ACTA Protests: “Government of the People, by the Lobby Groups, for the Corporations”

European officials probably thought that no-one would take much notice when they signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on 26th January, on behalf of the EU and 22 of its member-states. Two weeks later, mass protests erupted in cities all across Europe against the controversial treaty, criticising the secretive nature in which it was negotiated and claiming it will lead to a significant curtailing of internet freedom. Continue reading

China, the EU and the new race for Africa

In Luanda, the capital of Angola, Chinese construction workers are relentlessly putting up another skyscraper, one of many which have been popping up like mushrooms all over the city over the past few years. Back in 2002, this was a barren, impoverished place, ravaged by decades of civil war. Now it is the centre of one of the fastest growing economies on the planet, with new infrastructure and construction projects rapidly transforming the face of the country. Continue reading

The Internet Strikes Back

After SOPA and PIPA: the Entertainment Industry Needs to Adapt not Resist

The 18th January saw the Internet rise up and rear its head in an unprecedented show of force, with online giants such as Google, Wikipedia and Reddit leading a massive campaign against SOPA and PIPA, the planned anti-piracy bills being debated in the US Senate and Congress. Perhaps most hard-hitting, especially to students, was the terrifying ‘black-out’ of Wikipedia, which asked hapless users to “imagine a world without free knowledge.” Social networking sites soon began to buzz with talk about the dangers of the planned piracy bills, and by the end of the day political support for the bills had crumbled. American lawmakers and politicians began to realise just how much they had underestimated the power of the internet. Continue reading