Legal/Regulatory Aspects of Digital Technology

1.   Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research program attached to the Harvard Law School, is committed "to explor[ing] and understand[ing] cyberspace, its development, dynamics, norms, standards, and [the] need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions." Its scholars and fellows address a wide range of Internet-related issues, including governance, privacy, intellectual property, antitrust, content control, and electronic commerce. And true to its open-source principles, according to the site, "we build, use, and freely share an open software platform for free online lectures and discussions."

2.   Information Law Institute, The Information Law Institute at New York University School of Law provides an academic center for studying the effects of contemporary choices concerning the legal rules affecting the production, manipulation, storage, and dissemination of, and access to, information in the digitally networked society. 

3.   Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, a "public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others concerned about the impact of computer technology on society," has served as the conscience of the high-tech sector for nearly 20 years. Originally concerned with computer use by the military, CPSR has expanded its brief over the years to include a wide range of areas in which digital technology affects society (most notably privacy and computers in the workplace). With the rise of interest in the "National Information Infrastructure" spurred by the Clinton/Gore administration, CPSR began to address public-interest Internet issues, and the Seattle chapter launched the Seattle Community Network in 1994.

4.   Electronic Frontier Foundation was established in 1990 "to protect our fundamental rights regardless of technology; to educate the press, policymakers and the general public about civil liberties issues related to technology; and to act as a defender of those liberties." Issues under consideration by EFF include privacy and encryption; government and activism; intellectual property and fair use; Net culture and online community; censorship and free expression; spamming, cybersquatting, and other abuses; and the information infrastructure.

5.   Information Society Project at Yale Law School:  “The Information Society Project at Yale Law School is an intellectual center addressing the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society, guided by the values of democracy, human development, and social justice.”


  1. OpenNet Initiative (ONI) The ONI mission is to investigate and challenge state filtration and surveillance practices. Our approach applies methodological rigor to the study of filtration and surveillance blending empirical case studies with sophisticated means for technical verification. Our aim is to generate a credible picture of these practices at a national, regional and corporate level, and to excavate their impact on state sovereignty, security, human rights, international law, and global governance.

Internet Governance and Infrastructure

1.   World Summit on the Information Society, a project of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, the agency of the United Nations that is responsible for the regulation, standardization and development of telecommunications worldwide).

2.   The Growth & Development of Cyberspace Law in the United States: Highlights of the Past Decade. An interesting list containing an overview of highlights in the development of U.S. Cyberspace Law over the period 1986-1996.

2.   The Internet Engineering Task Force.  The Internet Engineering Task Force is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.

  1. The Internet Society (ISOC) is a professional membership society with more than 100 organization and over 20,000 individual members in over 180 countries. It provides leadership in addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet, and is the organization home for the groups responsible for Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).
  1. The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is an organization dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity.

6.   The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.


7.   Internet Governance Project:  This is an interdisciplinary consortium of scholars with experience in Internet governance.  The website has articles on a variety of issues and debates regarding Internet governance.


   8.  F2C: Freedom to Connect:


   9.  Save the Internet


 10.  Working Group on Internet Governance

Copyright / Copyfight

1.   Creative Commons “We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare "some rights reserved." Thus, a single goal unites Creative Commons' current and future projects: to build a layer of reasonable, flexible copyright in the face of increasingly restrictive default rules.”    

  1. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).  From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people's radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.
  1. Corante is a trusted, unbiased source on technology, business, law, science, and culture that’s authored by leading commentators and thinkers in their respective fields. Corante also produces premium conferences and publications that help decision-makers better understand their industries and the world around them.
  1. Freedom to Tinker. A blog, focused on issues related to legal regulation of technology, and especially on legal attempts to restrict the right of technologists and citizens to tinker with technological devices.
  1. Public Knowledge is a group of lawyers, technologists, lobbyists, academics, volunteers and activists dedicated to fortifying and defending a vibrant information commons. Our first priority is to stop any bad legislation from passing—laws we think would slow technology innovation, pick market winners, shrink the public domain, or prevent fair use. We work to assure the future remains open, and that democratic principles and cultural values—openness, access and the capacity to create and compete—are given new embodiment in the digital age.
  1. Free Culture Movement. The mission of the Free Culture movement is to build a bottom-up, participatory structure to society and culture, rather than a top-down, closed, proprietary structure. Through the democratizing power of digital technology and the Internet, we can place the tools of creation and distribution, communication and collaboration, teaching and learning into the hands of the common person -- and with a truly active, connected, informed citizenry, injustice and oppression will slowly but surely vanish from the earth. We believe that culture should be a two-way affair, about participation, not merely consumption. We will not be content to sit passively at the end of a one-way media tube. We refuse to accept a future of digital feudalism where we do not actually own the products we buy, but we are merely granted limited uses of them as long as we pay the rent. We must halt and reverse the recent radical expansion of intellectual property rights, which threaten to reach the point where they trump any and all other rights of the individual and society.
  1. Copyright Criminals: This is a Sampling Sport (10 min Work in Progress)

