The notion that technology equals freedom is a frequent trope, and was used frequently in the early days of the Arab Spring. As the Egyptian Google exec- slash Facebook activist Wael Ghomin put it “if you want to liberate a society, just give them the internet.” How the digital realm is governed, accessed, and controlled is one of the issues addressed in consent of the networked, a new book by longtime reporter Rebecca Mackinnon. For more than a decade, she’s been active in evolving debates about how the internet will affect democracy, privacy and individual liberties.
Charles Wiwa fled Nigeria in 1996 following a crackdown on protests against Shell's oil operations in the Niger Delta. Now a resident of Chicago, Wiwa and other natives of the oil-rich Ogoni region are suing Shell for human rights violations.
Human rights are front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in two cases testing how American law intersects with international law. At issue in both cases is whether foreign nationals in the United States can sue corporations or other entities in U.S. courts for alleged violations of human rights.
The case that has corporate teeth chattering is a lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell Oil, which is accused of aiding and abetting the Nigerian government in committing atrocities in the 1990s.