Judges should decide which prisoners can retain the right to vote

By Areeq Chowdhury. In 2005, the European Court of Human Rights declared that the UK's blanket ban on prisoners voting in elections was illegal and violated human rights. A 12-year stand-off ensued and the UK Government came to a compromise allowing those on temporary release and at home under curfew to vote in elections. But … Continue reading Judges should decide which prisoners can retain the right to vote

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2019 will be a landmark year in the disinformation war

By Areeq Chowdhury. Fake news, Russian bots, data manipulation. If you think western democracy has been in freefall since the Trump/Brexit earthquake of 2016, brace yourself because that was just the beginning. The real nosedive will begin in 2019. Bot architects, fake news peddlers, and psychographic analysts have spent the past few years learning the … Continue reading 2019 will be a landmark year in the disinformation war

New survey finds that EU citizens support online voting and want social media transparency

A major new survey by the European Commission with 27,000 respondents has found that online voting would be the most preferred method of voting for citizens living in another EU country. 42% said they would prefer to vote in the national elections of their country of origin online compared with 27% preferring to vote an … Continue reading New survey finds that EU citizens support online voting and want social media transparency

The ‘digital services tax’ is a good idea in principle but it may be difficult to enforce

By Areeq Chowdhury. In the budget this week, Philip Hammond has announced the introduction of a new ‘digital services tax’, first hinted at in his party conference speech in Birmingham. The tax, limited to tech giants which have annual global revenues of more than £500m, will be a levy of 2% on the money made … Continue reading The ‘digital services tax’ is a good idea in principle but it may be difficult to enforce

REPORT: Tax social media giants to fund anti-discrimination campaigns

A new report, Kinder, Gentler Politics, published this week, is calling on the UK Government to introduce a 'Civil Internet Tax' on large social media platforms to fund initiatives to tackle the rise of online abuse in political debate. It calls for 25% of the revenue raised to be ring-fenced for grassroots anti-discrimination campaigns. The report, produced … Continue reading REPORT: Tax social media giants to fund anti-discrimination campaigns

Government: Disabled voters too ‘vulnerable’ to be trusted with online voting despite popular demand

The UK Government has rejected the request from a number disability charities and voters with disabilities to pilot an online voting option in elections. Following last year's consultation 'Access to Elections', the Government has published their response to how elections can be made accessible for voters with disabilities and vision impairments. The consultation notes the … Continue reading Government: Disabled voters too ‘vulnerable’ to be trusted with online voting despite popular demand

A publicly-owned Facebook? Interesting idea, but fraught with difficulty

By Areeq Chowdhury. Is it time to nationalise Facebook? Recently, social media platforms have transformed from a space to socialise, share photos, and stare at memes, to a centre of digital political warfare and the murky harvesting of personal data. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction, online abuse is rampant across comment … Continue reading A publicly-owned Facebook? Interesting idea, but fraught with difficulty

USA, UK, Japan and Russia latest countries to consider introducing online voting for elections

A number of countries, including the USA, UK, Japan and Russia, are considering the potential of introducing an online voting option for elections. Should they do so, they would follow in the footsteps of countries such as Australia, Estonia and Switzerland who all use remote online voting to varying degrees. The US State of West … Continue reading USA, UK, Japan and Russia latest countries to consider introducing online voting for elections

Aberdeen City Council begin tender process for an online voting platform

Aberdeen City Council has put out a procurement notice inviting bids for a contract to provide an online voting platform for elections. Alongside tenders for postal voting services and electronic counting, the Scottish local authority is seeking the provision of e-voting solutions including: Internet voting Electronic voting within polling stations Electronic voting with touch screen … Continue reading Aberdeen City Council begin tender process for an online voting platform

Obama reiterates support for move towards online voting in elections

Former US President, Barack Obama, has reiterated his support for a move towards online voting in elections arguing that voting should be made "easier than harder". Speaking at the Oktane18 conference in Las Vegas, the former President discussed tech regulation and, with voter turnout at 58% in the 2016 US Presidential election, he was asked … Continue reading Obama reiterates support for move towards online voting in elections