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Net Politics

CFR experts investigate the impact of information and communication technologies on security, privacy, and international affairs.

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Showing posts for "Human rights"

Where Speech Goes, Repression Follows: The Global Trend of Criminalizing Online Speech

by Guest Blogger
Protesters walk past a mock gravestone that reads "RIP Freedom of Speech" during a protest against new licensing regulations imposed by the government for online news sites, at Hong Lim Park in Singapore June 8, 2013. (Edgar Su/Reuters)

Nani Jansen Reventlow is a human rights lawyer with Doughty Street Chambers in London and a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Jonathan McCully is Legal Officer with the Media Legal Defence Initiative. You can follow them @InterwebzNani and @Jonny_McCully.

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Dangers Multiply for Human Rights in Cyberspace as RightsCon Approaches

by David Fidler
Protesters walk past a mock gravestone that reads "RIP Freedom of Speech" during a protest against new licensing regulations imposed by the government for online news sites, at Hong Lim Park in Singapore June 8, 2013. (Edgar Su/Reuters)

RightsCon takes place later this month in Brussels. Since its inception in 2011, RightsCon–the annual conference of Access Now–has been one of the primary gatherings where human rights activists, politicians, technologists, scholars, and businesses discuss issues at the intersection between human rights promotion and the internet. Unlike previous iterations, the stakes for this year’s event are undeniably higher given the current disruptive political environment that threatens human rights in real space and cyberspace.

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The UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Revisits Terrorism in Cyberspace

by David Fidler
Twitter hashtag for UN Counter-Terrorism Committee meetings on ICT terrorism, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2016 (D Fidler)

Last week, the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee held meetings on preventing the exploitation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for terrorist purposes. These meetings, like similar ones in December 2015, focused on the self-declared Islamic State’s use of the internet and social media and highlighted increased activities during 2016 against ICT terrorism by international organizations, governments, civil society, and tech companies. However, problems exposed in 2015 appeared again in these meetings, raising questions about what impact the increased actions have had.

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Brazil Must Rebalance Its Approach to Cybersecurity

by Guest Blogger
brazil cfr cyber net politics A taxi driver takes photos at the slum of Varjao on the outskirts of Brasilia, ahead of A 2014 World Cup match between Brazil and Mexico on June 17, 2014. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters).

Robert Muggah is the research director of the Igarapé Institute, an independent think tank based in Rio de Janeiro. Nathan B. Thompson is a researcher at Igarapé.

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Israel’s New Counter-Terrorism Law and Terrorism in Cyberspace

by David Fidler
The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, meets on July 11, 2016. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters) The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, meets on July 11, 2016. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

The Israeli parliament adopted a new counter-terrorism law on June 15, 2016. According to the Ministry of Justice’s summary, the legislation will provide “law enforcement authorities with more effective tools to combat modern terrorist threats while incorporating additional checks and balances necessary to safeguard against unreasonable violations of individual human rights.” The legislation revises and expands Israeli law in many areas, as Elena Chacko discusses at Lawfare. The changes include provisions addressing use of the internet and social media for terrorist purposes. With terrorist activities online under scrutiny, the new Israeli law is important to efforts underway to reduce the threat of terrorism in cyberspace.

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Is Hacking Hillary Clinton Russian Payback for the “Freedom to Connect”?

by David Fidler
CFR Cyber Net Politics Russia DNC Hack A protester in Moscow in 2011. (Sime Simon).

Allegations the Russian government hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and the Hillary Clinton campaign have generated intense attention, especially concerning the implications of possible Russian efforts to use the fruits of cyber espionage to influence the U.S. election. Although Russia rejects the allegations, these hacks might constitute payback for Clinton and Democrats, who championed direct U.S. cyber support for opponents of authoritarian regimes during the Obama administration. China and Russia have long complained the United States manipulates cyberspace to interfere in their domestic political affairs, and, under this perspective, airing the DNC’s digital dirty laundry through Wikileaks courtesy of Russian intelligence perhaps means turnabout is fair play.

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The Implications of Brexit on UK Cyber Policy

by David Fidler
CFR Cyber net politics brexit A British flag lies on the street in London after Britain voted to leave the European Union. (Reinhard Krause/REUTERS).

The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union has prompted pundits and politicians to speculate on what the result means for the country, Europe, and the world. To paraphrase Churchill, never before have so few created such doubt for so many. These speculations touch on the practical politics and philosophical implications of the United Kingdom’s disengagement from the European Union. The Brexit process will affect practical and philosophical aspects of cyberspace politics as well.

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