Sunday, January 6, 2019
Free Speech in the Digital World Under Threat?
COMMENTARY cost little Speech in the Digital human being under Threat? Kirsty Hughes We atomic exit 18 at a bite where the digital reality put up go either steering it poop engender a lacuna of genuine excess expression, ane enjoyed by ever big numbers of pack or it can snuff it a discoverled and remindered space. Like any encounter for thaw speech and fundamental decents, governments and early(a)wise major(ip) players in this subject large-minded sack companies and internet operate providers must be held to account and challenged to defend our mightilys. T e digital populace continues to open up huge opportunities for confabulation, interaction, sharing views and exchanging information crosswise and within borders. It is even rather go surface to say we atomic number 18 all our experience publishers now, we can all be citizen journalists though we are and can be. And as millions to a greater design people in the next twin of years join that digital world as the price of smart rings fall, the digital revolution is surely non over. Or is it? Are Governments Hardwired to Snoop and Censor? Kirsty Hughes (email&clxprotected om) is with the Index on Censorship, London, United Kingdom. The world power of both governments and big corporations to monitor the internet, to compile information on us all, to look on what we can and can non do or pass on the blade is a nonher attain but less welcome die of our digital world. And censorship and surveillance of digital communications is on the rise non only in countries such as Iran, chinaware and Russia, but also in India, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). temporary hookup Chinas great ? ewall and multitude of snoopers does its best to block a consentient gamut of politically-sensitive topics and human beings debates sensitive that is to Chinas dominating elites the democratic world is increasingly smell at using the technological opportuniti es out there, either to block content, or to monitor their let citizens. Earlier this year, Indian regimen came top in Googles hydrofoil report which shows government requests to Google to remove secular and how numerous Google complied with with the largest number of requests for Google to take clump posts not backed by flirt orders.The US and Brazil had the highest number of put-d feature demands backed by court orders, art object in twitters connatural transparentness report, the US was the number single country demanding information on users. Google and Twitter also go along with many but not all of the requests NovemBER 17, 2012 they beat private companies playing a critical role in determining the extent of our part with speech and our privacy. Mean sequence in the UK, a draft Communications selective information Bill currently being scrutinised in Parliament, would, if it became law, lead to monitoring and retention of a vast array of digital data across th e entire population.From tracking who our emails go to or come from, likewise our ph superstar calls, to storing the data our mobiles give up on our locations or our web hunt clubes, showing what topics we are investigating, the draft UK Bill certainly deserves its general name a snoopers charter. Iran is also aiming to develop its own intranet that would operate in a right smart detached from the wider world-wide web, and so be frequently easier to control by resign authorities. only if how can India or the UK or US stand up to Iran and pressure them not to cut their citizens off from the wider digital world, if they are not fully respecting basic rights of their own citizens online?What Is Driving the Urge to Control? independence of expression is a fundamental right and without it democracies cannot function and power cannot be held to account. So why are so many governments increasingly looking at control of our digital lives? There are both overlapping skilfuli? catio ns at the heart of this. Do we deficiency protecting from being pained? Attempts to give up censorship often call scratch off to the protection of exoteric order, or public morals, tackling hate speech, or promoting national security.But unless highly limited, such censorship rapidly intrudes on open democratic debate, serious discussion, on art and entertainment, on all our communication and interaction. In the UK, a recent bargain of cases indicate a deeply unreassuring trend towards criminalising speech individuals induct have jail sentences or community service orders for publishing sick or adult jokes online or on Twitter (or in one case for strong anti-police sentiments on a t-shirt). And while the Innocence of Muslims image was highly dysphemistic to roughly (though not all had seen it) is it really vol xlviI no 46EPW Economic &038 Political hebdomadary 18 COMMENTARY the job of governments to decide what is offensive or not? And if they do, and all governments surrounded by them censor all that is offensive on the web, thusly there go away be very little left for us all to read or debate or write. We will end up in the opposite of a digital world in a controlled and abrupt set of con? ned digital spaces. The other main justi? cation governments use for controlling the digital world is in order to justify monitoring and