Adding to their long history of reports on the study of internet filtering, the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) has compiled, and released, a bulletin on the recent demonstrations in Burma and the Burmese government’s shutdown of the internet there. The executive summary of "Pulling the Plug: A Technical Review of the Internet Shutdown in Burma" reveals the "the role of information technology, citizen journalists, and bloggers in Burma" today.
In preparation for the Hello Regulator? session to be held during the Global Knowledge 3 conference, to be held in December in Malaysia, the Kenya ICT Action Network (Kictanet) is currently holding a 10-day e-discussion on eCommunication Strategies for Regulatory Authorities. The objectives of the discussion include: raising awareness on the role and objectives of information and communication regulators; identifying opportunities provided by the internet for achieving regulatory objectives; understanding threats that the internet presents to regulatory functions; discussing how regulatory bodies can use the web to achieve their objectives; establishing appropriate e-communication strategies & practices for regulators; and determining a way forward and conclusions.
LIRNE.NET and APC invite internet and telecom practitioners, ICT policy and regulation experts, and other stakeholders to submit statements on what they identify as the key issues and important factors currently facing regulators concerned with access to infrastructure. This dialogue is being undertaken in preparation for the “Regulatory Frameworks for Improving Access” workshop to be held at this year’s Internet Governance Forum.
The 2007 Global Information Society Watch report identifies Nigeria as the fastest growing ICT market in Africa. Despite this, women remain severely under-represented among the country’s ICT professionals. And yet, one young woman in APC-member Fantsuam’s ICT department became a role model when she became the first woman to climb a communications tower in northern Nigeria.
The first APC FOSS Prize established in 2006 to honour Chris Nicol, a long time FOSS advocate and activist who for many years, worked with APC, has been jointly awarded to Free Geek (USA) and NepaLinux (Nepal).
NepaLinux, an initiative to create a localised GNU/Linux distribution in the Nepali language, has been chosen as a joint-winner of the first APC Chris Nicol FOSS Prize, by an international jury. APC-member BytesForAll co-founder and journalist Frederick “FN” Noronha interviews NepaLinux’s Bal Krishna Bal, who explains the project’s relevance to FOSS local language computing solutions in Nepal, the challenges their project faced, why he carries on confidently, and his vision of the future.
Contribute your work, and get a computer! That’s the option offered by the Portland,Oregon-based Free Geek. They have been "helping the needy get nerdy since the beginning of the third millennium”. In recognition of their work – made possible with GNU/Linux and free software – this not-for-profit community organisation was jointly awarded the first APC Chris Nicol FOSS Prize. Journalist and BytesForAll co-founder Frederick Noronha (FN) interviewed Elizabeth Swager of Free Geek, to find out more about the project, its challenges and how it can be replicated.
Education, collaboration and co-operation marry and merge in the Argentine classroom, through a unique volunteer-driven project called GLEducar. This project was innovative enough to earn a special mention from the jury of the first APC Chris Nicol FOSS Prize. In this interview, Gleducar secretary Daniel Osvaldo Cardaci explains their logic and concerns.
There is a Congolese proverb that says, “You can’t wash your face with just one finger.” That’s the expression APC’s new member AZUR Développement is using in reference to the need to solidify links with other APC members in order to get the ICT job done in Congo. And they mean it. Recognising that APC’s members have a lot of experience with ICTs, they believe that their activities and those of APC’s members will blend in well.
Access remains one of the greatest challenges facing the internet community in the developing world. The Nominet judges believe that the work of Computer Aid epitomizes what their access category represents. Computer Aid has enabled thousands of people in developing countries, who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity, to access to the internet. Computer Aid’s partners are also able to provide training, capacity building and routine maintenance, to ensure that the use of equipment is maximized.
Journalist Miguel Peirano finds that "Many people think that a laptop for every child is a magic solution and that just giving the children a machine will make them happy," in his well-documented opinion piece about the CEIBAL Plan. This Uruguyan adaptation of the One Laptop Per Child project turns this South American nation into the only country in the world that has adopted, as government policy, the proposal to endow every schoolchild with a low-cost laptop connected to the internet.
APC member Protege QV celebrated a belated but successful Software Freedom Day on Saturday 6 October 2007 with a Web 2.0 and web-based project management application workshop. The international day to educate the public about the importance of software freedom and the availability of free and open source software (FOSS) was officially 15 September 2007, but due to technical constraints, Protege QV pushed its plans ahead.
“An attack on net neutrality and an act of censorship,” was how Miguel Acosta, editor of a New York-based Paraguayan newspaper referred to the measure taken by the Paraguayan Communication Company to block access to internet telephony or voice over internet protocol (VoIP). Civil society has responded forcefully to this situation.
Anriette Esterhuysen, executive director of APC, delivered a keynote address at the opening of the conference on Web2fordev at the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, Italy in late September. Her ideas around participatory web for development were reported on in the Web2fordev blog.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), in collaboration with its partners, will be convening a civil society workshop on Sunday 28 October 2007 in Kigali, Rwanda, to accompany the Connect Africa Summit, taking place 29-30 October 2007.
Other voices: The struggle for community radio in India, by two University of Hyderabad scholars, has just been published by Sage. BytesForAll’s Frederick Noronha interviews the authors of the book: Vinod Pavarala, Professor of Communication and Dean of the Sarojini Naidu School of Communication, University of Hyderabad, and Dr Kanchan K Malik, a lecturer at the university.
Violence against women was the theme of a recent digital storytelling workshop organised by APC’s programme in Africa and APC’s South African member Women’sNet, held in Durban, South Africa from 25 to 29 August 2007. Seventeen women from throughout Africa gathered for one week to develop the skills to use technology for the creation of digital stories as a means of combating domestic, sexual and other forms of violence faced by African women.
APC announces a one-day event on equitable access to ICT infrastructure on 10 November 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Why this event? Access brings people together to exchange information, promotes new spaces for social inclusion and is fundamental to development processes in any society. However many of these innovative solutions are happening in isolation and APC’s event is a place where stakeholders working in the area of equitable can come together to share knowledge and experience and to discuss the issues.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members assisted by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) officials are conducting house-to-house searches in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet pinpointing each and every internet user with a fast connection. They are collecting user details from all the internet service providers (ISPs) in order to profile more than 450,000 internet subscribers in the country.
Individual activists and organisations are invited to join an online discussion on the potential of information technology for environmental sustainability. APC, BlueLink Bulgaria, and Ekoforum Serbia will produce a live online talk show from Belgrade in partnership with the UNECE Aarhus Convention Secretariat as a side event to the Sixth Ministerial “Environment for Europe” Conference.