Politics and the Internet

Dutton, William H. with the assistance of Elizabeth Dubois (2014) (ed.) Politics and the Internet. London and New York: Routledge. See: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415561501/

Delighted to see the first pre-publication copy of the four volume set on Politics and the Internet, edited by me with the assistance of Elizabeth Dubois. It is within a larger set of books published in the Critical Concepts in Political Science series by Routledge. Designed as a reference for libraries and scholars within this area, eighty four chapters reprint work that is foundational to the study of politics and the Internet, comprising four volumes:

I. Politics in Digital Age – Reshaping Access to Information and People

II. Compaigns and Elections

III. Netizens, Networks and Political Movements

IV. Networked Institutions and Governance

Politics and the Internet

A common complaint of the Internet age is that we have little time to look back, and therefore risk giving inordinate attention to the most recent work. It is certainly the case that the study of politics and the Internet is developing at such a pace that it will be far more difficult to reflect the full range of research over the coming decades. However, this collection is designed to be of value well into the future by capturing key work in this burgeoning and increasingly important field and making it accessible to a growing international body of scholars who can build on its foundations. I hope you suggest this reference for your library.

OeSS Seminar at the OII: The Town Hall in the Digital Era of Social Media: 5 March 2012 from 14.00-15.00

Andrea Kavanaugh from the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech will be visiting the OII on Monday 5th March and will be giving a talk between 14:00 and 15:00 in the Meeting Room at 1 St Giles. If you would like to attend, please drop an email to: events@oii.ox.ac.uk

Andrea’s talk will be entitled: ‘Participation in the Town Square in the Era of Web 2.0’. It is a unique case study of using computational approaches – eResearch – to enhance community discussion. Here is a brief abstract:

Collective decision-making is central to the quality of life in communities, towns, and city neighbourhoods throughout the US whether it is routine and long term planning or timely and critical follow up to crises. How can social software together with network analysis and data mining help to harness and model these myriad online resources and social interactions to support and foster broader and more diverse civic participation in America’s communities? We envision a single unified and comprehensive site – what we are calling a Virtual Town Square based on an automated, continuous aggregation of locally relevant online content generated elsewhere by others with aggregated and built-in social interaction and discussion. Our research objectives are to: 1) design, build and investigate a virtual town square (VTS) for geographic communities; 2) model communication behaviour and effects related to the use of social software, including VTS, by diverse users (e.g., civic participation, social interaction, political/collective efficacy); 3) conduct computational analyses on complex data derived from content in VTS and related uses of social software to identify and analyze implicit social and information networks, and to track and model the flow of information throughout the community.

Andrea Kavanaugh

A Fulbright scholar and Cunningham Fellow, Andrea Kavanaugh is Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director of the interdisciplinary research Center for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her research lies in the areas of social computing and communication behavior and effects. Dr. Kavanaugh leads research on the use and social impact of information and communication technology funded primarily by the National Science Foundation. Prior to joining the HCI Center in 2002, Dr. Kavanaugh served as Director of Research for the community computer network known as the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) from its inception in 1993. She holds an MA from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Environmental Design and Planning (with a focus on the telecommunications sector) from Virginia Tech.  She served on the Board of the International Telecommunications Society (2002-08) and currently serves as Treasurer (formerly Secretary) on the Board of the Digital Government Society (DGS). More detail at http://www.cs.vt.edu/user/kavanaugh; she can be reached at kavan@vt.edu.

Advice to Ofcom

The Advisory Committees to Ofcom have created a blog site to provide useful information of relevance to anyone with a serious interest in communication issues across the communities and nations of the UK and Northern Ireland. It is designed to inform members of the various advisory committees to Ofcom. It will accomplish this by using the Internet to tap the wisdom of individuals across the UK and Northern Ireland, or anywhere in the world, with either local knowledge, such as what is happening in your community, or expertise in a particular area, whether it be mobile communication, broadcasting, telecommunications, or any of the many specialized topics discussed by the advisory committees. I’d like to invite you to take a look at the site, add your comments as your interests and expertise permits, and let me know if you have thoughts on how to improve the site.

Advice to Ofcom

 

Internet Governance and National Digital Policies, Paris, 9-10 November 2011

Internet Governance and National Digital Policies

Paris, 9-10 November 2011 (noon on 9 November – noon on 10 November)

International Diplomatic Academy

A UK ESRC Digital Policy Forum in Collaboration with the International Diplomatic Academy, Paris, organized by the International Diplomatic Academy and the Oxford Internet Institute as one of a series of seminars on ‘Digital Policy’. This seminar is supported by Afilias and the ESRC Seminar Series, entitled ‘Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity & Rights’[1].

Purpose

Digital policy initiatives are emerging in nations across the world amidst a transnational effort to coordinate Internet governance, most prominently through the Internet Governance Forum. This seminar brings together key participants in global and national initiatives to govern the Internet. The seminar will seek to describe the state of developments within the IGF, and discuss the ways that national developments interact with transnational efforts, such as the IGF.  Each aspect will be addressed in one of the half-day sessions.

Outline Agenda

1 – Evolution of the global IGF

The meeting will begin at noon on 9 November, with a first half-day session focusing on developments within the IGF, reflecting on the 2011 IGF in Nairobi. It will discuss the differing views regarding how much change can be brought to the IGF without losing what makes its value, at what speed such improvements can be introduced, and the role of the IGF within the larger ecosystem of organizations and actors dealing with Internet-related issues, particularly the UN, ITU, or ICANN. The session will not aim at developing a consensus, but seek to inform and stimulate debate about the future of the IGF.

