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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.

ICT Works
Will We Have Free Worldwide Wireless Internet Access From Google?

"The last mile is the first mile of cost in Internet access. The barriers to connecting everyone to low-cost, high-speed bandwidth are many, and many people feel we are solving the problem with mobile data – connectivity via mobile phones.

But 3G or even 4G speeds pale in comparison to fiber and WiMax is in its infancy (and often expensive), which means 2G is what most of the world’s population has for access via mobiles. EDGE is just not that edgy. In fact, all these systems pale in comparison to what could be coming: free worldwide bandwidth by Google.”  READ MORE

Transparency International
Middle East and North African Governments have high risks of defence-related corruption

"Every country in the Middle East and North Africa assessed by the first of its kind Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index  leaves the door open to waste, impunity and security threats in the defence sector, because the majority lack the systems and the will to prevent corruption. The report for the region, launched today by Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme, measures how governments prevent and counter corruption in defence.

All 19 countries in the region are assessed to have high risk of corruption in the sector. Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen are found to have a critical level of defence corruption risk, meaning that there is hardly any accountability of defence and security establishments in all these states. The best-scoring countries in the region are Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.”  READ MORE

Business Insider
Twitter Makes Big Acquisition, Buys Social TV Analytics Company Bluefin Labs

"Twitter has acquired Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company that was founded in 2008, sources say.

Although we don't know the exact acquisition price, we were told this is Twitter's biggest acquisition to date.

(Presumably these sources were excluding Twitter's early stock  aquisition of Summize, which would now be worth ~$800 million.)

Prior to Bluefin Labs, Twitter's highest acquisition (as far as we can tell) was TweetDeck for $40 million in May 2011.”  READ MORE

Don’t build stuff – get people talking

"This event was organised by the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) to bring together academics and practitioners to debate the practical implications of the APPP synthesis report which argues that, ‘governance challenges are not fundamentally about one set of people getting another set of people to behave better. They are about both sets of people finding ways of being able to act collectively in their own best interests. They are about collective problem solving in fragmented societies hampered by low levels of trust’.

This note is a summary of the discussion that took place between Duncan Green (Senior Strategic Adviser, Oxfam) and David Booth (Director of APPP) looking at the implications of the APPP synthesis report, and a breakdown of the key themes that came out from the discussion that followed.”  READ MORE

Nieman Journalism Lab

Textizen wants to make civic engagement as easy as texting with a (really wonky) friend

"Wherever you live, it’s likely your local government makes big decisions without you. Should the city sell the old fire station to a condo developer? Where should the light-rail stops be located? In any given month, city councils, planning boards, and other committees make decisions that impact a community, and often with minimal input from residents. (Be honest: Did you want to take time to attend that committee meeting Tuesday night after a long day of work?)

Textizen, one of the winners of the mobile round of the Knight News Challenge, wants to give a boost to civic engagement through a suite of technology tools that allow residents to give feedback on community issues. Using its $350,000 award from Knight Foundation, Textizen will expand and begin working with cities around the country.”  READ MORE

Global Voices Advocacy
It's Time for Transparency Reports to Become the New Normal

"When you use the Internet, you entrust your thoughts, experiences, photos, and location data to intermediaries — companies like AT&T, Google, and Facebook. But when the government requests that data, users are usually left in the dark.

In the United States, companies are not required by law to alert their users when they receive a government request for their data. In some circumstances, they are explicitly prohibited from doing so. As part of our ongoing Who Has Your Back campaign, EFF has called on companies to be transparent by publishing their law enforcement guidelines and statistics on government requests for user data.”  READ MORE

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite




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