Open Effect is participating in the New America Foundation’s Ranking Digital Rights pilot study as a technical research consultant. The project, directed by Rebecca MacKinnon, aims to create a ranking system by which the policies and practices of global information and communications technology (ICT) companies can be assessed based on their compliance with norms of privacy, free speech, security and other fundamental rights.
Our role in the pilot study is to assess a variety of international telecom and Internet companies using a standardized set of digital rights “indicators”. These indicators look for a desirable practice or policy that a proactive company ought to have in place. The particular indicators we’re focusing on have to do with things such as security audits, the use of encryption, resources to help people stay safe while using the service, and others. Open Effect will perform analyses of each company’s publicly available materials through the lens of these indicators, and assess how the project methodology can be improved for later iterations of the study.
This is a large project involving many disciplines and participants from around the world. We look forward to contributing and seeing the results of this effort unfold.