Digital Rights & Governance in Australia & Asia

March 2017 – March 2018

Chief Investigator


  • Professor Ariadne Vromen,
  • Professor Kimberlee Weatherall,
  • Professor Michele Ford,
  • Dr Fiona Martin,

Project description

This project investigates the impact of digital disruption in our region on the organisation of work, social, and political life. It will provide systematic, comparative information across Australia and Asia on digital rights and responsibilities, particularly in information access, work and freedom of speech. It will also propose models on how best to deploy digital platforms for public problem-solving and social engagement. Pivotally the project will explore the different ways in which Australia and its Asian neighbours are addressing the challenges of digital platforms given their differing, but intertwined communications environments. The research brings together experts in digital humanities and social sciences, law and regulation, and area studies, to:

  • assess the evolving citizen uses of digital platforms, and associated digital rights and responsibilities in Australia and Asia, identifying key dynamics and issues of voice, participation, marginalisation and exclusion;
  • develop a framework for establishing rights and legitimate expectations which platform stakeholders––particularly everyday users––should enjoy and responsibilities they may bear;
  • identify the best models for governance arrangements for digital platforms and for ‘activating’ digital platforms as social resources in different domains.


March 30

Abolish Slavery in My Smartphone: Rethinking capitalism, China, and Digital Labor

In his new book Goodbye iSlave: A Manifesto for Digital Abolition (2016), Professor Jack Linchuan Qiucontends that features of enslavement have crept into the digital media industries, leading to the worsening of labour conditions along the assembly line and in the data mine, creating a generation of iSlaves trapped in a global economic system that relies upon and studiously ignores their oppression.
When: 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Law LT 026, Sydney Law School Annex, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney