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No pain, no gain! South African APC member runs the “big daddy” of marathons

JOHANNESBURG 3 September 2010 (Adam Mukeni for SANGONeT)

In August, APC member SANGONeT started raising money to fund its projects in a most innovative way – executive director David Barnard will be running the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon, also known as the the “big daddy of marathons” in South Africa running circles, from 17 to 23 October 2010. The week-long race covers approximately 250 km, split in six legs with daily distances ranging from 28 km to 76 km. The event takes place in the Kalahari Desert, with average daily temperatures reaching in excess of 40 °C and dropping to below 5 °C at night. You can show your support on SANGONeT’s Facebook page, or donate to SANGONeT online. Photo: Photo:http://www.extrememarathons.com/augrabies/

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Let's talk about the internet: First West African IGF taking place in August

CALGARY 23 August 2010 (LC for APCNews)

After regional IGF processes in the US, UK and Kenya have demonstrated that national discussions can have an impact at the global level on issues such as child pornography and internet security, West Africa will host its first regional IGF from August 23 to 25 in Dakar Senegal, in part thanks to APC. The space for policy dialogue on Internet Governance will allow for issues that are particular to West Africa to be discussed by the different stakeholders.

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Internet Governance Forum 2010: Pre-event on human rights

MONTREAL 23 August 2010 (CL for APCNews)

Attempts to get human rights on the internet onto the agenda at the Fifth Internet Governance Forum –the UN conference now in its possibly final edition— which is to take place in September foundered in the face of government resistance. And the IGF agenda for 2010 will focus on development and internet governance. However Vilnius will be the scenario to shape a debate on censorship, freedom of expression and privacy that has been clamouring for attention. APC and partners will hold a discussion on internet governance and human rights immediately before the IGF in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 13.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Two sides of the same ICT coin

NEW YORK 23 August 2010 (Mavic Cabrera-Balleza for GenderIT.org)

APC´s gender and ICT policy site GenderIT.org speaks with Sylvie Niombo and Françoise Mukuku, ICT activists from the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They discuss the internet, mobile phones and how they are being used in their countries to reduce incidence of violence against women and how conversely they aggravate violence and lead to violation of privacy laws. They also explain why access to ICTs is critical for the achievement of the third Millennium Development Goal on women´s empowerment. Photo: Françoise Mkuku helps a friend with bluetooth

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Technology, privacy and violence against Argentinian women

BUENOS AIRES 23 August 2010 (Florencia Goldsman with Flavia Fascendini for GenderIT.org)

Women in Argentina discuss ICTs and violence against women at a workshopWomen in Argentina discuss ICTs and violence against women at a workshopA recent consultation held by APC in Buenos Aires found that cell phones are becoming increasingly regarded as a way for men to harrass and monitor their wives and girlfriends. While a number of laws protecting women’s rights have just been passed, they are yet to be tested in court. This GenderIT.org article looks at the current legislation regarding violence and technology, the gaps that exist and what grass-roots organisations are advocating for. Photo: APC WNSP

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South Africa: Privacy and domestic violence online and off

JOHANNESBURG 23 August 2010 (Esther Nasikye and Sally-Jean Shackleton for GenderIT.org)

While women’s rights activists have been at the forefront of making the private crimes that occur at home – domestic violence, marital rape – public, new technologies are making the private public in ways that disenfranchise, alienate and violate women. Esther Nasikye and Sally-Jean Shackleton explore how ICTs, privacy and domestic violence in South Africa are exposing problems in both policy and practice. Photo: “John Atherton”:http://www.flickr.com/people/gbaku/

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ICTs and violence against women: Reports from 12 countries tell it like it is

MONTEVIDEO 17 August 2010 (APC for APC)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfraissi/4286109087 - John Fraissinethttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jfraissi/4286109087 – John FraissinetJust as women are disproportionately the victims of violence worldwide, the situation is just as bad online. The UN estimates that 95% of aggressive behaviour, harassment, abusive language and denigrating images in online spaces are aimed at women and come from partners or former male partners. Other surveys show that the victims of cyberstalking are predominantly female. As part of our Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project, APC and partners have carried out studies of the current situation of violence against women and ICTs in twelve countries and how the legislation or lack of legislation connected to both hinders or helps women. Photo by “John Fraissinet”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfraissi/4286109087

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Afro-Colombian women fight prejudice by embracing technology

MONTEVIDEO 9 August 2010 (AL for APCNews)

On an improvised stage, locals act out a play about an African-Colombian girl who feels rejected because of the colour of her skin. It’s part of a community gathering to highlight violence against women in a small sugar-plantation town a few miles from Cali. For eight months, men and women of all ages attended workshops on gender and technology as part of piloted trials of the Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) in 24 government-sponsored telecentres. GEM exposed not only the stereotypes and prejudice women must face, but also the strengths that lie within women who least expected it. As a result, the entire community has come together.

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Three “Cyber Evils” in South Korea

CALGARY 9 August 2010 (LC for APCNews)

Since South Korea’s conservative president was sworn in in 2008, administrative control on internet content has been getting progressively tighter in South Korea, a country with the second most connected population on Earth. Progressive groups criticise the government’s “three cyber evils”: the cyber insult law, the internet “real name” system and deep packet inspection to monitor and control internet communication.

