EFF: Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression. “All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country. But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with. Those on the left face calls to characterize the Black Lives Matter movement as a hate group. In the Civil Rights Era cases that formed the basis of today’s protections of freedom of speech, the NAACP’s voice was the one attacked. Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one—not the government and not private commercial enterprises—should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t.”
Gadgets 360: Google Search Lite App Being Tested for Regions With Spotty Internet Connections . “In a bid to get the ‘next billion’ on to the Internet, tech giants are trying various methods to lure the audience that still do not have access to proper Internet connections and gadgets like smartphones. One such effort is now seen by Google with the new Search Lite app that is reportedly being tested in Indonesia.”
US News & World Report: Congo Orders Internet Slowdown to Restrict Social Media: Telecoms Source. “Congolese authorities ordered internet capacity be slowed down so that it cannot be used to transmit images via social media, a senior telecoms official based in Kinshasa said. The move comes as opposition is growing to President Joseph Kabila, who refused to step down when his mandate expires in December, with nationwide strikes planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.” This is Congo-Kinshasa, not Congo-Brazzaville.
TechCrunch: Alphabet expands in Africa. “Google is expanding its Africa initiatives, on the back of CEO Sundar Pichai’s recent trip to Nigeria.”
The Next Web: Number of social media users passes 3 billion with no signs of slowing. “The latest Global Digital Statshot from We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that the number of people using social media around the world has just passed the momentous three billion mark…”
Phys.org: The ‘splinternet’ may be the future of the web. “Both The Economist and WIRED are worried about the ‘splinternet’. The UK research organisation NESTA thinks it could ‘break up’ the world wide web as we know it. What is this awkwardly named idea? It’s the concept that someone’s experience of the internet in Turkey, for example, is increasingly different from their experience of the internet in Australia.”
Global Voices: Is Free Basics Really Bringing More Africans Online? A Case Study From Ghana . “In an effort to better understand the impact of the Free Basics app and its role within the broader spectrum of global internet access development initiatives, a group of Global Voices contributors tested the Free Basics app in six countries across the globe this spring. We conducted a case studies in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines, along with a review of research, criticism and public documentation about the app’s use and utility.”