Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month too all you tech-savvy, Internet loving folk out there!

Let’s Celebrate — by examining The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University’s October “2010 Circumvention Tool Usage Report” (CTU Report) — that examines the usage of web tools for circumventing Internet filtering.

There has been much buzz recently in the social media community about a recent article published in The New Yorker magazine titled “Small Media” by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell questions whether, despite creating greater awareness and arguably greater access, social media has ultimately hijacked more traditional forms of public activism such as protests and gatherings? Gladwell’s point should not easily be dismissed, even if one is inclined …

On October 15th, 2010, TechChange staff, advisory board members, friends and colleagues came together at our office in Washington, D.C. to reconnect about our progress and brainstorm ideas for our future. To learn more about who was there, what was discussed and what was achieved – keep reading!

In September 2010, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report titled “Looser Rein, Uncertain Gain,” A Human Rights Assessment of Five Years of King Abdullah’s Reforms in Saudi Arabia. In this report — in the “Greater Margin for Freedom of Expression” section — HRW discusses the paradox between King Abdullah creating a greater space for free expression, but still an ongoing repression of freedom to express critical opinions. HRW notes how the Saudi government censors free speech, with the help of legislation such as the 2007 Law to Combat Information Crimes, and how a new cyber law is brewing that would restrict expression via electronic media.

It’s hard for ICT4D evangelists to avoid the perception that they have an irrational belief that technology will immediately fix all the world’s problems. Malcolm Gladwell’s recent critique of technology for social change provides us with a great opportunity to consider what we are realistic to expect. I think most would agree with him that social media, when it works, functions by weak associations of public support—getting the Gap logo back—rather than high cost actions like facing off the Basij.​

Despite dramatic increases in global internet penetration, many people still depend on radio as their primary connection to the outside world. However, as inexpensive mobile phones are becoming widely available, a number of organizations are seeking to combine the popularity of radio programming with the interactivity of mobile phones to engage listeners, provide personalized content, and create a more active dialogue between civil society and decision makers.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead.

Margaret Mead spoken such simple words with such profound impact, and just recently, to an audience at George Mason University, Micheal Wesch made those same words come alive.

I just got back from the International Conference on Crisis Mapping (ICCM 2010) held at Tufts and Harvard Universities. The conference brought together key members of the NGO community, United Nations Agencies, private sector players like Google and Microsoft, and academics from various institutions. A number of TechChange friends were also in attendance: USIP, FrontlineSMS: Medic, Development …