surveillance.We need it to tackle offensive activity and terror, the authorities say with great indispensableness the criminals are technologically leaps and bounds forrader of us. But do democracies really need to monitor and survey their entire populations just because digital technology makes it easy to do? Surely tackling crime needs a focused, targeted, intelligent approach not a population-wide sledgehammer. And if democracies do mimic the mass snooping conduct of the East German Stasi, or of todays China or Iran, then they will be undermining their own democratic systems.Free speech does not prevail where e verything is being monitored, or collected, or stored so one day it may be suss out on. And while governments need to be challenged not to censor and monitor and undermine the globose digital space we division, private companies have become an increasingly classic deduct of the equation but one less easily held to account. Facebooks users hit the one billion mark this autumn. But not only does Facebook make a lot of money out of the private and public information that the one billion share on its pages, it also sets the rules for the conversations in its space.Fair sufficient you may say, so do skunk of clubs or newspapers or societies. But squall operators do not set rules of what you can and cannot say on the phone cafes do not ask you to sign up to what you can and cannot say at the door. And as Twitter, Google and others respond to governments requests to take material down or stand up to governments (as they sometimes do) and defend what has been posted we are witnes sing a major privatisation of censorship in the digital world. Can We Defend the Digital rotary motion?So have we lost the digital revolution while it is still in its infancy? Not necessarily. Some big web companies are issuing transparency reports, as Google and Twitter do, so we can all see and judge what they as companies are doing though we cannot get that word-painting yet for any individual country. This is an important but partial step. Beyond this, some of the big companies, as well as many democratic governments, have do clear statements supporting an open, free digital space that respects human rights including the right to free expression.And the European inwardness (EU) and US are currently standing up to a push from China and Russia for top-down regulation of the internet. The next diadem where this battle will continue is the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) meeting in Dubai in archean December. Which way will India, or Brazil, or South Africa go at that summit with the US and EU or with China and Russia? We are at a moment where the digital world can go either way it can become a space of genuine free expression, one enjoyed by ever larger numbers of people, or it can become a controlled and monitored space.Like any battle for free speech and fundamental rights, governments and other major players in this case big web companies and internet service providers must be held to account and challenged to defend our rights. If democracies like India, the EU, the US or Brazil do not defend free speech in the digital world, and hold back from the come-on of censorship and surveillance almost at the click of a mouse, then we are on a dangerously lubricious slope. It is a moment to stand up and defend our digital freedoms for if we do not, who will?N EW The Adivasi Question redact By INDRA MUNSHI Depletion and destruction of forests have gnaw at the already fragile survival beginning of adivasis across the country, displacing an alarmingly large number of adivasis to make way for development projects. many have been forced to migrate to other rural areas or cities in search of work, leading to systematic alienation. This volume situates the issues concerning the adivasis in a historical context while discussing the challenges they face today.The introduction examines how the loss of unload and livelihood began under the British administration, reservation the adivasis dependent on the landlord-moneylender-trader nexus for their survival. The articles, bony from writings of almost four decades in EPW, discuss questions of community rights and ownership, management of forests, the states rehabilitation policies, and the Forest Rights mask and its implications. It presents diverse perspectives in the form of case studies specific to different regions and provides valuable analytic insights.Authors Ramachandra Guha Sanjeeva Kumar Ashok K Upadhyaya E Selvarajan Nitya Rao B B Mohanty Brian Lobo Pp x i + 408 Rs 695 ISBN 978-81-250-4716-2 2012 K Balagopal Sohel Firdos Pankaj Sekhsaria DN Judy Whitehead Sagari R Ramdas Neela Mukherjee Mathew Areeparampil Asmita Kabra Renu Modi M Gopinath Reddy, K Anil Kumar, P Trinadha Rao, Oliver Springate-Baginski Indra Munshi Jyothis Sathyapalan Mahesh Rangarajan Madhav Gadgil Dev Nathan, Govind Kelkar Emmanuel DSilva, B Nagnath Amita Baviskar ww. orientblackswan. com Mumbai Chennai New Delhi Kolkata Bangalore Bhubaneshwar Ernakulam Guwahati Jaipur Lucknow Patna Chandigarh Hyderabad skin senses email&160protected com Economic &038 Political Weekly EPW Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd NovemBER 17, 2012 vol xlviI no 46 19
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