In the Dark

This is an in-depth look at the rise of government-led internet blackouts around the world over the past decade, since the Mubarak regime’s shutdown of the internet in Egypt during the Arab Spring of 2011.

Whole countries, including Sudan, Uganda, and Myanmar, have gone offline for days on end, as leaders try to cripple their opponents’ ability to organize or disseminate information during moments of political tension.

Source: Rest of World
Published: Apr 26, 2022
Length: 26 minutes (6,615 words)

Online Shopping in the Middle of the Ocean

There’s no Amazon same-day delivery service for people living on the remote islands of French Polynesia, so locals launched their own e-commerce business and courier service to fill the gap.

HM Coursier Express initially delivered anywhere: within Tahiti, to other islands, and also abroad. In the first year, Henriou built up a client base of Tahitians in France, including many serving in the military. They wanted products from home: Arnott’s Sao crackers, canned corned beef, and clothing from Tahitian brands like Hinano and Enjoy Life. Henriou soon realized, however, that sending abroad wasn’t sustainable; the shipping often cost much more than the products themselves, and the fee that HM Coursier Express charged barely covered his overheads.

Source: Rest of World
Published: Mar 29, 2022
Length: 14 minutes (3,624 words)

A Libertarian ‘Startup City’ in Honduras Faces its Biggest Hurdle: The Locals

“There are lots of people in Crawfish Rock, for example, who never opted into a future where their ancestral home is all but immured by a gated community engaged in controversial forms of social and political experimentation.”

Source: Rest of World
Published: Oct 5, 2021
Length: 19 minutes (4,952 words)

“They Want Us to Disappear”

“Myanmar’s coup threatens to wipe out a generation of vloggers, influencers and tech entrepreneurs.”

Source: Rest of World
Published: May 11, 2021
Length: 14 minutes (3,652 words)

Where Surveillance Cameras Work But the Justice System Doesn’t

“Mexico City has one of the most ambitious and sophisticated video surveillance systems in the world. But it hasn’t stopped crime.”

Source: Rest of World
Published: Jan 19, 2021
Length: 23 minutes (5,759 words)

Inside India’s booming dark data economy

Thanks to lax privacy laws and high consumer demand, details on everything from how you shop to who you date are all for sale.”

Source: Rest of World
Published: Dec 22, 2020
Length: 16 minutes (4,000 words)

The Cost of Convenience

“South Korea’s Coupang promised to make e-commerce lightning fast. A Covid-19 outbreak at one of its warehouses shows that its workers paid the price.”

Author: Max Kim
Source: Rest of World
Published: Nov 17, 2020
Length: 18 minutes (4,560 words)

Travel Influencers, Meet Authoritarian Regimes

“The influencer industry has grown to be cozy with some unsavory governments, but its clout might not be as effective as it once was.”

Source: Rest of World
Published: Oct 19, 2020
Length: 11 minutes (2,834 words)

Returning the Gaze

“Uighurs in exile are fighting back against China’s techno-authoritarianism to locate their relatives who have been disappeared.”

Source: Rest of World
Published: Oct 6, 2020
Length: 18 minutes (4,749 words)

For Domestic Workers, Apps Provide Solace — But Not Justice

Apps can and do help abused migrants find one another and escape abusive situations, but they ‘cannot fix structural inequalities, missing institutional capacity or a lack of human intent.'”

Source: Rest of World
Published: Aug 4, 2020
Length: 15 minutes (3,998 words)