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Past and Emerging Themes in Policy and Internet Studies

What kind of research does the journal Policy & Internet publish? Editor Vili Lehdonvirta approaches the question from two angles; first, by examining the question empirically, through a brief thematic analysis of the articles published since its launch in 2009; second, by considering what kind of research the journal is likely to publish in the future, both in terms of what kind of trends can be seen emerging in policy and Internet research, as well as in terms of what challenges outlined in the journal’s original vision that continue to be pertinent today. Read the full editorial.

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The complicated relationship between Chinese Internet users and their government

The Chinese government has been incredibly successful and sophisticated in the way it has established control over the Internet in China, both over web content and public discourses about the Internet’s function in Chinese society. David Herold (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) discusses the results of a research project into how students in Shanghai talk about the Internet, arguing that even when criticising government controls and censorship, they do not genuinely challenge the status quo, but accept it as unavoidable and without alternatives.

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Chinese Internet users share the same values concerning free speech, privacy, and control as their Western counterparts

The OII’s Gillian Bolsover discusses the results of a survey of Internet users in more than 60 countries reported in a paper Social Foundations of the Internet in China and the New Internet World: A Cross-National Comparative Perspective co-written with William H. Dutton, Ginette Law and Soumitra Dutta. They suggest that users from China and other ‘emerging nations’ share many of the same fundamental values, such as freedom of expression and online privacy, as users from more established Internet nations.

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Is China changing the Internet, or is the Internet changing China?

The global shift in the population of Internet users from North America and Europe to ’emerging’ nations such as China, is one of the most dynamic social factors promising to shape Internet policy and practice in the coming years. Will the Internet remain free and global, or become increasingly controlled and fragmented by national boundaries? The OII’s William Dutton, co-convenor of the ICA preconference “China and the New Internet World” discusses the top-line questions that informed the discussions.

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The scramble for Africa’s data

Africa is fast becoming a source of ‘big data’, however there are big holes in the governance of the technology. The OII’s Linnet Taylor asks what can incentivise African countries’ citizens and policymakers to address privacy in parallel with (rather than after) the collection of massive amounts of personal data, how to devise privacy framework models for groups with restricted access to technology, and how such a system can be participatory enough to be relevant to the needs of particular countries and populations.

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Time for debate about the societal impact of the Internet of Things

Despite the growing ubiquity and connectivity of the consumer devices and other objects that make up the “Internet of Things”, very little is understood about the likely social impacts of the technology. Jeremy Crump is chair of the BCS Internet of Things working group and a Director at Cisco Systems. In February 2013 he chaired a joint BCS-OII seminar on the societal impact of the Internet of Things with Ian Brown (OII); a summary of the contributions is published on the BCS website.

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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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Welcome to the third issue of Policy & Internet for 2010. We are pleased to present five articles focusing on substantive public policy issues arising from widespread use of the Internet: regulation of trade in virtual goods; development of electronic government in Korea; online policy discourse in UK elections; regulatory models for broadband technologies in […]

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Our two-day conference is coming to a close with a keynote by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger who is soon to be joining the faculty of the Oxford Internet Institute as Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation. Viktor talked about the theme of his recent book“Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age”(a webcast of this keynote will […]

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Welcome to the second issue of Policy & Internet for 2010! We are pleased to present six articles which investigate the role of the Internet in a wide range of policy processes and sectors: agenda setting in online and traditional media; environmental policy networks; online deliberation on climate change; data protection and privacy; net neutrality; […]

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