Politics/Digital Democracy

  1. is pioneering a new type of independent media based on exchange and participation. Our readers and writers span all continents. We cover the key questions of our time with contributions from renowned authors and marginalised voices.  We publish clarifying debates which help people make up their own minds. We use the web to build and map intelligent discussions, which we accumulate and expand daily. OpenDemocracy stands for human rights and democracy. We support these concepts as an opening, rather than with closed definition. 

2.   The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and the public at large. The Center’s work is aimed at creating a more educated voter, an involved citizenry, and a more responsive government.

3.   The Center for Digital Democracy

  1. Center for Digital Government The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.
  1. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public policy organization dedicated to promoting the democratic potential of today's open, decentralized global Internet. Our mission is to conceptualize, develop, and implement public policies to preserve and enhance free expression, privacy, open access, and other democratic values in the new and increasingly integrated communications medium.  CDT promotes its own policy positions in the United States and globally through public policy advocacy, online grassroots organizing with the Internet user community and public education campaigns, and litigation, as well as through the development of technology standards and online information resources.
  1. The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School:  “The CIS brings together scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public goods like free speech, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry.  The CIS strives as well to improve both technology and law, encouraging decision-makers to design both as a means to further democratic values.”

  2. The DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy supports a policy of a democratic free media throughout the world.

8.   MediaChannel is a media issues supersite, featuring criticism, breaking news, and investigative reporting from hundreds of organizations worldwide, focused on issues pertaining to Digital Democracy. As the media watch the world, we watch the media.

  1. The Progress and Freedom Foundation The Progress & Freedom Foundation was founded in 1993 to study the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. A news site rather than an interactive site. Offers updates on US government policy on the Internet, as well as papers regarding computer technology (e.g. discussion papers on whether or not Microsoft is a monopolist). Pro-market approach.

10.  International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) Created in 1995, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), an intergovernmental organization with member states from all continents, has a mandate to support sustainable democracy worldwide. IDEA operates at an interface between those who analyze and monitor trends in democracy and those who engage directly in political reform or act in support of democracy at home and abroad. IDEA works with both new and long-established democracies, helping to develop and strengthen the institutions and culture of democracy. It operates at international, regional and national level, working in partnership with a range of institutions.

