The Challenge

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How can we strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation? read the brief

Announcement

Congratulations to the winners of the Knight News Challenge. Read the announcement.
Via its network of 80 branches, Chicago Public Library (CPL) is the city's largest provider of free Internet access. CPL supports digital literacy and skill development by providing in-library experts, CyberNavigators, who help Chicagoans through 98,000 Internet basics sessions per year, focusing on tasks like creating an email account or completing job applications or finding credible health information. Recent studies have shown that, although outreach and training are partially effective in improving Internet use in low-income communities, the lack of access in the home remains a significant barrier. CPL proposes to attack this problem by providing FREE LOANED HOTSPOTS, along with loaned laptops, and enhanced, targeted skills training.

Chicago Public Library Increases Internet Access Through its Innovative "Hotspot at Home" Program; lending service will include laptops and digital skills training.

Via its network of 80 branches, Chicago Public Library (CPL) is the city's largest provider of free Internet access. CPL supports digital literacy and skill development by providing in-library experts, CyberNavigators, who help Chicagoans through 98,000 Internet basics sessions per year, focusing on tasks like creating an email account or completing job applications or finding credible health information. Recent studies have shown that, although outreach and training are partially effective in improving Internet use in low-income communities, the lack of access in the home remains a significant barrier. CPL proposes to attack this problem by providing FREE LOANED HOTSPOTS, along with loaned laptops, and enhanced, targeted skills training.
Thumbnail : Citizen empowerment increasingly depends on whether the Internet platforms, services, and products we depend on can protect and respect our rights to free expression and privacy.

Ranking Digital Rights: Holding tech companies accountable on freedom of expression and privacy

We are developing a system to assess, compare, and rank the world’s most powerful tech companies on free expression and privacy criteria. Why? If the Internet is to be a platform for free expression and innovation, companies that control and shape much of our online lives – Internet and telecommunications companies, software producers, and mobile device and networking equipment manufacturers – must respect and protect users' rights. Ranking Digital Rights will produce a ranking or index, that will score companies on what they are (and aren't) doing to respect free expression and privacy. The data we generate will equip advocates, policymakers and investors with the facts needed to hold companies accountable.
Thumbnail : Images from the National Archives, the Leslie Jones Collection at the Boston Public Library, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries, the State Library of North Carolina, and the Durham (NC) Public Library

Getting it Right on Rights: Simplifying, Harmonizing, and Maximizing the Openness of Rights in Digital Libraries around the World

Large-scale collections like the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, Trove, and DigitalNZ have enriched the free web by making openly available tens of millions of items from libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage sites from their respective countries or continents. This burgeoning public commons is weakened, however, by a lack of common agreement over rights statements on these items, inconsistent international copyright law, and risk aversion among many nonprofit institutions. We will bring together these international projects to harmonize and evangelize a simpler rights structure, one that includes ways for works of all types, including materials with unclear or no known rights, to be made available to the public.
Thumbnail : TextSecure for Android's look and feel.

TextSecure: Simple Private Communication For Everyone

Open Whisper Systems is an Open Source project focused both on advancing the state of the art of secure protocols, as well as making secure communication more accessible for everyone. One of the project's apps, TextSecure, is designed to make secure end to end encrypted chat with friends, colleagues, and groups as simple and frictionless as sending a normal text message. We want to make encryption completely invisible and make "private" the "new normal."
Thumbnail : Check Out the Internet: Libraries Lending Internet Access

Check Out the Internet: Libraries Lending Internet Access

The goal of this project is to expand the reach and benefits of free access to the Internet provided by The New York Public Library (NYPL) to underserved youth and communities by allowing them to borrow portable WiFi Hotspot devices from their local libraries for a sustained period of time. This service would substantially expand the Internet access that is currently available only when libraries are physically open; with this effort, patrons would bring the Internet into their homes, 24 hours a day.
Thumbnail : Check Out the Internet: Libraries Lending Internet Access

OnlineCensorship.org - Protecting Free Expression on the World's Most Powerful Commercial Social Media Platforms

OnlineCensorship.org is a new online free speech project arising from the critical need for a more systematic approach to resolving free expression cases on the world's most powerful social media platforms. The project’s goal is to defend and advocate for the speech rights of civil society groups, grassroots activists, citizen media makers, and independent journalists on social media. OnlineCensorship.org is the first project to attempt to systematically solicit “incident reports” on these cases, collect data on their prevalence, and test possible steps for addressing them.
Thumbnail : CODE2040's Summer Fellows Program places high performing Black and Latino/a software engineering students in internships with top tech companies and provides them with mentorship, leadership training, and network development to ensure their position in the innovation economy.

Strengthen the internet by ensuring that Black and Latino/a students are the creators not just the consumers of the internet!

A strong internet is an inclusive internet both accessed + created by a diverse group of people. Today, people of color are highly represented as consumers of content online, but only 9% of the internet’s creators (the tech workforce) is Black or Latino and <1% of venture-backed tech companies have a Black or Latino founder. Blacks and Latinos are among the fastest-growing portion of the populations, and tech jobs are the fastest growing segment of the US economy. Yet at the rate we're matching talent with tech jobs we'll have 1 million unfilled by 2020. An inclusive tech workforce is necessary for a strong internet + an innovative economy. CODE2040 creates pathways to success for Blacks and Latinos in the innovation economy.
Thumbnail : CODE2040&#039;s Summer Fellows Program places high performing Black and Latino/a software engineering students in internships with top tech companies and provides them with mentorship, leadership training, and network development to ensure their position in the innovation economy.

Who are the gatekeepers of the internet, cable and satellite infrastructures in Eastern Europe? Mapping and Investigating media distribution providers.

We have investigated media ownership in Eastern Europe for the past few years. Questions concerning media outlets, their transparency, their political connections and their links to crime have already started to receive answers. However, albeit essential for our freedom and potential to make inform decisions, the nature of media ownership is just one facet of the picture. Thus, TV stations, online news outlets and all other forms of digital providers of processed information must pass through infrastructure gatekeepers: internet service providers, cable and satellite operators. We want to screen these providers and operators through the same filters through which media owners were analyzed, and we want to share our findings with you.
Thumbnail : CODE2040&#039;s Summer Fellows Program places high performing Black and Latino/a software engineering students in internships with top tech companies and provides them with mentorship, leadership training, and network development to ensure their position in the innovation economy.

Global Censorship Measurement

Leverage our skills as M-Lab developers to launch global censorship measurement tools that can produce robust, global data and clear visualizations that will inform the public about Internet censorship activity.
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