Techdirt: More Than Half Of U.S. States Now Pushing Their Own Net Neutrality Rules. “Large ISP lobbyists, the FCC and agency head Ajit Pai are going to be rather busy for the foreseeable future. In the wake of the agency’s extremely unpopular net neutrality repeal, consumer groups note that 26 states (27 including a new effort in Kansas) have now taken action to protect net neutrality themselves — with more efforts on the way. The efforts range from attempts to pass state-level net neutrality rules banning anti-competitive behavior, to executive orders modifying state procurement rules to prohibit ISPs that violate net neutrality from getting state money or securing state contracts.”
Arabian Gazette: Middle East Social Media Usage Trends Revealed. “The use, and adoption, of social media continues to rapidly evolve. A new white paper from Damian Radcliffe and Amanda Lam at the University of Oregon provides an up-to-date analysis of how people across the Middle East are using social networks, highlighting the rise of messaging apps, visual social networks like Instagram and Snapchat and occasional regulatory and other tensions.”
The Next Web: Wikipedia’s no-cost version for people without mobile data plans is dead. “The Wikimedia Foundation has killed off Wikipedia Zero, an initiative to deliver the online encyclopedia at no charge to mobile users around with the world. The zero-rated service was launched back in 2012 and saw the nonprofit partner with mobile carriers to waive the cost for accessing Wikipedia; it was available through 97 mobile operators in 72 countries, with a cumulative 800 million subscribers.”
Internet Policy Observatory: Researching ICT companies: A field guide for civil society researchers. “In this white paper, we outline some of the challenges we have identified as being particularly acute for policy researchers, as well as strategies for working through (and around) those issues. Advocating for civil society, human rights, and democratic values today often requires understanding the role played by ICT companies in deciding what kinds of speech are allowed (or not) on various platforms, in complying (or not) with government requests to restrict content or for user information, and in lobbying governments to enact (or not) various laws and regulations. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies are expected to respect human rights even as nation-states retain primary responsibility for protecting human rights. As is true of many UN norms, the Guiding Principles lack a formal enforcement mechanism, so other, often soft measures have been employed in order to enact results, or even to simply gain information.” ICT stands for Information, Communications, and Technology companies. You can get more information in this article from Michaelsons.
Google Blog: Read web pages offline with Chrome on Android. “Last year, we introduced the ability to download any webpage, so you can view the whole page completely offline. More than 45 million web pages are downloaded every week—and today we’re adding improvements to make it even easier to download pages.”
University of Southern California: Internet use at home soars to more than 17 hours per week. “Since the internet became mainstream less than 20 years ago, faith in traditional institutions and consumption of traditional media has also been displaced by faith in newer, digital institutions and consumption of newer, digital media, according to the 15th annual Digital Future Report recently produced by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. In the years since the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future published its first Digital Future Report in 2000, the internet has evolved from a secondary medium to an essential component of daily life.”
CNET: Google expands network with new data centers, subsea cables. “Google is expanding its existing cloud network with new data centers this year and new subsea cables in 2019, the search giant said Tuesday in a blog post. It will add data centers to five regions in 2018, including Montreal and the Netherlands in the first quarter, followed by Los Angeles, Finland and Hong Kong later in the year. This brings its worldwide total to 18 regions on five continents.”