Russian hacking of the US election is the most extreme case of how the internet is changing our politics

The Guardian / John Naughton When we look back over the last 20 years of politics, the period in which the internet has become mainstream, we see a deeply changed landscape. Early political uses of the internet include the collection of data and crowd sourced fundraising. But recently, we are witnessing a significant shift in the role the web has to play in political life. Events such as the Arab Spring and ... read more

The day we invented the internet

The Guardian / Ben Tarnoff 40 years ago the internet was invented. Which seems like an odd statement, as it is so pervasive, ubiquitous and appears only in glimpses, it is almost impossible to imagine the internet’s invention. Starting life as a network of military computers developed by ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency), the internet began as a fixed system between stationary computers. The military applications of this network required it to... read more

Big data proves a vote winner with politicians

FT / Hannah Kulcher New forms of data analytics are responding to the changing political climate, and politics itself is changing to accommodate big data. Obama’s win in 2012 marks a turning point in the use of big data, the rejection of oversimplified demographic analysis, as “Latinos” or “high-earners”, makes way for the use of new tools that can help politicians appeal to very specific groups of voters in different ways. The idea o... read more

We need Good Samaritans on the web

The Guardian / Carrie Rentschler The culture of online violence is widespread, a majority of respondents (73%) to a recent study have witnessed acts of harassment, and a concerning number (25%) have witnessed criminal acts, such as someone being physically threatened. The growing number of online harassment cases represents a disturbing pattern, but beyond this is the equally worrying trend; standing by without challenging those perpetrating the acts of violence. Too often we ... read more