Discussion will continue informally over a reception and dinner.

2 – National Internet Governance and Policy: Recent Initiatives and their Implications

The second half-day session on 10 November (9am to noon) will focus on national developments, including the role of national IGFs, but include any initiatives in policy or governance of the Internet. The objective is to understand the possible implications of national efforts to govern the Internet and their impact on international efforts.

Participation

Participation in the seminar will be limited to about 25 invited participants, but a summary of the discussions will be prepared for a wider audience. All participants will be encouraged to prepare a very short (1 page) position paper on each of the two topics that will be explored.

Organizers

William Dutton, Professor of Internet Studies, OII

Bertrand de La Chapelle, Program Director at the International Diplomatic Academy and member of the ICANN Board of Directors

Desiree Miloshevic, Senior Public Policy Adviser at Afilias, ISOC Advisory Council Co-Chair, Afilias, and Visiting Industry Associate, OII


[1] (RES-451-26-0849) 2011-13

Creating an Information Sharing Environment in the Public Sector: Talk on 8 April 2011

This was an important talk about information sharing in the public sector, given by one of the key people seeking to create an information sharing environment for the US government.  It was entitled:

‘The Need for Achieving Appropriate Information Sharing and Information Protection’

I was held on Friday, 8 April 2011 at 16.00-17.30 at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 1 St Giles Oxford OX1 3JS

The slides are posted on Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/WHDutton/information-sharing-and-protection and an audio recording of his talk should be posted in due course in the OII’s Webcasting archive.

Speakers

Abstract

In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the United States began a historic transformation aimed at preventing future attacks and improving its ability to protect institutions at home and abroad. As a result, the US is now better informed of terrorist intentions and plans, and better prepared to detect, prevent, and respond to their actions. Enhanced information sharing has provided a greater capacity for coordinated and integrated action.

The Information Sharing Environment (ISE, www.ise.gov) was established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. The ISE provides analysts, operators and investigators with integrated and synthesized information on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and homeland security. This talk will describe what the ISE is and by doing so will explore post-9/11 information sharing in the United States, and the efforts being made towards information sharing and protection. David will also give a brief outline of on-going ISE development efforts.

In essence, this talk highlights that when examining the full scope of information sharing and protection, there are many widespread and complex challenges that must be addressed and solved by multiple agencies together. Policies and solutions should be framed to address all types of protected information, classified and unclassified, as critical national and homeland security issues cut across security domains. Protection also includes privacy and civil liberties protections. Without privacy and civil liberties protections, sharing is not possible; and without sharing, protection loses its relevance.

About David Bray

Dr. David A. Bray is Executive for Innovation, Integration, and Interoperability, Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment. He  joined the Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) in October 2010 as a Senior National Intelligence Service Executive. The Program Manager has government-wide authority to plan, oversee the build-out, and manage use of the ISE to implement the President’s information sharing priorities. Dr. Bray’s work focuses on empowering the ISE partnerships of five communities – Defense, Intelligence, Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, and Law Enforcement – in support of whole-of-government solutions for assured information sharing, protection, and access. Prior to joining ISE, Dr. Bray served as a strategist at the Institute for Defense Analyses and the Science and Technology Policy Institute. Dr. Bray holds a PhD in information systems, a MSPH in public health informatics, and a BSCI in computer science and biology from Emory University, alongside two post-doctoral associateships with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Collective Intelligence and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Leadership for a Networked World Program. He also serves as a Visiting Associate with the National Defense University.

UNESCO Publication on Freedom of Connection – Book Launched and Accessible in Print and Online

Our manuscript has been published by UNESCO in a print edition, also available online.  The citation is:

William H. Dutton, Anna Dopatka, Michael Hills, Ginette Law, and Victoria Nash (2011), Freedom of Connection – Freedom of Expression: The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet. Paris: UNESCO, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace.

There was a launch event in Paris on 30 May, with a press release providing details on the launch and access to the online and print versions of the manuscript at: http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=31418&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Networking Distributed Public Expertise: Strategies for Citizen Sourcing Advice to Government

My paper on ‘Networking Distributed Public Expertise: Strategies for Citizen Sourcing Advice to Government’ is one of a series of Occasional Papers in Science and Technology Policy, Science and Technology Policy Institute (TPI), Institute for Defense Analyses, Washington DC. I will post the abstract below and would welcome comments, directly or to this blog.

Networking Public Expertise

Abstract

The potential of crowd sourcing has captured the imagination of many managers and professionals across all sectors of society, but left many others quite skeptical. This is not only because conceptions of the wisdom of crowds appear counter-intuitive, but also, if taken literally, these concepts can be misleading and therefore dysfunctional for governments seeking to adopt innovations in distributed collaboration. This paper challenges conventional notions of the wisdom of crowds, arguing that distributed intelligence must be well structured by technical platforms and management strategies. After clarifying these conceptual issues, the paper explains how collaborative networking can be used to harness the distributed expertise of citizens, as distinguished from citizen consultation, which seeks to engage citizens – each on an equal footing. Networking the public as advisors aims to involve experts on particular public issues and problems distributed anywhere in the world. The paper then describes the lessons learned from previous efforts to citizen source advice, and why governments should again pursue this strategy as a means to inform policy and decision-making. This is followed by a set of nine strategies for fostering the bottom-up development of governmental initiatives aimed at harnessing distributed public expertise.

 

If there is any difficulty obtaining this paper, a copy is available on SSRN at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1767870