I conduct research, writing and advocacy on global Internet policy, free expression, and the impact of digital technologies on human rights. My first book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, was published by Basic Books in late January 2012. After leaving a 12-year career in China and Japan with CNN, I co-founded Global Voices with Ethan Zuckerman in 2004, and have been working on citizen media projects and free speech advocacy ever since. I currently serve on GV's board. For more about me click here.
Latest posts by Rebecca MacKinnon
Governments in a growing list of nations have recognized that modern-day connectivity can prove a lethal challenge to their legitimacy and very existence.
This week's Netizen Report starts out in Sub-Saharan Africa, where we look at how Pan-African organizations and a number of countries are debating issues of free expression online. From there, we move on to cover the latest developments in the struggle for freedom and control of the Internet in Myanmar, China, France, United States, the United Nations, Facebookistan, and beyond...
This week's report focuses on the Olympics. While the opening ceremony celebrated freedom and creativity, the games have in reality been plagued by widespread censorship and restrictions online. In addition, we discuss the challenges Twitter has faced as a primary platform for discussions online during the Games. After leaving London, we go to China, Tajikstan and beyond.
This week's Netizen Report focuses on the theme of cybersecurity. We begin in Washington DC, where lawmakers have made promising amendments to the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2012. From there, we move to the Europe, where the European Commission has opened up a forum for public input on similar legislation. Then, we move to the UK, China and beyond.
We begin this week’s Netizen Report with a battle between South Korea’s net neutrality advocates and telecommunications companies, who are at odds after the Korean Communications Commission allowed three domestic mobile carriers to block access or add surcharges for mobile voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) services. Opponents to this latest move include several civil society groups and Google. From there we move on to net neutrality debates in the United States and Brazil, before embarking on our global tour of the ongoing struggle over freedom and control of the Internet.
This week we focus in on Russia, where the government has proposed a draft bill that would censor the Internet in ways similar to China's Great Firewall. Russia's Wikipedia went dark on Tuesday in protest, coinciding with a debate on the bill in the Russian Parliament. From there, we look at net activism issues in Syria, Malaysia, Iran and beyond.
In this week's Netizen Report we highlight the growing role for citizen journalism in nations that are undergoing political unrest. We begin in Iraq and Syria, before moving to Mexico, where online media platforms are providing an alternative perspective on the Presidential elections. From there we report on exciting trends in netizen activism in Egypt, Taiwan and around the world.
This week's edition begins in Japan where disproportionate penalties for copyright violations reached new heights in with the passage of a new bill this month that will make downloading copyrighted material punishable by imprisonment or fines. A number of other countries have also moved to criminalize copyright infringement. Our team then moves on to update our global readership on the latest developments and controversies related to freedom and control of the Internet around the world.
This week's Netizen Report begins in Myanmar, where the government's new resolve for an open Internet is being tested this week by a state of emergency declared to contain deadly clashes between Muslims and Buddhists in the nation’s western Rakhine state. From there we report on the latest developments in the struggle for online freedom around the world from Azerbaijan to the United Kingdom to Googledom.
Throughout this week's edition we highlight examples of government intervention to limit free speech online, ostensibly "for the greater good". We begin in Kuwait, where a Shi’ite man has been sentenced to prison for ten years for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammad and Sunni Muslims via Twitter. From there we travel to China, India, South Africa, Tunisia, Oman, Facebookistan, and beyond.
In this week's survey of the struggle for freedom and control of the global Internet, our team begins in Ethiopia where the introduction of new telecommunications infrastructure is creating a new layer of censorship and surveillance. We proceed onward across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and provide an update on the battle over which international organizations should be allowed to govern parts of the Internet.
Galvanized online, tens of thousands of protesters marched in Mexico's capital last week calling for more engaging issue campaigns by politicians and less biased reporting by mainstream media of the upcoming presidential election. This week's Netizen Report discusses this and other key Internet freedom and control issues.
Azerbaijan, host of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, has faced a number of digital disruptions as it prepares to host the annual singing competition this week, alongside criticism of its human rights record. From there our Netizen Report team takes you on this week's tour of the global struggle for freedom and control of the Internet.
Our weekly review of developments in the global struggle for freedom and control of the Internet begins in Russia, where citizen media has been under attack in the wake of President Putin's inauguration. From there we travel on to China, Iran, Syria, India, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Facebookistan, Twitterland, the United Nations, and more.
In our weekly report on the global battle for freedom and control of the Internet, we begin in India where activists are fuming over the country’s sweeping new Internet restrictions on objectionable content. From there we survey the global state of censorship, surveillance, activism, corporate actions and government regulation.
Our inaugural weekly report honors Ms. Chiranuch Premchaiporn, who was arrested in 2009 for violating Thailand's Computer Crimes Act because she failed to delete a user comment insulting the King of Thailand quickly enough. Also covered, censorship, surveillance, copyright and other net freedom issues from around the world.
On April 12, the Chinese Internet was cut off from the global Internet for about two hours, for reasons that remain unknown. Meanwhile, netizens around the world have been busy fighting threats to their freedom of all kinds. All the details are brought to you by our Netizen Report team: Weiping Li, Mera Szendro Bok, James Losey, Grady Johnson, and Sarah Myers.
Democratic nations face a challenge in finding the right balance between national security imperatives on the one hand and the need to protect citizens’ freedoms on the other. In this week’s report we highlight several solutions that fall too far on the former side.
Pakistan’s anti-censorship activists recently proved how coordinated, global and local action can make a real difference. Meanwhile the global fight for netizen rights in cyberspace continues. Weiping Li, Mera Szendro Bok, James Losey, and Sarah Myers provide an overview in our latest twice-monthly edition of the Netizen Report.
In this week’s Netizen Report we are excited to spotlight the ways in which the global netizen community is turning the Internet into a platform of participatory politics and preserving digital culture.