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Progressive techies declare their rights - and responsibilities

MONTEVIDEO 2 August 2010 (Kah for APCNews)

At the United States Social Forum on June 24 fifty politically progressive technologists came together for the first US Progressive Techie Congress. The Congress emerged with a statement applauded by other socially-responsible networks like the APC as “a great set of principles”.

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New model to get broadband to under-served communities in South Africa

PRETORIA 26 July 2010 (Ungana-Afrika for APCNews)

Broadband for All aims to provide broadband connectivity to South Africa’s under-served areas through a community-centric model rather than a telco-driven model. The model leverages wireless-mesh technologies to link priority government sites and high bandwidth users such as schools, municipalities and government offices, who in turn provide a link to smaller customers such as businesses, NGOs and individuals.

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Opening up e-government in Romania

MONTEVIDEO 26 July 2010 (Kah for APCNews)

Activists advocate for “the real deal” in climate change policy during the 2009 UN Copenhagen conference using a site developed by StrawberryNet.  Photo: GreendexActivists advocate for “the real deal” in climate change policy during the 2009 UN Copenhagen conference using a site developed by StrawberryNet. Photo: GreendexRozi Bako reports that after researching the state of access to online information for extending democracy in Romania “we are now advocating for open e-government”. Bako of the StrawberryNet Foundation found that technology in Romania is far more advanced than information dissemination practices, and that if Romania is to become a transparent, participatory society, government initiatives and a business community drive have to be backed up by opinion-makers and citizen action groups.

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Mobiles and internet improve the livelihoods of the poorest

MONTEVIDEO 23 July 2010 (GISW)

Fishermen from coastal villages in southern India can now access information on weather conditions and the market in their own language via mobile phone. This has not only improved the standard of living for their entire communities, but it has also saved the lives of a number of fishermen who would have died at sea. This article from Global Information Society Watch 2009 – Advancing human rights and democracy looks at concrete examples of how access to information through mobile phones and technology is adding to the wallets of the poor. Photo: “Carl Parkes”:http://www.flickr.com/people/friskodude/

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Anonymous source denounces “Shameful Saga of the Internet Ban in Pakistan”

MONTEVIDEO 23 July 2010 (Kah for APCNews)

In a strongly worded blog post on APC.org, an anonymous blogger from Pakistan has named and shamed political actors and the courts as responsible for the recent “Facebook ban” which blocked over 10,000 websites in Pakistan. “We knew that it’s not blasphemous content which is depriving citizens from using the internet. We wanted to dig deeper to uncover the political motives of politicians that are taking a whole nation hostage for their own vested interests,” says the text. Essential reading for anyone following internet rights in South Asia.

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Nobel Peace Prize for “the internet”?

CALGARY 22 July 2010 (LC for APCNews)

Google has launched a world-wide campaign on how the internet can be used for peace in support of the worldwide network’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 on the basis that “the Internet is a powerful tool that promotes freedom of expression, while fostering the global spread of democracy”. Support the nomination by selecting your country and adding your name to the list of supporters, or take part on the debate as to whether the prestigious Nobel Prize should to go the internet and its users or not. APC is a campaign affiliate.

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Producing social justice video in Asia? Take the EngageMedia strategic planning survey

JAKARTA 14 July 2010 (EngageMedia for EngageMedia)

EngageMedia has been working hard over the past five years to establish itself as “a leading distribution platform of social justice videos from the Asia-Pacific Region.” Come share with EngageMedia before 6 August what you think of their services and give suggestions on what you think they do best, what they should do more of, and help them create their strategic plan for the next few years.

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Visualising information: Are my rights the same as your rights?

MONTEVIDEO 12 July 2010 (Digital Methods Initiative for GISWatch)

In a unique study, researchers from the Netherlands asked, if you type the word “rights” into Google.co.uk, do you see the same types of rights in the top ten search results as if you type “derechos” (rights in Spanish) into the Argentinian Google? The answer is no. The search results showed that the “rights of the over-indebted” is unique to Ivory Coast as was the “right to education in a native sign language” to Finland. The results –which have been turned into a unique rights-map— together with an analysis of tweets during the 2009 Iranian election crisis are published in Global Information Society Watch 2009 which highlights the use of online information for advancing democracy and human rights.

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Revolutionary blogfarm for Hungarian activists

BUDAPEST 12 July 2010 (Green Spider for APCNews)

APC member in Budapest, Green Spider, is challenging Facebook and YouTube by offering a home-grown Web 2.0 suite for Hungarian activists. “In the face of the overwhelming monoculture of corporate social networking tools, the service has taken off amongst grassroots activists, community organisers and charities in the Hungarian social and environmental movement,” says Green Spider.

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Fighting illegal logging in Bulgaria's forests

SOFIA 12 July 2010 (BlueLink for APCNews)

A campaign to expose illegal logging is a new wall against the extinction of forests in Bulgaria. The campaign combines digital tools and green activism in an online system for filing whistle-blower alerts.

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Cambodia announces observation centre to end violence against women

CALGARY 12 July 2010 (LC for APCNews)

As part of its plan to bring an end to violence against women in the country, Cambodia’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs will set up a Gender Issues Observatory, the first of its kind in the country. According to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Dr. Ing Kanthaphavi, the centre will study the challenges that Cambodian women face to prevent further violence.

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