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The rapid emergence of a multipolar world and the growing political and economic importance of a range of powers including China, India, Brazil and South Africa is increasingly having a significant impact on support for, and repression of, free expression. Many key international issues, from human rights to climate change and free trade, are no longer dominated either by one particular world view or split simply between two rival powers. While China and Russia remain at the repressive end of the spectrum, how widely free speech is defended internationally depends increasingly on the positions of countries like India and Brazil as much as on the values and practices of the US and Europe. In all these democracies, free speech is still in the ascendant but with too many examples of excessive constraints from internet surveillance and takedown requests to criminalisation of offensive speech.
From Tunisia to China, activists and journalists are using technology to get vital news out and bring about change. As the battle to control information continues - from government surveillance and online blocking to big business to hacktivists and protesters - Index looks at the key players in the fight for digital freedom. With Rebecca MacKinnon & Ethan Zuckerman: Tools for the future Jennifer Granick: Damage control Gabriella Coleman: Beacons of freedom Eric King: Trade secrets Ahmed Mansoor: free expression in Dubai Milton Mueller: Revolution in crisis Heather Bond: Ushahidi and crowd wisdom Pranesh Prakash: India's internet jam Hu Yong: microblogging in China Alex McGillivray on Twitter Frontline SMS: Anchor to the world. PLUS Fault lines: religion, culture and censorship with Edna Fernandes, Svetlana Mintcheva and Brad Adams AND Fiction from Roma Tearne and Jamal Ali's modern fable.
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