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The Stratifying Internet: Measuring digital inclusion in the mobile era

The extraordinary recent growth of the mobile internet across Asia and the Pacific carries the promise of a more inclusive digital economy, accessible to everyone with a cheap smartphone. A low-cost, mobile internet could reconfigure the provision of health and education, open new economic opportunities, and expand cultural, civic and political engagement. But as we[…]

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#CatchEmAll: The Geopolitics of Pokémon GO in Asia

It took only weeks for Pokemon GO to become the world’s most viral mobile app of all time. Developed by Niantic Labs, and with over 550 million downloads in 80 days, the augmented reality (AR) game has mainstreamed and altered how handheld technology allows users to interact with their immediate surroundings. Taiwan’s rare Pokémon stampedes[…]

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Data Privacy in South Korea: Can Legislation Transform Protection of Personal Information?

South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”), promulgated in 2011 and subsequently amended, has been described as the “most innovative” and “toughest” data privacy law in Asia. PIPA is designed to ensure individual agency over personal information, bring transparency to data collection practices, and empower regulators and the courts to hold collectors and users of[…]

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IANA Transition: a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes?

In March 2014, the US Government committed to ending its contract with ICANN to run the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and also announced that it would hand over control to the “global multistakeholder community”. The conditions for this handover were that the changes must be developed by stakeholders across the globe, with broad community[…]

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Digital Shanzhai: Connected Manufacturing, Memes and Our Hardware Future

I’ve become fascinated as of late by the manufacturing culture in Shenzhen and, having studied different aspects of Chinese Internet meme culture, I was interested specifically in the role of the Internet in the context of manufacturing. This interest is both academic and pragmatic—as a software product manager myself, I was also interested in what[…]