Institutions, programs, initiatives, projects…
The Internet and society
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University • Research center with a mission to “explore and understand cyberspace; to study its development, dynamics, norms, and standards; and to assess the need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions.” At Harvard University. Connected with: Herdict, OpenNet Initiative
Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University • “Engages in research, training, and teaching, and organizes intellectual and policy dialogues aimed at increasing public understanding of economic and political development.” Includes the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. @StanfordCDDRL @Liberationtech
The Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford University • Studies the “interaction of new technologies and the law to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public goods like free speech, innovation, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry.” @StanfordCIS
Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) at Princeton University • An interdisciplinary “nexus of expertise in technology, engineering, public policy, and the social sciences” with a research program into digital technologies and their interaction with society.
Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School • “An intellectual center addressing the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society, guided by the values of democracy, human development, and social justice.” @yaleisp
Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto • “Focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights.” Based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Involved with: Infowar Monitor, OpenNet Initiative. @CitizenLab
Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University • “An academic centre for the study of the societal implications of the Internet.”
New Political Communication Unit at the University of London • Research unit at Royal Holloway College explores how “new media and communication technologies” results in “new political behaviour, institutions and policy challenges” and “new theoretical dilemmas.” @newpolcom
Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) • DC-based think tank “provides strategic insights and policy solutions to decision makers in government, international institutions, the private sector, and civil society.” Topics include cybersecurity and technology policy.
The Centre for Internet & Society in Bangalore • Critically engages “with concerns of digital pluralism, public accountability and pedagogic practices in the field of Internet and Society, with particular emphasis on South-South dialogues and exchange.” @cis_india
Institut für Internet & Gesellschaft at Humboldt University in Berlin • New Google-funded initiative collects “leading academics to engage in innovative research focusing on questions of Internet innovation, Internet policy, information and media law and global constitutionalism.” @WebForschung
Cybernorms Research Group • Initiative by the Sociology of Law department at Sweden’s Lund University to explore “the norm-creating processes” that appear in the wake of evolving information technology. Looks set to become the Lund University Internet Institute (LUII). @cybernorms
Nexa Center for Internet and Society • Independent research center at the Politecnico of Torino “focusing on quantitative and interdisciplinary analysis of the force of the Internet and of its impact on society.” Aims to “become a point of reference in Europe, interacting with the European Commission, regulators, local and national governments, as well as with business and other institutions.” Facebook page @nexacenter
Internet & Society Co:llaboratory • An “open think tank” initiated by Google Germany that engages in thematic initiatives lasting several months, bringing together experts to answer societal questions in the tech sphere. @IGcollaboratory
The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX) • Stanford University center working on “technologies ranging from initiatives that solve content licensing inefficiencies in today’s digital media markets, to initiatives that provide greater access to justice, and initiatives that increase transparency in public markets.”
Development and ICT
Center for Global Development • An “independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit think tank” that “works to reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community.” Also covers the impact of technology on development. @CGDev
World Wide Web Foundation • Envisions “a world where all people are empowered by the Web.” Sees a content gap, technology gap and research gap which it aims to overcome through programs “which advance the Web technically by breaking down barriers and building capabilities, and which advance the Web socially, as a medium that empowers people to bring about positive change.” Founded by Tim Berners-Lee. @webfoundation @timberners_lee
GroundTruth Initiative • Website and blog by Mikel Maron and Erica Hagen at their new media and technology consulting company “specializing in community-based participatory technologies, especially mapping and citizen journalism, in poor and marginalized regions throughout the world”.
IT For Change • Bengaluru, India-based NGO promoting the use of ICT in the global South for socio-economic change.
Spider • A Swedish resource center for ICT4D based at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV) at Stockholm University. Primarily financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). @spidercenter
Open Aid Partnership • A World Bank mapping initiative for open data to improve strategic planning, transparency and accountability of aid projects. Collaborates with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
Democratization and ICT
National democratic Institute (NDI) • A DC-based “nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.” @NDI
National Endowment for Democracy • A DC-based “private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.” Initiatives include the Center for International Media Assistance and the Journal of Democracy. @NEDemocracy
Association for Progressive Communications • Aims to promote use of ICT by social movements to further human development, social justice and “participatory political processes.” Based in Melville, South Africa.
Digital Democracy • Non-profit helps “marginalized communities to use technology to build their futures”. Promotes civic engagement through “digital technologies and programs that promote education, communication and participation.” @DigiDem
Crisis management and ICT
ICT4Peace Foundation • Geneva-based foundation “explores and champions the use of ICTs for crisis management, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding, and offers insights, strategic guidance and conduct after-action reviews of ICTs designed and deployed for such purposes.” @ict4peace
Ushahidi • A non-profit building information collection-, visualization- and mapping platforms “for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories.” Also used in crisis situations. @ushahidi
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) • Center aims to “relieve human suffering in war and disaster by advancing the science and practice of humanitarian response worldwide.” Tech-oriented programs include Crisis Mappers Net and the Satellite Sentinel Project.
