Digital Media

Long Live Wiki-Diplomacy

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
January 20, 2011 |

Since the WikiLeaks scandal exploded at the end of last year, many commentators have declared this episode marks "the end of diplomacy." Nonsense.

For almost two centuries, even world leaders have feared that communications technology would marginalize diplomacy's special role in international relations.

When Lord Palmerston received the first diplomatic cable at London's Whitehall in the mid-1800s, he proclaimed, "This is the end of diplomacy!"

'Blood Libel': How Language Evolves and Spreads Within Online Worlds

  • By
  • C. W. Anderson,
  • New America Foundation
January 18, 2011 |

When Sarah Palin used the term “blood libel” to describe purported attacks on her and the Tea Party movement in the wake of Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tucson, some were left wondering why the former governor would use a phrase historically associated with anti-Semitism.

A Walled Wide Web for Nervous Autocrats

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
January 10, 2011 |

At the end of 2010, the "open-source" software movement, whose activists tend to be fringe academics and ponytailed computer geeks, found an unusual ally: the Russian government. Vladimir Putin signed a 20-page executive order requiring all public institutions in Russia to replace proprietary software, developed by companies like Microsoft and Adobe, with free open-source alternatives by 2015.

Wiki Rehab

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
January 7, 2011 |

American diplomacy seems to have survived Wikileaks's "attack on the international community," as Hillary Clinton so dramatically characterized it, unscathed. Save for a few diplomatic reshuffles, Foggy Bottom doesn't seem to be deeply affected by what happened. Certainly, the U.S. government at large has not been paralyzed by the leaks—contrary to what Julian Assange had envisioned in one of his cryptic-cum-visionary essays, penned in 2006.

How the Kremlin Harnesses the Internet

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
January 4, 2011 |

Hours before the judge in the latest Mikhail Khodorkovsky trial announced yet another guilty verdict last week, Russia’s most prominent political prisoner was already being attacked in cyberspace.

No, Khodorkovsky’s Web site, the main source of news about the trial for many Russians, was not being censored. Rather, it had been targeted by so-called denial-of-service attacks, with most of the site’s visitors receiving a “page cannot be found” message in their browsers.

Freedom.gov

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
January 3, 2011 |

A year ago this January, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the stage at Washington's Newseum to tout an idea that her State Department had become very taken with: the Internet's ability to spread freedom and democracy.

Hope Springs E-ternal

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
January 2, 2011 |

When, on a 2009 trip to China, Barack Obama proclaimed that “the more freely information flows, the stronger the society,” he was only echoing Ronald Reagan’s pronouncement (made in 1989) that “information is the oxygen of the modern age.” Most American politicians spent the two decades in between these statements — right until they hit the WikiLeaks iceberg — under the mysterious spell of information technology and its power to spread democracy.

The Net Delusion

January 4, 2011

“The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran in June 2009. Yet for all the talk about the democratizing power of the Internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. In fact, authoritarian governments are effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, disseminate cutting-edge propaganda, and pacify their populations with digital entertainment. Could the recent Western obsession with promoting democracy by digital means backfire?

In Defense of DDoS

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2010 |

Judging by the last two weeks, being an enemy of Julian Assange is only marginally less stressful than being Julian Assange. Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa, which all moved to cut ties with Assange's WikiLeaks after the site's release of diplomatic cables, have been the targets of distributed denial-of-service attacks from a group that calls itself "Anonymous." There is nothing fancy going on here. DDoS attacks simply aim to send more traffic to a target site than it can handle, slowing it down or making it temporarily unavailable.

Reimagining the Mission of International Broadcasting

December 8, 2010
Photo Credit: Radio Rover (Flickr)

Leading lights in the international broadcasting space will be congregating at New America this afternoon to weigh in on the subject of International Broadcasting and

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