lunes, 1 de julio de 2013

New report on OPEN EMPOWERMENT in LATIN AMERICA

Prepared by: The Open Empowerment Initiative (OEI)

Cyberspace is fundamentally rewiring the ways groups, individuals and states engage with politics, economics, social action and governance across Latin America. With some 40% of the region's population now online, connectivity is expanding faster than in any other part of the world. Most of that expansion is happening amongst the young – digital natives with ambitions to change and better their lives.

Civil society has rapidly moved online, evidenced by a groundswell of blogs and networked social movements such as those in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and YoSoy132 and the erstwhile Blog del Narco in Mexico. The recent street protests in Latin America's largest country, Brazil, may signal a new popular awakening, as digital natives flex their collective political muscles and the government quickens its pace to respond.
Yet criminals too are also rapidly colonizing Latin American cyberspace. Enterprising criminal groups, street gangs and drug cartels use online platforms to organize and advertise their activities, recruit members, intimidate authorities and citizens, extort money and hire-out contract killers. The region also features disturbingly high rates of credit card fraud and identity theft.

Across it all, states are struggling to cope. Government responses vary from leveraging cyberspace to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of governance through to adopting legislation and capabilities to police and securitize this promising, yet also volatile space. Across most of Latin America, citizens are far ahead of states in settling the cyber-commons and a debate is fast emerging about ways to balance personal privacy with public security.

The Open Empowerment Initiative (OEI) investigates how cyberspace is shaping citizen action and state-society relations in Latin America. A summary of emerging research findings on Cyberspace and Open Empowerment in Latin America is being distributed on 27 June 2013 on the occasion of the Organization of American States cyber-security SEGURINFO summit in Washington, D.C.
The OEI is a partnership between The SecDev Foundation (Canada) and the Igarapé Institute (Brazil). The initial phase of research (2012-13) is supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre.



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