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The right to be forgotten risks becoming a tool to curb free press

Online news archives highlight the tension between the right to know and the right to be forgotten. Online archives are a flash point in the on-going battle over the right to be forgotten. Image: DRs Kulturarvsprojekt (CC BY-SA 2.0) Ever since the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its decision in the landmark 2014 case of Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja González, a war of rights has quietly waged in courtrooms across Europe. Out …

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Motherhood and an end to women’s civil war

Doors, choices, decisions. Credit: Pixabay/qimono. CC0 Public Domain. Sheila Heti’s ‘Motherhood’ came out in May, not a day too soon for me. Her book is something I urgently needed to read, a novel drawn from life and a kind of fictionalized diary that allows Heti to interrogate the question, ‘Should I become a mother?’ Her answer is ‘no,’ she will not. Or given that Heti inverts the question, seeing it as a positive choice: ‘yes,’ she will remain childfree. Although …

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Welcome to the ‘New Dark Age.’

Credit: Flickr/opensource.com. CC BY-SA 2.0. Data is making us dumber. This seeming paradox has been gaining currency, at least in the tech-saturated Global North. We’re increasingly bombarded with advice on how to manage data overload. The English comedian Dave Gorman summed it up in the tongue-in-cheek title of his recent book: “Too much information: Or: Can Everyone Just Shut Up for a Moment, Some of Us Are Trying to Think.” We like to laugh about this stuff. It helps us …

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Do we have the right to financial rebellion? A conversation with Enric Duran

Enric Duran Giralt, anti-capitalist activist. Credit: CC0 via Wikimedia Commons. It’s not easy to get in touch with Enric Duran. Dubbed the ‘Robin Hood of the Banks’ by the mainstream media, the Catalan activist defrauded the Spanish banking system of nearly half a million euros in the period 2006 to 2008. He used the money to fund a range of local and global initiatives aimed at building alternative structures outside the state. In 2013 he skipped bail and has since …

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Snowden to Cambridge Analytica – making the case for the social value of privacy

An image of Mark Zuckerberg in Shadow Ink app. 2016. Wikicommons/ Annika Laas. Some rights reserved.After days of prodding by the media, Mark Zuckerberg has offered a mea culpa, apologizing for the “breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it”. The news that Facebook shared user data with a number of organizations including Cambridge Analytica seems to reflect the paradox of surveillance society – that our personal data …

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Thanks to social media, do teenage girls like Ahed Tamimi now have the power to influence wars?

Gaza demonstration in support of Ahed Tamimi. Photo: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images.In December 2017, a then 16-year-old Palestinian girl named Ahed Tamimi was filmed slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier outside her family home in the occupied West Bank. She had just heard that her 14-year-old cousin Muhammad had been shot in the head with a rubber bullet. Tamimi then faced up to 10 years in prison on charges of assault and throwing stones. Last week she accepted a plea deal of eight …

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Golden Dawn Girls documentary gives new voice to women in Greece’s far-right elite

Jenny speaks at a Golden Dawn rally. Credit: Golden Dawn Girls. When I first heard about the documentary Golden Dawn Girls, I was more than a little sceptical. Why would three women of the Greek far-right party’s elite invite cameras into their homes, around their dinner tables and inside the party headquarters, for a feature-length film? What was their agenda? Norwegian documentary maker, Håvard Bustnes, presents the film as a quest to discover “what happened to Greece?” How did a …

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When bully boys dictate the West’s agenda, Turkey invades Syria with impunity

How can bully boys and aggressors label a resistance movement ‘terrorist’ when the whole question of Turkey’s accession to the EU turned around its democratic deficits? Kurdish women Infiltrate Conservative party HQ in London to highlight plight of besieged city of Afrin.On 19 January, Kurdish people and their supporters stood outside the Turkish embassy in London denouncing Turkey as a fascist state because it had begun cross-border shelling of Afrin, a predominantly Kurdish area, in Northern Syria. An invasion was …

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Net neutrality at a crossroads: why India’s policy process has important lessons for the US

Digital equality demands that access to the internet is seen as indivisible from a democratic internet. Net neutrality is not just about an open architecture, but about genuine egalitarianism – meaning internet access. Net neutrality: To regulate or not to regulate?. Flickr/ITU Pictures. CC-BY-2.0.The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed the key principles on non-discriminatory treatment as applicable to Internet Access Services. TRAI’s reiteration of net neutrality assumes special significance for the global discourse on the issue, given the US-FCC’s decision to repeal …

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Kabul’s Dangerous Water Problems

A fundamental responsibility of a legitimately democratic government is to provide for the well-being of as many of its citizens as possible. There can be no well-being and sustainable economic development for Afghanis, if there is no or insufficient potable water. Any hope in modernizing Afghanistan must include far greater progress in expanding the national water-delivery infrastructure. Such urgently needed work must be accelerated even while the national government secures military control of the national territory. Foreign assistance has been …

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