create an agenda document, we’ve decided to let the responses speak mostly for themselves. We’ve split them into two parts: a searchable, sortable database for Current Projects (below) and a series of posts on Research Priorities (forthcoming on Infojustice) that compile perspectives on research opportunities and its relationship to policymaking in the next several years.
Here are the caveats: The responses are drawn from–but do not exhaustively reproduce–the responses we received. Responses have been cherry picked, edited, and loosely organized under primary themes. We favored detailed responses over lists of projects or statements of general interests or concerns. The list is also quite limited: it attributes projects to the person or persons who reported it–not necessarily to all contributors to a project. We can, of course, make adjustments where the attribution is clearly inadequate (let us know if that’s the case). But we are not aiming for a rigorous accounting of the research field, just a useful one given the usual constraints on time and resources. If this proves popular, we can discuss expanding it as part of future Global Congresses.
Priorities for Future Research
Want to Contribute 2-3 Paragraphs on Research Priorities?
|Primary Investigator(s) and/or Person Who Reported It||Research Venue||Project Title||Topic(s)||Geographical Focus||Description|
|Floriana Fossato||Center for the Study of New Media and Society, New Economic School, Russia||Ranking Digital Rights||Users' Rights|
Privacy and Surveillance
|We are currently involved in the 'Ranking Digital Rights' project led by Rebecca MacKinnon. This is a comparative study of public and private (online service provider) Internet policies in various states (including Russia). Freedom of expression is closely intertwined with privacy across the sector and, as connectivity increases, so do the challenges. This research effort will include two main components:(1) a Landscape Assessment, focusing on analyzing the current policy environment in the country. (2) Mapping of Key Actors, including identification of key individuals and organizations working in the internet policy space and the mapping of relationship networks. Some 25 Russian IT companies and Internet organizations have agreed to participate in interviews for this research.|
|Inyoung Hwang||The Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST), South Korea||Law and Policy of Online Privacy in Korea: Current Regulation and Reform Agenda||Privacy and Surveillance||Global||Our goal is to review the current regulatory system thoroughly and systematically, and to identify problem areas and propose reform. The project involves research cooperation among a group of academics and practicing lawyers, and will include case studies of the US and EU.|
|Information Society Project, Yale Law School, USA|
A2K4D, American University, Egypt
Center for Technology and Society, Brazil
|Global Censorship and Access to Knowledge||Privacy and Surveillance||Global||A collaborative book project.|
|Nagla Rizk||American University, Egypt||Global Censorship and Access to Knowledge||Privacy and Surveillance||Egypt|
|Writing a chapter in 'Global Censorship and Access to Knowledge' on the economic losses to the internet shutdown in Egypt in 2011, focusing on the asymmetry in handling political and economic liberties in the Middle East and showing the economic losses as collateral damage to censoring freedom of expression.|
|Antonio Martinez Velazquez||Articulo 19||Intermediaries and Codes of Conduct||Intermediaries|
Privacy and Surveillance
|We are working to create predictable codes of conduct that allow for the coexistence of third party rights and freedom of expression on the Internet. The code of conduct is intended, in part, to provide ways of resolving conflicts without subjecting internet intermediaries to coercive state regulations.
One aspect of this work is a case by case study of the central conflicts intermediaries are facing. In our investigations we will whether and when self-regulation through the adoption of “best practices” provides a viable way through these conflicts.
Out broader findings will shed light on the dilemmas all social media will be facing, including “content blocking, take-down and disclosure of user identity." In so doing, we'll be asking a wide range of questions:
Are internet intermediaries promoting or censoring freedom of expression? What are the kinds of information that attract restrictions? What are the existing “standards of play”, or lack of? (Internal codes of practice vs. external codes of practice). When are intermediaries subject to external pressure to disclose information or to take down certain content? ¿How do they respond? Do these codes of conduct, terms of service, and past decisions comply with international standards?
We will also study the relationship that social media has with national laws, and these place different responsibilities on users and on intermediaries. For example, in certain countries the legal practice will directly place responsibility on the individual using an internet service, and will discard acting against intermediaries, while in other countries judicial courts may take direct actions against internet intermediaries. This will allow us to understand what kinds of pressure intermediaries receive and what actions can be taken to comply with national laws. If laws inhibit freedom of expression, what are the consequences of non compliance? How have intermediaries acted in the past faced with such dilemmas, and what are the consequences on freedom of expression.