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  • 1. February 15, 2012
  • 2. E-Mobilization
    • Uses of the Internet by interest groups and social movements for political recruitment, organization, and campaigning.
    • Three main themes:
      • Traditional interest groups (restructuring)
      • New forms of mobilization
      • Pure Internet-based direct action
  • 3. Interest groups
    • Interest groups are part of civil society and try to influence public policy
    • They achieve influence primarily through the collection and transmission of strategic information to the three branches of government (sometimes called lobbying )
    • They may directly provide campaign funds to presidents and legislators who want to get elected to re-elected
    • They may decide to take disputes over executive decision or legislation to the judiciary
    Video on lobbying
  • 4. Examples of Large Interest Groups
    • National Rifle Association (NRA)
    • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
    • American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
    • National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    • American Medical Association (AMA)
    • American Bar Association (ABA)
    • Sierra Club
  • 5. Anti-NRA Propaganda
  • 6. Types of Interest Groups
    • Radical vs. Status Quo
    • Single-issue vs. Multiple-issue
    • Categories:
      • Producer associations
      • Consumer groups
      • Environmental groups
      • Civil liberties and human rights groups
    • Peak associations: e.g. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO
  • 7. Social Movements
    • A social movement is large group of people focused on carrying out, resisting, or undoing large-scale social changes
    • Examples:
      • Civil rights
      • Anti-war
      • Environmental
      • Pro-Life
    • Social movements may include coalitions of organized interests and interest groups
  • 8. Is the Tea Party a Social Movement?
    • Grass Roots vs. Astro Turf Organizations
    • Funding of the Tea Party by the Koch Brothers and Tom DeLay
    • Role of Politicians like Sarah Palin , Dick Armey, Karl Rove, and others
    • Relationship between the Tea Party “movement” and the Republican Party
    Trailer for new film on the Tea Party
  • 9. Interest group tactics
    • Nearly all groups testify at hearings, lobby government officials, make informal contacts with legislators, present research or technical information, send letters to members to inform them about their activities, enter into coalitions with other groups
    • Some interest groups publicize candidate-voting records , conduct direct mail fundraising efforts, buy issue advocacy advertisements in the print or electronic media, contribute time and staff to election campaigns, endorse candidates, and participate in protests and demonstrations
  • 10. Traditional Campaign Methods
    • Letter writing
    • Phone canvassing
    • Direct mail
    • Newsletters
    • Petitions
    • Targeting of media outlets
  • 11. Interest group success
    • How do we measure interest group success?
      • Passed legislation
      • Campaign contributions
      • Public opinion
      • Media visibility
    • Are there specific types of interest groups that are more successful than others?
    • What are the factors that make them successful?
  • 12. On-Line Campaign Methods
    • Extensive use of multi-media and interactivity to engage potential supporters
    • Fund-raising via email and web sites
    • On-line solicitation of support for petitions and email campaigns
    • Setting meetings and rallies on-line as a supplement to the use of telephone networks
    Example: MoveOn.org
  • 13. Examples of On-Line Campaigns
    • Lotus MarketPlace
      • Software developed around 1990 by Lotus Corporation for mining data about market behavior of households
      • Program cancelled after pressure from EFF and other groups with privacy concerns
    • Clipper Chip
      • Proposed by the Clinton Administration , a chip that would permit the National Security Agency to decode encrypted data (on the theory that nobody else could)
      • Killed after strong opposition from EFF, CPSR and ACM
  • 14. Electronic Frontier Foundation
    • Founded in 1990 by Mitch Kapor of Lotus
    • John Perry Barlow was co-founder, still on the board
    • Mission: to defend free speech, privacy, innovation and consumer rights on the Internet
  • 15. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR)
    • Founded in 1981 by engineers (mostly) at Xerox PARC and Stanford in response to Reagan administration nuclear strategies.
    • It is a “public-interest alliance of people concerned about the impact of information and communications technology on society.”
    • Members in 30 countries
    • Main concerns: freedom, privacy, Internet governance
  • 16. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    • Professional association of computer scientists
    • Organized into special interest groups
    • Has a separate office for public policy
    • Concerns:
      • Advancing computing as a discipline
      • Balancing intellectual property and innovation
      • Protecting privacy
      • Assuring the security and reliability of systems
  • 17. More Examples of Online Organizing
    • Environmental Defense Fund
    • PETA
    • Zapatistas
    • Smart Mobs
      • Flash Mob in Grand Central Station
      • Food Court Musical
      • Redheads Protest Wendy’s
  • 18. Hackers and Hacktivists
    • Hacker originally referred to someone who “hacked through” difficult coding thickets to arrive at a working piece of software
    • Other meanings include:
      • Someone interested in defeating or strengthening computer security measures (see also “cracker”)
      • A person who supports the free and open software movement
    • A hacktivist is a person who engages in “the nonviolent use of illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools in the pursuit of political ends” (Wikipedia)
  • 19. Hacktivists and Hacktivist Techniques
    • Defacing
    • Distributed denial of service attacks (DDS)
    • Ping storms
    • Email bombings
    • Malicious code or malware attacks
    • Redirects
  • 20. Example: WikiLeaks and Anonymous
    • Purpose of Wikipedia is to provide a platform for “whistle blowers” of all sorts
    • Big controversy over Collateral Murder video followed by massive release of U.S. Department of State diplomatic cables
    • When the U.S. government went after organizations that channeled contributions to Wikileaks and Julian Assange in 2010, Anonymous launched denial of service attacks against Amazon, PayPal, Mastercard and Visa
  • 21. Yes Men
    • The Yes Men are a group of culture jamming activists who practice what they call "identity correction" by pretending to be powerful people and spokespersons for prominent organizations. They create and maintain fake websites similar to ones they want to spoof, and then they accept invitations received on their websites to appear at conferences, symposia, and TV shows.
    • Their web site .
  • 22. Chapter 6 Discussion Points
    • How have traditional interest groups adapted to the Internet?
    • Do the effects of the Internet on interest groups and social movements go beyond simply increasing the efficiency of communication?
    • Is hacktivism a form of political action?
    • Could the hybrid forms of political organization such as MoveOn have existed before the Internet?
    • Must political mobilization rest upon face-to-face interaction?