KoBo Project • “Research expertise and open-source applications for mobile data collection” in conflict areas.
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team • HOT “acts as a bridge between the traditional humanitarian responders and the OpenStreetMap Community.” Activities include collecting data, coordinating the design of OSM tools, teaching data quality assurance, collaborating with data imagery providers, and OSM outreach.
Global media reform, citizen journalism, civic media
Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) • Works to “improve the effectiveness of media assistance programs throughout the world.” Highlights “the indispensable role independent media play in the creation and development of sustainable democracies around the world.” By the National Endowment for Democracy. @CIMA_Media
Center for Civic Media at MIT • “Creates and deploys technical and social tools that fill the information needs of communities.” A collaboration of the MIT Media Lab and Comparative Media Studies.
Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS) at Central European University in Budapest • Research center with expertise in fields including new media and technology, media and civil society, and fundamental communications rights. @CMCSatCEU
Knight Foundation • US-based Foundation “supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.” Journalism is supported through a focus on “funding media innovation, journalistic excellence, and freedom of expression.” Facebook page @knightfdn
Article 19 • NGO which “monitors, researches, publishes, advocates, campaigns, sets standards and litigates on behalf of freedom of expression wherever it is threatened.” With a section on ICTs and new media. Headquartered in London. @article19org
Media Access Project • US non-profit law firm and advocacy organization promoting the public interest before the FCC and US courts, “fighting for an open and diverse communications system that protects freedom of expression, promotes universal and equitable access to media outlets and telecommunications services, and encourages vibrant public discourse on critical issues facing our society.” @mediaaccess
Free Press • US-based advocacy group out to “change media and technology policies, promote the public interest and strengthen democracy. Free Press advocates for universal and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, vibrant public media and quality journalism.” @freepress
Net freedom, civil rights, privacy
Global Voices Advocacy • Seeks “to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online.” By Global Voices Online. @advox
Global Network Initiative • Promotes best practices for ICT companies to “respect and protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users.”
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) • “The leading civil liberties group defending your rights in the digital world.” Its main venue for action is US courts. “In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public.”
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) • US-based “public interest research center established to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.” @EPICprivacy
Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) • US-based “non-profit public interest organization working to keep the Internet open, innovative, and free,” and “to enhance free expression and privacy in communications technologies by finding practical and innovative solutions to public policy challenges while protecting civil liberties.” @CenDemTech
Save the internet Coalition • Working “to preserve Net Neutrality, the First Amendment of the Internet, which ensures that the Internet remains open to new ideas, innovation and voices.” A project by Freepress.
Open Technology Initiative (OTI) • “Promotes affordable, universal, and ubiquitous communications networks through partnerships with communities, researchers, industry, and public interest groups.” By the New America Foundation. @NewAmericaOTI
Access • “A global movement premised on the belief that political participation and the realization of human rights in the 21st century is increasingly dependent on access to the internet and other forms of technology.” @accessnow
Open Society Institute – Information Program • Initiative which “works to increase public access to knowledge, facilitate civil society communication, and protect civil liberties and the freedom to communicate in the digital environment.” @OpenSociety
European Digital Rights • 28 European privacy and civil rights organisations join forces “to defend civil rights in the information society,” because “more regulation regarding the internet, copyright and privacy is originating from European institutions, or from International institutions with strong impact in Europe.”
Open Rights Group (ORG) • “The UK’s leading voice defending freedom of expression, privacy, innovation, consumer rights and creativity on the net.” Also looks after the EU. @OpenRightsGroup Facebook page
Digital Due Process • A “coalition of privacy advocates, major companies and think tanks” aiming to modernize surveillance laws for the Internet, specifically the US Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).
La Quadrature du Net • French advocacy group pushing for “the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge.” Encourages citizen participation in “the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.” @laquadrature
The Public Voice • Coalition established by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) “to promote public participation in decisions concerning the future of the Internet”. Seeks to increase the presence of NGOs at meetings across the globe. @thepublicvoice
Students for Free Culture • An “international, chapter-based student organization that promotes the public interest in intellectual property and telecommunications policy.”
Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) at the University of Palermo, Buenos Aires • Research institution whose principal objective is “to produce reports that can be useful tools for those journalists, governmental institutions, and members of the private sector and civil society that are dedicated to the defense and promotion of these rights, especially in Latin America.” @CELEUP
BOLO BHI • Pakistan-based NGO “geared towards advocacy, policy and research in the areas of gender rights, government transparency, legislation, Internet freedom, digital security, privacy and empowerment”. @bolobhi
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) • “A not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world” that administers the Internet’s domain name system. @ICANN
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) • Open volunteer Internet standards organization comprised of network designers, operators, vendors and researchers “concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.” Responsible for basic Internet protocols such as TCP/IP.
W3C • An international multi-stakeholder community that develops and maintains open web standards such as HTML, XML and CSS, “to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.”
Internet Governance Forum (IGF) • A “multi-stakeholder” forum mandated by the UN Secretary-General to discuss Internet governance policy. Meets annually, also comprised of regional and national IGFs.