10. The Technology Liberation Front
   [Pro Industry, Anti-regulation perspective]

Culture Jamming Websites

  1. Adbusters are a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century. To this end, Adbusters Media Foundation publishes Adbusters magazine, operates this website and offers its creative services through PowerShift, our advocacy advertising agency. 
  1. The Billboard Liberation Front. Encouraging the masses to use any means possible to commandeer the existing media and to alter it to their own design.
  1. The Yes Men are a group of culture jamming activists who practice what they call "identity correction". They pretend to be powerful people and organizations and then use their newfound authority to espouse what they think those groups really believe. The Yes Men's most famous prank is placing a "corrected" WTO website at (GATT is the treaty that led to the WTO). The fake site began to receive real emails from confused visitors, including invitations to address various elite groups on behalf of the WTO, which they obligingly took up. Showing up in newly-purchased suits, The Yes Men gave speeches encouraging corporations to buy votes directly from citizens, arguing that the US Civil War was a waste of money because Third World countries now willingly supply equivalent slaves, and claiming that people should listen to the WTO, not the facts, because the WTO had a lot of experts.  Their experiences were documented in the film The Yes Men, distributed by United Artists, as well as the book The Yes Men: The True Story of the End of the World Trade.
  1. RTMark is an activist art collective that subverts the "Corporate Shield" protecting US corporations. RTMark is itself a registered corporation, which brings together activists who plan projects with donors who fund them. For their first prank, in the 1990s, they swapped the electronics of talking Barbie and GI Joe toys and then returned them to the store. They then issued a message as the "Barbie Liberation Organization."
  1.  Culture jamming has a long history. From Abbie Hoffman to Adbusters, this honorable occupation helps change the world for the better. Jamming is not yipping about yourself or playing fetch for some corporate master. Hacks are jams. Building a site to fill a void in your community is a jam. Jamming is helping to change the world around you. We here at like to do our small part.
  1. Google Bombing. From wikipedia: “ . . . the entire notion of "Google bombs" might be better described as "link bombing," given that these campaigns can certainly have an effect on other search engines, as well. All major search engines make use of link analysis and thus can be impacted. So, a search for "miserable failure" on June 1, 2005 brought up the official George W. Bush biography number one on Google, Yahoo and MSN and number two on Ask Jeeves. On June 2, 2005, Yooter reported that George Bush is now ranked first for the keyword 'failure' as well as 'miserable failure' in both Google and Yahoo. Other large political figures have been targeted for Google bombs . . . "Google bombing" was added to the New Oxford American Dictionary in May 2005.
  1. Audio Collages of Political Speeches. Politics is the practice of doublespeak. Fortunately, through the magic of creativity and relatively cheap digital audio editing tools, the speech of political creatures can finally be unspun, and the truth laid bare. These are galleries of translations of popular politicians as made by audio collage artists from around the planet. They are (as far as we know) works in the public domain and may be freely shared and used as fodder for further translation projects.
  1. Podcasting. Courtesy of WFMU’s Blog:  “Podcasting allows you to time-shift listening to radio shows you can’t usually catch, and gives you access to all sorts of amateur programmers who are going online with a wide variety of good, bad, and ugly programming. While lots of mainstream radio content is either unavailable as a podcast or requires you to give up some money to do so, there’s plenty of choices when it comes to subscribing to free podcasts. Too many really.” and


Alternative Media

1.   Alternative Press Center "is a non-profit collective dedicated to providing access to and increasing public awareness of the alternative press." Its site maintains both an extensive Online Directory of alternative press publications (everything from Abafazi, the Simmons College Journal of Women of African Descent, to Z Magazine, a political monthly) and Alternative Viewpoints on the Internet, links to more than 425 independent online resources. For more than a quarter of a century, the Alternative Press Index has been recognized as a leading guide to the alternative press in the United States and around the world.

2.   Alternet, a project of the Independent Media Institute, "provides a mix of news, opinion and investigative journalism on subjects ranging from the environment, the drug war, technology and cultural trends to policy debate, sexual politics and health issues." Most impressive is the site’s fully searchable article database of more than 7,000 stories from over 200 sources. Updated daily with the latest stories of note from alternative outlets across the country (with a means of easily e-mailing an article to friends and colleagues), Alternet also hosts an active forum in which users actively discuss news and events.

3.   Independent Media Center "is a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth." Best known for its efforts to provide grassroots coverage of the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in late 2000, a decentralized network of Indy Media centers now includes some 30 affiliates worldwide and another 28 across the US. Searchable in nine languages across multiple media (photos, videos, audio, and print), the IMC site also offers extensive opportunities for users to publish their own multimedia material, as well as opportunities to discuss current events and issues.

4.   MediaChannel "is concerned with the political, cultural and social impacts of the media, large and small," in an effort "… to provide information and diverse perspectives and inspire debate, collaboration, action and citizen engagement." Resources on the site include special reports, action toolkits for journalists and teachers, forums for discussion, an indexed directory of hundreds of affiliated groups, and a searchable database of online media issues. Updated daily, the site offers links to breaking stories and opinion from news outlets in the US and abroad.


5.   Znet, billing itself as "a community of people committed to social change," presents a dizzying array of resources and links, drawing on Z Magazine and organized around several themes: Crises and Struggles ("a series of ‘subsites’ devoted to ongoing hotspots and movements"), Watch Sites (everything from animal rights watch and anarchy watch to queer watch and race watch), Activism, and Parecon (participatory economics). Regular updates provide links to news and commentary from leading members of the alternative press corps.

