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Accession Number ADA589997
Title Internet Freedom and Political Space.
Publication Date 2013
Media Count 290p
Personal Author J. Martini J. E. Taylor L. H. Schwartz M. C. Libicki O. Tkacheva
Abstract Since 2008, the Department of State has spent $100 million to promote Internet freedom worldwide. This report examines whether and how furthering the 'freedom to connect' can empower civil society vis-a-vis public officials, make the government more accountable to its citizens, and integrate citizens into the policymaking process--and if so, through which mechanisms. To answer these questions, we examined how access to information online may affect freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and the right to cast a meaningful vote--the three dimensions that define political space. Using Egypt, Syria, China, and Russia as case studies, we examined how online freedoms altered state-society relations in those countries. We focused on three types of actors who may benefit from Internet freedom: Internet users, netizens, and cyberactivists. The first category comprises those for whom conventional media is the primary source of information and who only occasionally browse the web and rarely check their emails. The second category, referred to as 'netizens,' comprises those for whom the Internet has become an integral part of daily activities; they browse online news sources daily and actively engage in online discourse. The third category, cyberactivists, are those who employ the Internet to mobilize others behind a specific cause or to advance a specific agenda. In our case studies, we examined how enhancing online freedoms can affect political processes. In addition to contemporary cases, we included a case study of the effects of Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL) on political opinion and civil society development within the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as a way of grounding Internet freedom within the broader context of information freedom.
Keywords Accountability
Civic action
Information exchange
Information freedom
Internet freedom
Online communities
Political revolution
Public opinion
Radio free europe
Radio liberty
Social media

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 92 - Behavior & Society
92C - Social Concerns
62 - Computers, Control & Information Theory
Corporate Author Rand National Defense Research Inst., Santa Monica, CA.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Research rept.
NTIS Issue Number 1409
Contract Number N/A

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