DiRiWa is a project aiming to collect information about the state of communications and information freedom around the world, generally sorted by legal jurisdiction. DiRiWa is interested in legal rights regarding communication, surveillance, access to government information, censorship, the use (and abuse) of copyright, patent and trademark legislation, and other issues that either legally or practically threaten the free spread of information.
As telecommunications and information flows are increasingly globalized by the Internet, the need for a comprehensive overview becomes more urgent. Issues regarding information regulation are important in modern society because so much of what we do is about sending or receiving information. Information about what politicians are doing, for instance, is critical for a functioning democracy. The right to privacy is considered a fundamental human right, but is often violated through extensive monitoring of electronic communications. Copyright legislation can be used to put in place legal environments that subsequently are used to censor political speech. Much of this happens unnoticed by the majority of people.
DiRiWa aims to map the information terrain of the world and help people understand how their rights are altered by communications over different jurisdictions.