6.   Invisible America

Digital Divide

1.   Investor Group Against the Digital Divide:  This organization connects academics and IT executives in order to close the digital divide, starting with Indonesia.


2.   The Digital Divide Network, produced by the Benton Foundation, examines "the causes and effects of the divide from four distinct angles: technology access, literacy and learning, content, and economic development." The site features a number of success stories and "best practice" strategies, along with a full complement of useful Web links.

3.   SeniorNet, approaching the digital divide issues from a different perspective, "provides adults 50+ access to and education about computer technology and the Internet to enhance their lives and enable them to share their knowledge and wisdom." In addition to a Web site that is full of tips and advice for those new to computers, SeniorNet also plays host to an online community, with active discussion forums and chat rooms, as well as overseeing more than 200 Learning Centers across the country where seniors can receive hands-on computer training.

4.   The Web Accessibility Initiative serves as a useful reminder that millions of Americans have other barriers to overcome. A project of the World Wide Web Consortium, WAI is committed to leading the Web to its full potential by "promoting a high degree of usability for people with disabilities." In coordination with organizations around the world, the project "pursues accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development." Especially as new incarnations of the Web (via interactive TV, for example) become nominally more "user-friendly," the work of WAI will become all the more important in ensuring that no one is needlessly left behind.

Global Projects

1.   Global Voices Online is a non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School. Global Voices is your guide to the most interesting conversations, information, and ideas appearing around the world on various forms of participatory media such as blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs. Each day they link to 5-10 of the most interesting blog posts from their regions in the “daily roundups” section. A larger group of contributing bloggers is posting daily features in the left-hand Weblog section, shedding light on what blogging communities in their countries have been talking about recently.

2.   CIVICUS "is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world," with a vision of creating a "worldwide community of informed, inspired, committed citizens engaged in confronting the challenges facing humanity." Targeting specific areas for citizen action (building democracy, promoting gender equality, fostering justice, promoting social inclusion, and fighting poverty) CIVICUS offers an Internet toolkit designed to assist its 522 member organizations to increase their online effectiveness. CIVICUS also offers an online Civil Society Index Survey, a diagnostic tool designed to assess the health of civil society in a particular nation by measuring the relative levels cooperative behavior, public-interest activities, voluntarism, freedom of speech and assembly, and similar civil society staples.

3., with 11 different national editions of its news and information site (including a version for the United States) "is an internet community of 978 organizations leading the way for human rights and sustainable development worldwide." Drawing on the resources of its member organizations, OneWorld offers news and analysis, special reports, campaigns (covering such issues as climate change, debt repayment, and the digital divide), and selective online shopping opportunities ("Putting the ‘ethical’ back into e-commerce"). Impressive overall, OneWorld has an agenda for its US site that is as idealistic as it is ambitious, seeking "to enhance the knowledge of U.S. citizens about international affairs/development. OneWorld US hopes to stimulate discussion and debate about international affairs and policy alternatives in the United States and encourage action leading to greater peace, justice, and equality at the global level."


4.   The Global Media Project at The Watson Institute for International Studies:  “The goal of the Global Media Project is to see what lies behind and beyond the screen, to study the expanding role of media in war and peace, and to produce new documentary media for human rights, cultural understanding, sustainable development, and global security.  It does so by bringing under one roof academic researchers, policy practitioners, and media producers, who together can provide critical analytical tools for international media makers, as well as create challenging global-interest media.”

5.   World Summit on the Information Society

6.   Blog Critics Magazine: [“An interactive community in which writers and readers from around the globe talk about stories, issues and products.”]

Bloody Everything – The Thinker

  1. Lawrence Lessig at Stanford Law School.  Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. He has won numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, and was named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries, for arguing "against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online." Professor Lessig is the author of Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). He chairs the Creative Commons project, and serves on the board of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge. Professor Lessig teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, and the law of cyberspace.

Big Media Meets Its Match – Utne Reader

   1.   A Media Reformer’s Handbook [Additional Books, Websites and Blogs]