MOnitoRing network connections to assess Freedom of Expression Online
Partners: POLITO, Lund University Internet Institute
Coordinated by the Nexa Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino (EINS partner), MorFEO is a multidisciplinary research proposal addressing the impact of network discrimination on freedom of expression online. This topic will be tackled combining innovative and well-established ICT tools and methodologies with the analytic instruments offered by social sciences.
MorFEO plans to discuss and identify network neutrality measurement parameters able to meaningfully capture the perspective of users' freedom of expression; measuring such parameters by improving tests and implementing new tests performed by existing tools (such as http://www.neubot.org/); deriving empirical inferences about the impact of deviations from network neutrality on users’ freedom of expression, also paving the way for future research. MorFEO's main outcomes are: (i) the definition of network management parameters capturing aspects impacting on users’ freedom of expression; (ii) Internet experiments gathering data at the intersection between network neutrality and freedom of expression; (iii) a new set of empirical evidence released as open data (considering all relevant legal constraints); (iv) an increased understanding of the interplay effects of network discriminations with freedom of expression online.
The results achieved by MorFEO are supposed to have an impact in the domains of research, civic engagement, and policy. In particular, consistently with the spirit of EINS, specific areas of intersection between ICT-related research (Internet monitoring) and social sciences will be identified, allowing further explorations relying on the same multidisciplinary approach. The exploitation of project results will take advantage of an Open Access, Open Data and Open Source approach. This will facilitate the collaboration with other research and software projects, and support the free circulation of the evidence gathered.