the blog for internet scientists and digital mavericks

Issues in Focus


GDPR – what’s beyond?

New rights for consumers, new obligations for businesses: European data protection law will receive a massive update, as the EU’s general data protection regulation will enter into force on 25 May 2018. This makes it easier for users to find out what Facebook, Google & Co. store. Will GDPR really make data traffic more transparent? Or nothing new after all? In this context, our researchers also shed light on other topics such as...


Algorithmic decisions and human rights

From smart assistants in the justice, over intelligent systems in the administration sector to highly developed portable devices: Innovations in the field of artificial intelligence are impacting nearly every area of our everyday life. However, algorithmic decision-making leads to complex human rights implications. In this dossier researchers of the NoC European Hub discuss the role of law and ethics in the context of algorithmic...


How metaphors shape the digital society

Cloud, Big Data, Piracy, Virus are common terms in the debates about digital technologies. At the same time they are methaphors that originate from other fields than technology. What normative or political baggage do they therefore carry? How does this vocabulary shape the emerging digital society? In the series of articles on the Politics of Metaphors different authors analyse the assumptions and meanings of metaphors in the digital era....


#BTW17 – Germany goes digital?

How parties envision the process of digitalisation is becoming a more important factor in the fight for political power. Various online tools shed light on the opaque party election programs in order to discuss important questions: how do parties view AI, how do they want to manage the digitisation of administration and how does digitalisation change the way scientific research is funded?


Understanding Platform Governance

More and more people and institutions communicate via Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and co. They allow us to share photos, news, opinions and status updates of all kinds with the whole world. Therefore its importance for political developments and moods is rising. The rules of platforms for sorting and blocking, for liking and sharing determine whose voices get heard, how content is being framed and who gets access to which data.


Fundamental rights in the digital age

The Internet is a space where social relationships are cultivated, business is conducted, new knowledge is created, and all kinds of networks are built. But do fundamental rights exist in this growing digital habitat? Should there be a right to internet access or anonymity on the world wide web or even for digital disobedience?


Open Science

Scientifically generated data and results should not vanish behind paywalls and in expensive books, but should be publicly accessible. Open Science is on all sides a popular idea, but rarely implemented. Who benefits from that and why do scientists not share their data? How can new technology like Blockchain make science more transparent and how can citizen science contribute?


Data: Between Freedom and Protection

Data is polarising. It is the resource of the 21st century.  It enables business models and innovations in society, science and politics. Some people want to use it, others want to protect it and many regard their dwindling privacy with scepticism. In the dossier we ask: Is privacy really data protection and is your employer allowed to inspect your browser history? We explain why there is no such thing as a hacker.


Internet Rules !?

What rules has the internet created, what ones has it got rid off and what ones does it urgently need? Internet researchers from around the world will be meeting in Berlin at #AoIR2016. In science and the media, the internet has ensured a continuous renegotiation of rules. Open access is calling scientific verification processes into question, platforms like Youtube are challenging the traditional players in the media industry to develop...