Stories from Abroad

Since 2010, the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation have partnered to highlight telecommunications debates from countries outside the U.S.

Vice President Harris Announces Public and Private Sector Commitments to Advancing Digital Inclusion in Africa

Vice President Kamala Harris has worked to promote digital inclusion in Africa. She said that the United States is committed to build collaborations between public and private industries to increase digital inclusion on the continent of Africa. She said the United States will “double down” on our effort to mobilize millions of dollars in public and private capital from the United States, Africa, and around the world to increase digital inclusion. Now, the Vice President is announcing the following public-private partnerships, coordinated on behalf of the U.S.

Historic first as companies spanning North America, Asia, Europe and Middle East agree safety commitments on development of AI

New commitments to develop AI safely have been agreed with 16 AI tech companies spanning the globe, including companies from the US, China and the Middle East, marking a world-first on the opening day of the AI Seoul Summit on May 21. Where they have not done so already, AI tech companies will each publish safety frameworks on how they will measure risks of their frontier AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) act: Council gives final green light to the first worldwide rules on AI

The Council of the European Union approved a ground-breaking law aiming to harmonise rules on artificial intelligence, the so-called artificial intelligence act. The flagship legislation follows a ‘risk-based’ approach, which means the higher the risk to cause harm to society, the stricter the rules. It is the first of its kind in the world and can set a global standard for AI regulation. The new law aims to foster the development and uptake of safe and trustworthy AI systems across the EU’s single market by both private and public actors.

Governments are becoming ‘mods.’ Here’s what they’re in for

Elon Musk’s ongoing war against the Brazilian judiciary is more than just another high-profile feud between arguably the world’s most prolific right-wing troll (who also happens to be one of its richest men) and the liberal governments that vex him. By going after Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes after he ordered numerous right-wing accounts removed from X in that country, Musk has turned a debate over Brazilian censorship into a global conserv

US mobile prices sky high after T-Mobile's Sprint buy

According to new figures from Rewheel, T-Mobile's purchase of Sprint in 2020 helped to keep mobile prices in the US sky high. "Five years on, the Sprint / T-Mobile 4-to-3 mobile merger made the US one of the most expensive mobile markets in the world," the Finland-based research firm wrote in a new report.

A Multiverse Analysis of the Associations Between Internet Use and Well-Being

Internet technologies’ and platforms’ potential psychological consequences remain debated. While these technologies have spurred new forms of commerce, education, and leisure, many are worried that they might negatively affect individuals by, for example, displacing time spent on other healthy activities. Relevant findings to date have been inconclusive and of limited geographic and demographic scope.

Zayo carves out European business to create standalone company

Zayo Group’s North American and European businesses are breaking up. But rest assured, the separation is nothing if not amicable. The company announced plans to make Zayo Europe, which operates a long-haul fiber network across eight countries, a standalone company.

Is there a middle way on children and smartphones? This researcher thinks so

The debate on children’s use of smartphones can veer towards two extremes. There are those who see a generation made fragile by technology. They point to studies showing that social media does not just correlate with poor mental health; it causes it. The other extreme sees this as another misguided moral panic, such as the one once aimed at video games. But there are possibilities for nuance and compromise. Sonia Livingstone is a social psychologist who leads research at the London School of Economics into children’s digital lives. Livingstone’s research has led her to focus on two points.

Google suing Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to have YouTube video ad revenue exempted from regulatory fees

Google is taking Canada's broadcasting regulator to court, arguing "significant" revenue it earns from advertisements on YouTube videos shouldn't be considered when it comes to the regulatory fees it owes the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). In an application filed in the Federal Court of Canada on April 24, Google says those revenues come from user-generated content, which it argues should be excluded from fee calculations because of exemptions in the Broadcasting Act. But the tech giant says that after submitting a form to the regulator which outlined it

2024 World Press Freedom Index – journalism under political pressure

Press freedom around the world is being threatened by the very people who should be its guarantors—political authorities. This is clear from the latest annual World Press Freedom Index produced by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).