A bill of rights for the internet age has been proposed at a United Nations’ first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Athens. It is an attempt to "update and restate" rights that have been enshrined in international law for centuries, according to the civil liberties group IP Justice. This campaign for the recognition of inalienable rights on the web also brings into focus the APC Internet Rights Charter.
You can’t see it; you can’t even know it exists. But for enabling data communication on the fringes of an internet-enriched globe, wireless communication makes a world of a difference. For groups like the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), it offers untapped power in harnessing wireless technology for social purposes.
APC-member Community Education Computer Society conducted a training in July 2006, as part of an e-readiness training for community radio stations. Among the "most important things" participants said they learnt were the the whole notion of free and open source software and the ability to broadcast radio over the internet.
Over the past few years, a considerable number of discussions have been conducted on linguistic diversity in the online world. It has brought with it a controversy, in part due to the fact that the spread of the internet is frequently hailed as a cause for the loss of cultural diversity. At the recent Internet Governance Forum though, much attention was given to the protection of our linguistic diversity.
APC is currently looking to engage four ICT policy researchers to conduct detailed country studies of the SAT-3/WASC submarine cable in the following countries: Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, and Senegal. The specific context of the research will be on the areas that Open Access (as a concept) seeks to impact – namely access and cost. Research will be conducted on the impact SAT-3/WASC has had on the competitiveness of international and Internet services in each country. Interested researchers should in the first instance submit a copy of their CV and a sample of written work (of no more than 2000 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org Please include "SAT-3/WASC Cable Research Project" AND the name of the country you are applying to research on, in the Subject field of your email. Applications should be received no later than Monday 27 November 2006 (17:00 GMT).
How many hours a day do you spend using some kind of ICT tool? Have you ever wondered how it connects with violence against women? Can things like mobile phones, webcams, blogs and videogames transform power relations between women and men? From 25 November to 10 December, APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) invites you to take back the tech! For 16 days, this campaign engages you to think about how your use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) can work to eliminate, or perpetuate violence against women (VAW).
From August 2005 until April 2006, an evaluation of APC’s information and communication technology (ICT) policy involvement from 2002 to mid-2005 was carried out by an independent consultant. “The overall conclusion from this evaluation has to be that APC is an energetic, active, committed organisation that has achieved a lot with limited staff and resources. [.. and] APC is highly respected. This respect comes from a range of different players and extends over technical, advocacy, and political aspects of its work.,” but, says the writer, “Perhaps the overwhelming message is to aim lower.” You can read the results in this 55-page report.
What priorities did Latin America take in its suitcase to the first Internet Governance Forum? How did all the sectors participate in what was a pioneering event in this kind of format? APCNews spoke to Raúl Echeberría, executive director of LACNIC, the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry.
The South African non-governmental organisation net (SANGONeT) is known for being at the forefront of South Africa’s civil society, especially in matters related to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the internet. How that came to be and how SANGONeT is using technology is discussed with SANGONeT portal editor Fazila Farouk here.
What does diversity mean in the internet age? Linguistic and content plurality was the approach chosen by the organising committee for the Internet Governance Forum, which took place in Athens, Greece, from October 29th to November 2nd.
In October 2006, The Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome hosted the first ever international Congress on Communication for Development. Scott Robinson from the Metropoltan University in Mexico City has attended and offers here a few indications on how he thinks the WCCD should be rethought. As part of his reflections, he offers new ways forward.
APC aims to demystify internet policies and regulations with an updated version of an important web site that is the only one of its kind across Latin America and the Caribbean. The updated monitor site has a new design and structure, which makes it easier to search for the material that Latin American civil society needs to be able to have a greater and more effective voice in local and regional negotiations over ICT policies.
APC’s charter was first developed by APC members and partner organisations at “internet rights” workshops held in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa in 2001-2002. APC’s new charter revised in November 2006 includes a section on internet governance – the focus of recent UN summits – and our position that the internet is a global public good. An essential reference for anyone concerned about the freedom of the internet and ‘internet access for all’ nationally and internationally.
APC asserts `access´ to the internet & capacity-building are key to participative internet governance
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), a network of civil society organisations working with ICTs and the internet for social justice and sustainable development thinks that the IGF is a valuable space for policy dialogue. As the first Internet Governance Forum that took place Athens in early November 2006 draws to a close, APC would like to insist on two issues be given priority: access to internet infrastructure and capacity building.
Latin America makes noise at the Forum on Internet Governance. What priorities is Latin America carrying around in its briefcase for this first Forum on Internet Governance? How are all the sectors participating in a pioneer event in this format? APCNews spoke to Raúl Echeberría, LACNIC executive director, the Latin America and the Caribbean internet address registry.
What does diversity mean in the internet? The linguistic and content plurality approach is what the organising committee for the Internet Governance Forum, that is going on in Athens, Greece from October 29th to November 2nd, chose.
Aside from ‘access to the internet’ – the single most important issue at this weeks first Internet Governance Forum – ‘accessibility’ follows suite in what is to be labelled “priority”. In fact, access to the internet deals with submarine fibre optic cables, gigantic satellite dishes and other infrastructure considerations. That has to come first. But when you break down the story of internet access to the personal level, what is needed, is a strong commitment towards getting women, underprivileged and people with disabilities on board.
APC executive director Anriette Esterhuysen has told the Internet Governance Forum, meeting in Athens currently, that it has a duty play a much bigger role in spreading the sharing of ideas and encouraging innovation. Copyrighting and limiting the rights of teachers and learners in the developing world from share information would add only "limited value" to harnessing the internet for development, Esterhuysen said in the Greek capital.
Blatant censorship is one thing, and can be fought. But who controls the controllers? What about the more subtle forms of control and blockages, that often can work in the more brutal ways of the unseen hand? APC member-organisation RITS’s Carlos Afonso, made this point articulatedly at the Internet Governance Forum in Athens. Afonso underlined that it was difficult to deal internet-related issues "without considering the situation of regulation, legislation and control of the network itself." He questioned the view that "the technical question is not as relevant as the other issues." What is the responsibility of network operators? Controlling players decide if voice over IP traffic can pass through an exchange point or not.
Opening internet access in Africa, convergence and developing country participation in the UN summit on the information society:
Several new papers on key issues now and in the future are available online. Part of the "APC Issue Papers" series, they are currently being circulated at the UN conference on internet governance being held in Athens in English and French.