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Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Global Information Society Watch
2012-The Internet and Corruption

“GISWatch 2012 explores how the internet is being used to ensure transparency and accountability, the challenges that civil society activists face in fighting corruption, and when the internet fails as an enabler of a transparent and fair society.

The eight thematic reports and 48 country reports published ask provocative questions such as: Is a surveillance society necessarily a bad thing if it fights corruption? and how successful have e-government programmes been in fighting corruption? They explore options for activism by youth and musicians online, as well as the art of using visual evidence to expose delusions of power.

By focusing on individual cases or stories of corruption, the country reports take a practical look at the role of the internet in combating corruption at all levels.”  READ MORE 

Google: government censorship requests jumped 20% in last six months

“Google has published its latest Transparency Report and the results are not encouraging for free speech advocates: governments around the world are asking it to remove more content than ever before.

In the second half of 2012, the number of government requests to remove content from services like YouTube and Blogger increased from 1,811 to 2,285, and the number of items targeted for censorship increased from 18,070 to 24,179. As this screenshot shows, government requests have been rising steadily for years.”  READ MORE

Center for Global Development
What’s Yours Is Mine: New Actors and New Approaches to Asset Recovery in Global Corruption Cases

“This study is about recovering money stolen by corrupt politicians and officials. Asset recovery is a key element in deterring and punishing the corrupt, and the reduction of corruption is critical to development. The money can be put to better uses once recovered, and it amounts to billions.

But there’s another reason why this is significant for those who are primarily focused on development: among the key issues in asset recovery are greater accountability and transparency, which are also increasingly regarded as key to long-term development success.”  READ MORE

Will open data be a damp squid?

“The field of big data has been a triumph – and also a disappointment. It’s a triumph in that thousands of data sets have been made open to the public; that new industries have grown up around reuse of that data (particularly in fields like transport); that some forms of abuse and corruption have been revealed and contained; and that it’s quickly become conventional wisdom that (anonymised) public data should be open by default.

So why the disappointment? The most immediate reason is that relatively little use is being made of all the free data - this is a triumph of supply more than demand, at least so far. It's the latest in a long line of projects driven by clever engineers and technologists who became understandably captivated by what was technologically possible, but were not so good at understanding what problems would actually be solved, or how the technologies would interact with wants and needs.”  READ MORE

Open Gov Blog
Social Media and Disaster Recovery 

“Nothing is more beneficial during a modern disaster than public participation. As the saying goes, “two minds are better than one.” When it comes to social media, millions of minds come together to solve problems, seek out answers, and disseminate vital information. As has been evident in recent days, the public has played a key role in both information dissemination and assistance to authorities via social media.”  READ MORE

Democracy Spot
Are ‘Good’ Citizens ‘Good’ Participants?

“Article by Catherine Bolzendahl and Hilde Coffé recently published at Political Studies (2013):
Are ‘Good’ Citizens ‘Good’ Participants? Testing Citizenship Norms and Political Participation across 25 Nations. 

Whereas research on political participation typically investigates a variety of socio-economic and attitudinal characteristics, this cross-national study focuses on the relevance of norms when explaining political participation. We examine respondents’ normative beliefs about the importance of various measures of ‘good citizenship’, and their relationship to three modes of political engagement (activism, party membership and voting).”  READ MORE

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite