BERLIN, 13 March 2007
The French version of ICT Policy: Beginner’s Handbook is out in French! This flagship book by APC is a must you cannot bypass. It lays out the issues and dispenses with the jargon to encourage more people to get involved in issues related to information and communication technology (ICT).
It is for people who feel that ICT policy is important but don’t know much about it, e.g. a government official worried about a gap in her technical knowledge of how the internet works, a human-rights worker concerned that his need to send secure email is being challenged by national government policy, a citizen fed up with paying exorbitant rates for dial-up internet access.
It is not a map of the ICT policy terrain but it is a compass. The French version is part of APC’s efforts to make French its third full official language before the end of this year. It is based on the original English version of 2003, which means that some sections do not entirely reflect the state of play in 2007. This is particularly true with the short section on internet governance which, despite being somewhat outdated, remains an accurate reference to the situation four years ago.
Caveat: Internet governance has moved on
The debate on "who controls the internet" and internet governance has developed a great deal since the handbook was written. APC recommends that you visit a certain number of websites that can provide you with what’s missing in the beginner’s handbook.
One of the main spaces in which internet governance is being discussed at this time, is the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). This is a yearly meet of civil society, private sector, government representatives, as well as university researchers. It started in 2006 in Athens, will stop in Rio de Janeiro this year and conclude its proceeding in 2008 in Cairo.
As valuable backgrounders, we recommend that you visit the UN ICT task force website where you will run into references to two books. One is called "Internet Governance and a Grand Coalition" and the other, "Reforming Internet Governance".
Other useful and complementary resources would be Yochai Benkler’s book on "The wealth of Networks", the internet governance working group (WGIG) report. Last but not least, we strongly encourage you to read the APC issue paper on internet governance (in PDF format) written by Adam Peake, as well as APC’s recommendations to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) dated November 2005.