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Description: Independent research that investigates the impact of technology on individuals and society is increasingly under attack. These attacks, which come from powerful entities such as platform companies and policymakers, oen appeal to the public's fears of privacy and ethical violations. While some of these appeals are more credible than others, they have prompted restrictions on independent research by limiting access to essential data, having chilling effects on researchers, and blocking research itself. To make public-interest research resilient to these attacks, we need to understand the threats faced by researchers, actual risks to the public, risk-management practices by researchers, and crucial gaps that need to be filled. Independent research, uninfluenced by the tech industry, investigates digital environments. Independent researchers are academics, civil society actors, journalists, and citizens. Our report is based on interviews with 14 independent researchers outside of academia, focusing on research conducted by civil society organizations, journalists, and community scientists. In this report, we investigate threats and risks to independent research on digital technologies and offer recommendations for managing them.

License: Other


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