Community Engagement

Quick Hit: Civil Rights on the Airwaves

January 10, 2012
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The Open Technology Initiative at New America hosted an event yesterday "Civil Rights on the Airwaves: Building Community Radio in Communities of Color." A panel of experts in media access, community radio, and racial and social justice convened to discuss the opportunities for developing community-based radio in underserved and marginalized communities. The ensuing conversation provided a rich look at the intersections of media, racial justice, and ownership. The video of the event is available here.

The Internet’s Intolerable Acts

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
December 8, 2011 |

The United States of America was forged in resistance to collective reprisals—the punishment of many for the acts of few. In 1774, following the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed a series of laws—including the mandated closure of the port of Boston—meant to penalize the people of Massachusetts. These abuses of power, labeled the "Intolerable Acts," catalyzed the American Revolution by making plain the oppression of the British crown.

Hear Us Now?

  • By April Manatt, with Stephen G. Blake, Joe Mathews and Troy K. Schneider
October 20, 2011

Hidden in all the bad news about California’s troubles is this delightful paradox: Californians, while living in a state that experts say is ungovernable, have within their reach new tools that give them greater power to govern themselves than ever before.

Political Repression 2.0

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
September 1, 2011 |

Agents of the East German Stasi could only have dreamed of the sophisticated electronic equipment that powered Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s extensive spying apparatus, which the Libyan transitional government uncovered earlier this week. The monitoring of text messages, e-mails and online chats — no communications seemed beyond the reach of the eccentric colonel.

Our Web Freedom at the Mercy of Tech Giants

  • By
  • Rebecca MacKinnon,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2011 |

Wael Ghonim, Google executive by day, secret Facebook activist by night, famously declared right after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February: "If you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet."

Overthrowing a government is one thing. But building a sustainable democracy is turning out to be more difficult, and the Internet's role in that process is much less clear.

Why Google+ Will Be Something New

  • By
  • Konstantin Kakaes,
  • New America Foundation
July 28, 2011 |

I have a 74-year old aunt who lives in a small town in the mountains in Greece. She has never used a computer. But when she asked me what e-mail was, I could explain it to her easily. It isn’t different from paper mail in any essential way. It moves faster and it’s cheaper. It, so to speak, smells different, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

The Community Wireless Engineering Game: "Every Network Tells a Story"

July 20, 2011

When the Open Technology Initiative presented at the Allied Media Conference in June, many of the participants documented it with posts to Twitter and Flickr. We used Storify, an online tool for compiling social media, to arrange those pics and tweets into a narrative of our workshop and a tour of local wireless networks.

Lessons Learned from the Fight for Low-Power FM Radio: A Dream that Never Died

June 23, 2011

Hannah Sassaman, a Field Analyst with the Open Technology Initiative a board member at Allied Media Projects and a longtime organizer at Prometheus, wrote and adapted these thoughts in anticipation of the workshop she and others will be leading at the Allied Media Conference, Building a Movement with Media Policy Campaigns.

Wake-Up Call from a Fake Syrian Blogger

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
June 16, 2011 |

Some 14,000 Facebook users joined an online campaign to demand the release of Amina Araf, an outspoken lesbian blogger, from a Syrian prison. How awkward, then, to discover that Ms Araf was the invention of Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old failed American novelist, studying in Scotland.

Egypt: Not Just the Facebook Revolution

  • By
  • Romesh Ratnesar,
  • New America Foundation
June 3, 2011 |

"We prayed the revolution would succeed," says Magdy El Galad, the editor-in-chief of Al-Masry Al-Youm, the largest independent newspaper in Egypt. "Because if it failed, we would have been assassinated." A wry smile crosses his face. He's joking, sort of.

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