Internet, Human Rights, and Transparency Undergraduate Research Fellowship
How do Facebook’s privacy policies affect political activists around the world? How does Twitter decide whether or not to comply with a government demand to censor somebody’s tweet? Is Nokia-Siemens ethically responsible if they sell their technology to a government likely to use it for political surveillance? Can or should consumers and investors expect the same free expression and privacy standards from Internet and telecommunications companies located throughout the world – whether they are North American, European, Chinese, Russian, Indian, or Brazilian?
If you are an undergraduate from any part of Penn interested in exploring these questions through cutting-edge research with real-world impact, we have a research fellowship for you.
The Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication is seeking a Penn undergraduate research assistant to play an integral role in an upcoming provost-funded, interdisciplinary research project, New Technologies, Human Rights, and Transparency. Dr. Monroe Price, director of CGCS, and Rebecca MacKinnon, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, co-founder of the citizen media community Global Voices and author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (2012), along with partners from Wharton, Annenberg, PennLaw, and Engineering will be developing this program to examine the relationship between government and corporate power in today’s digitally networked world. Specifically, we aim to develop a methodology for comparative evaluation of the policies and practices of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies as they affect citizens’ rights to free expression and privacy in a human rights context.
Throughout the school year, the undergraduate student will assist in coordinating monthly research group meetings, collecting data and information on corporate policies and practices, facilitating two public workshops, and assisting in the development of a curriculum for an interdisciplinary course to begin in 2014. The undergraduate researcher will also participate in a funded summer research program abroad, working with an international research group in India, Latin America, or possibly elsewhere depending on the student’s language aptitude and specific interests. During this summer study, they will conduct research for case studies on free expression and privacy issues in the specified region. These case studies will be built around background research conducted by the student (with guidance and mentorship from MacKinnon and Price as well as an international research partner), on-the-ground interviews with key free expression and privacy groups, companies, regulators and other actors.
Preference will be given to candidates with some combination of: – experience conducting research as part of a previous internship or job – coursework in any department on subjects related in some way to issues addressed by this project – aptitude in a foreign language (reading/writing as well as speaking) – GPA of 3.5 or above
To apply for the fellowship, please send your CV (with details about any foreign language proficiency you may have), cover letter, 2 letters of recommendation, and an academic writing sample to by February 1, 2013.