Skip to Main Content

Brooklyn College Library | Library Guides | Databases

TVRA 7713 Media and Communication History and Regulation (Reile): Digital Divide, Broadband, and Access to Information

OER for Dr. Wiebke Reile's course.

Attribution: [Brittany Wouden] (2013, Sept. 15) Digital Divide [Video File.] Retrieved from

Assigned readings need to be done BEFORE class
During class you will be expected to discuss the assigned readings.

Readings: Digital Divide

Assigned Readings:

Abstract: The National Broadband Plan, released by the FCC on March 17, 2010, sets out a roadmap for initiatives to stimulate economic growth, spur job creation and boost America's capabilities in education, health care, homeland security and more. The plan includes sections focusing on economic opportunity, education, health care, energy and the environment, government performance, civic engagement and public safety.

Citation: United States. (2010). Connecting America, the national broadband plan. Washington, DC: Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved from:

Abstract: Can civil society interventions preserve openness on the Internet? Dr. Hintz presents an array of examples of successful policy advocacy for free and open communications, from both within and without formal structures. These are analyzed to show the technical, social, and political responses in resisting enclosures and restrictions on digital communications. The strategies, characteristics, and conditions of successful communications policy activism are laid out. The development of new legal proposals and legislative frameworks, along with participation in their construction, has been especially effective. While a broader collaborative approach has yet to emerge, civil society initiatives have in some cases successfully challenged attempts to curtail online communication, and initiated change towards more open communication environments.

Citation: Arne Hintz. (2012). Challenging the Digital Gatekeepers: International Policy Initiatives for Free Expression. Journal of Information Policy, 2, 128-150. doi:10.5325/jinfopoli.2.2012.0128

Freedom of express is your right.

Attribution: [Rachel Hinman] (2009, July 22) Freedom of expression is your right (Uganda) [Photo.] (CC BY 2.0) Retrieved

Summary: This report explores key trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the Internet. The Special Rapporteur underscores the unique and transformative nature of the Internet not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole. Chapter III of the report underlines the applicability of international human rights norms and standards on the right to freedom of opinion and expression to the Internet as a communication medium, and sets out the exceptional circumstances under which the dissemination of certain types of information may be restricted. Chapters IV and V address two dimensions of Internet access respectively: (a) access to content; and (b) access to the physical and technical infrastructure required to access the Internet in the first place. More specifically, chapter IV outlines some of the ways in which States are increasingly censoring information online, namely through: arbitrary blocking or filtering of content; criminalization of legitimate expression; imposition of intermediary liability; disconnecting users from Internet access, including on the basis of intellectual property rights law; cyberattacks; and inadequate protection of the right to privacy and data protection. Chapter V addresses the issue of universal access to the Internet. The Special Rapporteur intends to explore this topic further in his future report to the General Assembly. Chapter VI contains the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions and recommendations concerning the main subjects of the report. * Late submission.United Nations A/HRC/17/27 General Assembly Distr.: General 16 May 2011 Original: English

Citation: United Nations., La, R. F., & United Nations Human Rights Council,. (2011). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Geneva: United Nations. A/HRC/17/27 (16 May 2011), available from