Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

I blew the whistle on the NSA’s surveillance practices not because I believed that the United States was uniquely at fault, but because I believe that mass surveillance of innocents – the construction of enormous, state-run surveillance time machines that can turn back the clock on the most intimate details of our lives – is […]

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ETH lecture on Big Data: What it means, and who benefits

Linked to my last post on what I wrote recently for SciDev.net on Big Data, I recently gave a public lecture at the International Security Network, which is part of Zurich’s world renowned ETH University, on Big Data, ICTs and New Media in Times of Crisis. Far more memorable, for me, than the lecture itself […]

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Big Data: It should be about people and how it impacts their lives

On the invitation of SciDev.net, I wrote earlier this year an article looking at Big Data from the perspective of someone who lives in a country post-war, but reeling from systemic conflict, human rights abuse and under an illiberal, authoritarian regime. The article was published in April on SciDev.net’s site, as part of an excellent […]

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Silence over months: What I’ve been up to in Sri Lanka and internationally

It’s been a while since I updated this blog – nearly a year in fact. My previous post, in early July 2013 was around a presentation I made on digital archives at an exhibition in Colombo. Coincidentally, I am now preparing for another public talk on digital archives (Capturing the Ephemeral: Archiving our digital present), […]

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Digital Traces: Archiving in digital domains

Presentation delivered today at Open Edit, held at Park Street Mews, Colombo. A lively discussion ensued focussed around the politics of exclusion, power, the nature of corporate ownership over archived web content, questions over the nature of access, retention, formats, fundamental questions over the right to be forgotten and the interest of some to not […]

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From hate and harm to aid and advocacy: Angelo Fernando’s ‘Chat Republic’

Cross-posted from Groundviews. ### Angelo Fernando, in addition to being a long-standing columnist in the Lanka Monthly Digest (LMD) is also the author of a new book, Chat Republic: How Social Media Drives Us To Be Human 1.0 in a Web 2.0 World. We begin our conversation on matters digital and online by looking at how Angelo’s father […]

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Media Innovation at the World Editors Forum 2013

Innovation and paywalls were the buzzwords at the  20th World Editors Forum (WEF) and the 65th World Newspaper Congress, held recently in Bangkok, Thailand. There was hardly any panel which didn’t address the ostensible merits of establishing a paywall, or how innovation – proposed and perceived mostly as mobile app development, responsive web design or changes […]

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#AskLW Twitter Q&A on 19 June 2013: Asking was easy; getting answers was not…

Originally posted on Open Minds! (formerly: Moving Images blog):
Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 8.31.53 PM Courtesy Groundviews.org Along with dozens of tweeps, I took part in an interesting Twitter Q&A session with Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka, which unfolded from 14:30 to 16:00 Sri Lanka Time on 19 June 2013. Our…

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Safety tips and security guidelines for Facebook

Given the vituperative pushback of the BBS online against those who participated in the vigil in Colombo a few weeks ago, immediate measures to secure content posted on to web based social media platforms are essential to protect one’s own privacy, and those of family, friends and colleagues.  Engaging in liking content on Facebook, featuring […]

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New media and citizen journalism: The case of Groundviews

Presented the work I had done with Groundviews to a group of activists from South Asia recently, noting that using social media platforms on the web, combined with mobiles, it is increasingly possible to bear witness to and report on inconvenient truths, no matter what the timbre of government. I also flagged that in contexts […]

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