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Ranking Digital Rights, New America Foundation (Rebecca MacKinnon)

The Ranking Digital Rights project produces a Corporate Accountability Index, a regular ranking of the world’s most powerful ICT sector companies on their policies and practices affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy. In November 2015 we published the first public ranking of 16 major global Internet and telecommunications companies. Over the next two years we will expand the ranking and incorporate more types of companies, including software, devices, and networking equipment.

Fellowship Focus Areas:

A seasonal fellow might carry out a research project designed to help us to identify, develop, and/or test out changes to the Index research methodology to accommodate new types of companies or technologies.

A senior fellow might focus their work in one of several ways:

• Support a regional research partner in developing and launching a national or regional version of the Index;

• Work with NGOs or research partners to develop related research and/or technical testing projects, using the Index data as a starting point, or the fellow might develop such a project themselves as proof of concept for other researchers to emulate or expand upon;

• Carry out a year-long research and pilot testing project that would produce a proposal for how we might modify the Index methodology to add new technologies and/or company types.

We welcome applications from graduate students and seasoned researchers with backgrounds in computer science, engineering, Internet and telecommunications law, or communications studies with a strong technical background. Prior academic research experience or professional work related to freedom of expression, censorship, privacy, and surveillance in the ICT sector is important. Prior experience working collaboratively with teams and meeting deadlines is also important. International experience and ability to read at least one language other than English is a major plus.

The successful applicant will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the project’s purpose, research methodology, advocacy goals, etc., and will clearly articulate how his or her skills and interests can concretely contribute to the project’s success. We are a global project and proposals to work remotely for all or part of the fellowship are welcome when accompanied by evidence that the applicant has some prior experience working remotely with people in other countries.

Location: Washington, D.C.


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