How can we ensure women everywhere have online access to free and reliable information about their sexual and reproductive rights?

Artwork by Noa Snir

Women everywhere need access to information on their sexual and reproductive rights. The availability of this information is crucial to women’s full enjoyment of healthy sexuality, prevention of unwanted pregnancy, access to prenatal healthcare, and access to safe abortion.

Many states, even those with progressive laws on sexual and reproductive rights, are still failing to provide meaningful access to accurate information, particularly on abortion. The internet has become one of the main sources of information on sexual and reproductive health, especially when governments fail to fulfill these obligations.

Human rights organisations strive to provide reliable, accurate information through their websites…

How should we deal with the rise in online defamation cases in the wake of #MeToo?

Artwork by Noa Snir

The global proliferation of #MeToo has been a stark illustration of the power of the internet as a platform for speech against sexual violence. Survivors continue to effectively use social media to speak out on their own terms — and, as a New Jersey court recently acknowledged, as informal “whisper networks” to inform others about predators.

In retaliation, accused abusers are increasingly filing defamation lawsuits that inflict a considerable financial, temporal, and emotional toll on survivors, who are often forced to relive traumatic events and watch as their sexual lives are opened to scrutiny. …

Artificial intelligence is changing the way we live, but its biases can adversely affect LGBTI communities.

Artwork by Noa Snir

The development of artificial intelligence is changing our lives. In some ways, this is for the better. But AI also has significant implications for issues such as our privacy, digital security, social issues such as discrimination and diversity, and even our jobs.

And, when it comes to marginalised groups, the application of AI can pose serious risks, including for LGBTI people.

Many people assume that AI can improve non-biased decision-making, because they associate computers with logic and imagine that algorithms are devoid of human biases or limitations.

In reality, however, the algorithms used in AI are developed by humans, who…

What do we even mean by “feminist technology”, and why is it so important?

Artwork by Noa Snir

Feminist infrastructure is a vast ecosystem: it is what supports, sustainably, the advancement of feminist struggles.

The ways in which we develop and use information and communication technologies are irretrievably shaped by the weight of patriarchy, capitalism, and colonialism. Feminist theories of technology expose the sexism and androcentrism that pervade technological production and consumption, and challenge ethnocentric, Westernised, and universalising perspectives of technologies.

The fantasy that technology is typically created by white men in basements, laboratories, or military bunkers, for instance, has only been sustained by the erasure of the contributions of women and non-binary, LGBTIQ+, and BPOC individuals and…

Headlines can’t get enough of smart cities, but are they worth the enormous trade-offs for our digital rights?

Illustration of a giant, surveilling spider with many legs spreading into a digitised city popping up from a smartphone
Illustration of a giant, surveilling spider with many legs spreading into a digitised city popping up from a smartphone
Artwork by Cynthia Alonso

We’ve all seen the sleek and modern renderings of future “smart cities” adorning tech websites and magazine features. These images are architectural visions, made up of undulating skyscrapers, rooftop parks and self-driving cars running on trafficless roads. Sometimes there are even flying saucers, or giant drones, gliding through the clear, pollutant-free skies.

Headlines can’t seem to get enough of these “smart cities”. They are presented as the catch-all solution to the unsustainability of dense, smoggy urban centres, thanks to built-in digital technologies maximising the efficiency of everything from bins to streetlamps. …

Is the tide beginning to turn for the so-called digital gig economy?

Illustration of a smartphone in a hand, with various people driving vehicles around the digital routes
Illustration of a smartphone in a hand, with various people driving vehicles around the digital routes
Artwork by Cynthia Alonso

One out of 10 workers in the EU is employed by a digital platform such as Deliveroo or Uber. It’s a colossal figure, and one that would’ve been unimaginable only 10 or so years ago.

But alongside their meteoric rise, these platforms have become notorious for their questionable approach to workers’ rights. The digital age has brought with it new means of exploitation and responsibility-shirking by employers, from hidden algorithms to dubious new working models.

Now, however, the tide is starting to turn. …

Despite the headlines, artificial intelligence is no silver bullet to society’s ills. In many ways, it’s actually part of the problem.

Artwork by Cynthia Alonso

Artificial intelligence is no futuristic, dystopian notion. When we hear “AI”, we often think of sci-fi: Arnold Schwarznegger’s fierce Terminator, the machinic overlords from The Matrix, or the pitiful boy robot from Spielberg’s frankly titled AI.

But AI is not a distant reality, and in most cases, it looks nothing like a robot. AI is very much with us in the here and now, and it’s already determining our lives in ways we are not even aware of.

AI has a host of different names and applications, including machine learning, automated decision-making, algorithms, computer vision, and facial recognition. …

In many cases, the problems at the heart of facial recognition run deeper than bias alone.

Artwork by Cynthia Alonso

In recent months, the troubling issue of facial recognition has hit headlines.

Following the explosion of Black Lives Matter protests around the globe, a highly publicised moratorium on facial recognition by several big tech companies, and even a segment on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, people have become alert to the many dangers of this mushrooming technology.

In light of the calls for racial justice sweeping the globe, the issue of bias in facial recognition systems has ignited particular anger. But, in many cases, the problems at the heart of facial recognition run deeper than bias alone.

By Sheetal Kumar

A couple of years ago, the global telecommunications company, Ericsson, doubled its estimate of the number of ‘things’ (or devices) expected to be connected to the internet by 2023: it now expects 30 billion connected devices by this time.

This will seem like an abstract number to anyone who doesn’t follow the “internet of things” or “IoT” industry — but what it means for us in reality is that we will be surrounded by more and more things which collect, receive, and transmit data about our daily lives, including personal and sensitive data about our locations, our habits, our political…

By Steve Song

The idea of a “splinternet” or “Balkanization” of the internet is not new, although the exact manner by which this is becoming a reality is evolving.

Early discussions on the topic focused around cultural or policy differences and extraterritoriality that could result in a fractioned internet. For example, China’s Great Firewall is implementation of a national policy which creates an “intranet” connected to the greater Internet.

However, there is another shift in internet infrastructure that is less talked of and even more fundamental to its functioning — the physical backbone of fibre-optic cables crossing oceans and international borders that enables…

Digital Freedom Fund

The Digital Freedom Fund supports partners in Europe to advance digital rights through strategic litigation. https://digitalfreedomfund.org/

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