Public Knowledge is concerned by reports that the use of the internet is being restricted in Catalunya, which is expected to hold a referendum on its self-determination on the first of October. Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the referendum after the Spanish government challenged its legality, arguing that the referendum goes against the 1978 Constitution, which states Spain is indivisible.
Imagine if Comcast owned iHeartradio, the New York Times, and AT&T. And in many places, your only option for an Internet Service Provider is Comcast. Your news would be provided by Comcast. Your cable TV: Comcast. Your favorite radio stations: also Comcast. Scary, right? Yet, that is exactly what will happen in South America’s second largest economy, Argentina, if the proposed merger of Cablevision (the telecom branch of Grupo Clarín, Argentina’s largest media conglomerate) and Telecom (one of the two telecommunications companies resulting from the privatization of Argentina’s national monopoly in 1990) goes through.
Last week, Public Knowledge signed a public release together with other organizations from the Americas on the limitations to fundamental rights online in Venezuela. We are following the developments in that country closely.
Yesterday, April 26, was World Intellectual Property Day. However, in many countries we see extremist proposals to expand copyright and intellectual property, which benefit only a handful of rightholders at the expense of the rest of society. That´s why, together with 13 civil society organizations from the Americas, we published an open letter calling on our governments to protect innovation, preserve fair access to technology and internet freedom, and use copyright to promote social justice.
Last week, the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution manifesting concern over the EU-US Privacy Shield, a legal scheme that allows American companies to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States. In a nutshell, the EP is worried that the U.S. government doesn’t take privacy protection seriously, and the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) make explicit reference to, among other things, the Trump administration’s undoing of the Federal Communication Commission’s broadband privacy rules.
Last weekend, left-wing candidate and political heir of President Rafael Correa Lenin Moreno was elected President of Ecuador. Now, President-elect Moreno has the opportunity to stop one of his predecessor’s most undemocratic practices: using copyright for political censorship. It’s time for some copyright glasnost, Lenin.
In International Women’s Day we reflect on the need for continuous work with the goal of achieving equal rights and opportunities for women. This year at Public Knowledge, we want to focus in the digital gap and call for the private and public sector to act decisively to close it.