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Internet Atlas - Tools for Digital Literacy

Andrej Petrovski — 03 Oct 2018
Based on existing studies and research about the digital environment in Serbia, its legal and technical features, usage and habits among Internet users, the SHARE Foundation aims to produce tools and materials designed to inform, educate and encourage project target groups understand Internet infrastructures and their influence on digital rights.

The overall goal of the “Internet Atlas - Tools for Digital Literacy” project is to improve the resilience of the Internet and to create a safer Internet environment. We try to do this by providing tools and methodologies applicable in any country. The purpose is to educate a wider range of Internet users on how to recognise risks of online manipulations, cyber attacks, and legal and technical grounds for protection thereof.

Introduction

Specifically, the project aims to achieve its goals through the following activities:

  • Updating the methodology for monitoring of digital rights and freedoms in Serbia;
  • Standardising the monitoring methodology for use in any country or region;
  • Producing a publication (with a production title) Internet Privacy Atlas featuring chapters on different topics varying from Internet infrastructures, to the black boxes of the Internet giants to materiality of artificial intelligence through text, maps and other visual forms;
  • Production of video materials that tackle current issues related to the Internet in an understandable way, helping the community articulate the digital environment.

 

Current status

The SHARE Foundation provides regular monitoring reports on the state of digital rights and Internet freedom in Serbia in order to highlight the most pressing issues and store details of violations in an online database containing more than 400 cases. We were and still are the only organisation in Serbia that provides such reports. We have started this practice after the floods in May 2014, when numerous violations of digital rights and freedoms of citizens of Serbia occurred. Until this moment, we have updated the methodology for conducting monitoring of the state of digital rights in order to put more focus on violations of information privacy and the right to personal data protection, which are becoming more common in Serbia, as well as manipulation and propaganda techniques in the digital environment. We translated the cases in the monitoring database to English, and we will continue our work on adapting the methodology, to make it applicable in different contexts.

The publication with production title 'Internet Privacy Atlas' contains the content we have created and published on our portal labs.rs over the years. We are positive that this publication will have a great community value, especially for people who are interested in the social implications of technology. The publication will include custom made, unique, complex data visualisations and maps that represent network infrastructures and other types of architectures. The goal is to provide the community interested in the topics with premium quality content, both in terms of information, but also aesthetics. We already chose the content that is to be featured in the print edition. The texts have adapted and edited for non-digital media. Currently we are in the proofreading phase. At the same time, the visual elements are being reedited for print and the layouts of most chapters are already made. Since this is going to be a large format publication, it requires extra attention in terms of making it easy to use.

In this project, we will produce four short videos that focus on the intersection between the Internet and society. The shooting and production phases are done for all four videos; two of them are still in post-production, while two are done and at the moment we are working on strategies to publish and promote them as well as negotiating with TV stations in Serbia and the region to air them. We are still working on the final titles for the videos, but the working titles of the two finalised videos are The exciting life of the Internet packet and A dialogue on the Facebook algorithm.

A snapshot from the video "A dialogue on the Facebook algorithm"

The content produced in this project will ultimately be available on our interactive knowledge base under CC0 licence so anyone can use them for their own purposes, for sharing, as educational tools, broadcasting on public events etc.

 

Next Steps

All these outputs are part of a bigger picture. They are complementary with many other processes the SHARE Foundation is involved in. Our idea is to continue upgrading the monitoring methodology and our platform, by trying to raise funds for adding visual representation to the database, which will make it even more useful.

Content production is also something that we will continue to do in the future. Our field of work is quite dynamic and new phenomena that require clarification emerge quite often. Our aim is to serve the community, from average Internet users to tech experts that want to understand the aspects of technology that are not technical, but rather a social manifestation of modern technologies.

This project has received funding from the RIPE NCC Community Projects Fund 2017.

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