Did Libyan crisis mapping create usable military intelligence?

Policy and Internet author Steve Stottlemyre discusses how users of online social networks took the initiative in collecting and processing data for use in the rebellion against the Qadhafi regime during the Libyan civil war of February-October 2011. He describes how some of the information crowd-sourced by crisis mappers – whether they knew it or not – met the minimum requirements to be considered tactical military intelligence, in accordance with U.S. joint military intelligence doctrine.

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Experiments are the most exciting thing on the UK public policy horizon

OII Professor Helen Margetts discusses how the massive growth in Internet-mediated interactions creates a need for innovative methods to research online activity. Experimental laboratories — where subjects participate in games or information-seeking tasks on networked computers — have been used by experimental economists for some time, but the great expansion in online social and commercial activity means that they have growing utility in sociology and political science.

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Uncovering the structure of online child exploitation networks

As the problem of child pornography online continues to grow, it has become imperative that law enforcement resources be allocated in the most efficient manner. Martin Bouchard of Simon Fraser University discusses the web-crawling tool he designed (with colleagues Bryce Westlake and Richard Frank) to automate the process of searching for child pornography websites, and to identify the ‘key players’ that should be prioritized by law enforcement agencies seeking to disrupt child exploitation networks.

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We are pleased to present the combined third and fourth issue of Volume 4 of Policy and Internet. It contains eleven articles, each of which investigates the relationship between Internet-based applications and data and the policy process. The papers have been grouped into the broad themes of policy, government, representation, and activism. POLICY: In December […]

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UK teenagers without the Internet are ‘educationally disadvantaged’

This is a repost of a University of Oxford press release reporting on work by Rebecca Eynon (OII) and Chris Davies (Dept of Education, Univ. Oxford) on how teenagers in the UK are using the internet and other mobile devices, recently published in their book Teenagers and Technology (2012, Routledge).

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Searching for a “Plan B”: young adults’ strategies for finding information about emergency contraception online

Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University discusses her study, co-authored with Heather Young and published in the journal Policy and Internet, suggesting that despite the availability of quality health information on the Web, many young people are unable to find accurate information about important health matters online. Hargittai, E. and Young, H. (2012) Searching for a “Plan B”: Young Adults’ Strategies for Finding Information about Emergency Contraception Online. Policy and Internet 4 (2).

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Understanding low and discontinued Internet use amongst young people in Britain

OII Research Fellow Dr Rebecca Eynon discusses how the rhetoric around young people’s uses of technology is leading to assumptions and practices that are likely to make some individuals even more excluded from society. The full report “On the Periphery? Understanding low and discontinued Internet use amongst young people in Britain” was funded by the Nominet Trust.

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The “IPP2012: Big Data, Big Challenges” conference explores the new research frontiers opened up by big data .. as well as its limitations

Recent years have seen an increasing buzz around how ‘Big Data’ can uncover patterns of human behaviour and help predict social trends. Most social activities today leave digital imprints that can be collected and stored in the form of large datasets of transactional data. Access to this data presents powerful and often unanticipated opportunities for […]

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