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By Elizabeth Sutterlin | June 22, 2021
A fingerprint with binary code.
A legally recognized form of identification can fundamentally impact our ability to exercise our economic, social, and civil rights in their everyday life. Taking part in many routine tasks - such as accessing social service benefits, receiving medical care, opening a bank account, or even making a phone call - now rely on showing proof of a legal ID. Those without an ID can be barred from these services, as well as from fundamental democratic processes, like  voting, running for office,...
By Jade Collins | June 16, 2021
mountain landscape
Hello! My name is Jade Collins and I’m thrilled to be joining the NDI DemTech team as a Project Assistant.   Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have been immersed in an environment that fosters technology-driven innovation. This part of my identity, combined with my multicultural upbringing, influenced my professional trajectory towards technology and international relations. I have since gained firsthand experience in the use of digital technology for enabling inclusive,...
By Summer Boucher-Robinson | June 10, 2021
voting
Hello, World! My name is Summer Boucher-Robinson, and I’m joining the DemTech team as its newest Project Assistant.  I’ve been interested in politics since well before I could vote. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area to two engineer parents, science and technology have always been highly regarded and thoughtful research has always been a core family value. To their surprise, my parents raised a child who much preferred the social sciences.  Volunteering on President...
By Moira Whelan | June 4, 2021
NDI Presents: The Democracy and Technology Summer Series. Join us for a series of weekly tech briefings all summer long!
It’s finally summer. Time to get outside, and in some places, enjoy a bit of a reprieve from a challenging year. It’s been a tough one, especially for democratic actors around the world. Democratic activists have never been more at risk. Tools to mobilize around democratic activity have never been more prevalent, while the vulnerability to surveillance and disinformation is overwhelming. NDI has worked hard to integrate technology into all of our programs around the world by helping...
By Kaleigh Schwalbe | June 4, 2021
desert highway
Hello, world!  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Senior Program Officer for Information Integrity.  I have become increasingly intrigued by efforts to counter disinformation and other forms of information manipulation online, and I am looking forward to diving in and focusing more on this important issue. My interest in using technology as a tool for promoting social justice and advancing international development began in Arizona, where I served as an online organizer...
By Chris Doten | May 28, 2021
Cover for Red Informacion Issue 25
Written for the Red Informacion digital magazine issue #25 The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating, but the impact of enforced lockdowns and social distancing has led to an unprecedented increase in the innovative use of technology in everyday life. Digital tools, particularly smartphones, have become for many the only way to connect with each other. Our offices have effectively been replaced by phone and video calls, concerts and church services are streamed online, and shopping malls and...
By Moira Whelan | May 25, 2021
Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace
Every partner with which NDI works is facing a challenge that is critical to democracy: advocating for persons with disabilities, ensuring LGBTQI+ and other minority rights, elevating and including the voices of youth, protecting political participation and free expression, and strengthening the relationship between citizens and government to tackle huge challenges like corruption and climate change. These are just a few of the issues keeping us up at night. To address each one of them, a free...
By Chris Doten | May 2, 2021
Upraised hands representing democratic participation
The creation of a system with mathematically provable guarantees of the trustworthiness of data could have enormous potential for supporting democracy, improving government service delivery, fighting corruption, and demonstrating the integrity of elections and political processes. Such a system, of course, already exists: blockchain and distributed public ledger technologies. I'm proud to share this think piece Ben Gregori and I have created on the potential for blockchain in democracy,...
By Elizabeth Sutterlin | February 4, 2021
A phone shows Google's "No internet" error screen, indicating an internet shutdown.
As people in Myanmar woke up to the news of a military coup on Monday, the military had restricted internet access to 50% of the country's normal digital traffic flow. In addition to throttling the internet, a journalist for Reuters tweeted that phone lines and radio services had been cut as well. Although access was restored later on Monday, the military issued an order blocking Facebook and the company's other products (WhatsApp and Instagram) in Myanmar, purportedly for security...
By Madeleine Nicoloff | January 29, 2021
Koi fish in a reflecting pond
Looking ahead into 2021, one of the things I’m excited to watch is the growing collaboration between the world of tech and the world of art and storytelling. The background research into futurist thinking that I’ve done recently has opened my eyes to the current initiatives and conversations taking place around the power of art, virtual reality, and immersive experiences as tools for transforming our decision-making. I’m encouraged by the movement led by organizations like...
By Derek Turner | January 21, 2021
Future Pathway
There are some bright spots on the horizon for 2021. I’m looking forward to some of the positive developments in the world of campaign technology and tech company practices from the 2020 elections in the United States being extended to the rest of the world. Presidential campaigns in the US significantly elevated the usage of text messaging to educate and mobilize voters last year. Text-banking, much like phone-banking, provided a way for volunteers to engage with voters and help them...
By Elizabeth Sutterlin | January 21, 2021
A map of cyber troop activity around the world from the Oxford Internet Institute
Following the return and detention of popular opposition figure and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Roskomnadzor, the Russian government’s communications watchdog, has asked social media platforms to stop the spread of posts encouraging minors to take part in unsanctioned rallies in support of his release from jail. It requested that TikTok and Vkontakte prevent the dissemination of information that could lead minors to engage in "illegal activities that put their lives and health in...