Internet Governance Project (IGP) • An “alliance of academics that puts expertise into practical action in the fields of global governance, Internet policy, and information and communication technology.” Publishes research and analysis on Internet governance, and is active in ICANN and the UN’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF) @IGPAlert
The Internet Society • A nonprofit which aims to “provide leadership in Internet related standards, education and policy.” Works to ensure “the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.” Location: Reston, VA and Geneva. @internetsociety
Internet Rights & Principles (IRP) • multi-stakeholder coalition aiming “to make rights on the Internet and their related duties, specified from the point of view of individual users, a central theme of the Internet Governance debate.” Facebook page
Accountability, transparency, openness
Sunlight Foundation • “A non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike.” @sunfoundation
Civic Commons • US-based “non-profit initiative that helps governments build and use shared and open technologies to improve public services, transparency, accountability, citizen participation, and management effectiveness, all while saving money.” @CivComs
Open Government Partnership • A “multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.” Overseen by a steering committee of governments and civil society organizations. Launched September 20, 2011 at Google NYC. @opengovpart
Do Tank at the New York Law School • AKA the Democracy Design Workshop, strives to “strengthen the ability of groups to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves by designing software and legal code to promote collaboration.”
Reboot • Uses technology to “help organizations that serve the public good develop better programs and services” in areas such as governance, international development & civic media. Based in New York. @theReboot
Open Knowledge Foundation • UK-based foundation seeks “a world in which open knowledge is ubiquitous and routine. We seek to promote open knowledge because of its potential to deliver far-reaching societal benefits.” @okfn
Transparency and Accountability Initiative • A donor collaborative “working to expand the impact and scale of transparency and accountability interventions” in governments, companies and other institutions. One focus is on new technologies that “enable citizens to get closer to the policy-making process.” @TAInitiative
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure • Global network of associations “dedicated to information about free and competitive software markets, genuine open standards and patent systems with lesser barriers to competition.” Publishes ACTA Blog. @FFII
OpeningParliament.org • “A forum for international collaboration on efforts to improve access to parliamentary information and share experiences and good practices” among parliamentary monitoring organizations. Sponsored by Sunlight Foundation, Open Society Foundations, NDI among others.
Movements.org • A “non-profit organization dedicated to identifying, connecting, and supporting grassroots digital activists from around the world who use technology to organize for social change.” @aym
DigiActive • “An all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping grassroots activists around the world use the Internet and mobile phones to increase their impact.” Purpose is to “promote and explain the digital tools of social change so activists can use them effectively.” Website currently in hiatus. @AfriNomad @DigiActive
Tactical Technology Collective • International NGO “helping human rights advocates use information, communications and digital technologies to maximise the impact of their advocacy work.” @Info_Activism
Project on Information Technology and Political Islam (PITPI) • “Investigating the politics of ICTs in Muslim societies, with special focus on political uses of digital media in MENA.” @p_ITPI
The Internet Defense League • Distributed system that allows websites to display alerts related to Internet freedom campaigns. By Center for Rights and Fight for the Future.
Center for Rights • Advocacy group organizing web-based campaigns defending Internet Freedom.
The Crypto Project • Organization “designed to assist and encourage anonymity and encryption research, development, and use” by providing “better software, security, and anonymity to individuals worldwide.” @cryptodotis
Chaos Computer Club • German hacker group, “Europe’s largest”, with activities supporting “free speech, free communication and internationalism on the World Wide Web” that range from “technical research and exploration on the edge of the technology universe through campaigns, events, publications and policy advice to the operation of anonymizing services and communications.” @chaosupdates
Mideast Youth • Hacktivist launchpad for digital projects that “amplify diverse voices of dissent with a specific focus on access to information, free speech and minority rights.” Authors of CrowdVoice and Ahwaa.org. @MideastYouth
Net freedom technology projects
Serval • Project vision: Telephony in regions without infrastructure (or where infrastructure has been turned off); either via a “mesh-based phone network between wifi-enabled mobile phones,” or as a “temporary, self-organising, self-powered mobile network formed with small phone towers dropped in by air.”
Open Mesh Project • Project vision: “A private, citizen-owned communications infrastructure” made from open-source components, so that people can communicate “without telephone or cable companies.” Building tools to circumvent internet shut-downs by state authorities. @shervin
Chokepoint Project • “Towards a distributed Internet infrastructure.” Aims to map the Internet’s nodes of control, and to explore “approaches to the decentralization of access in favor of guaranteeing connectivity as a counter-weight to the control of the Internet by nation states and corporate influence.” @ChokePointP
Abayima • non-profit founded in Uganda, working to create digital tools that “empower citizens when oppressive regimes use tech infrastructure against the public”. Creators of the Open Sim Kit mobile sim card hacking toolkit. @abayima
Commotion • “Open-source communication tool that uses mobile phones, computers, and other wireless devices to create decentralized mesh networks.”