News

APC condemns “arbitrary” seizure of IndyMedia web servers by US and European law enforcers

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 12 October 2004 (APCNews)

In a statement, APC has condemned the seizing by US and European law enforcement agencies of the web servers of independent online news service Indymedia, closing down over 21 of the more than 140 Indymedia web sites worldwide. “We are disturbed by the apparently arbitrary and extreme measures taken to silence an independent internet-based source of information,” said Anriette Esterhuysen, APC’s Executive Director. “This is a violation of freedom of expression across international frontiers.”

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US Authorities Seize IMC Servers in the UK

LONDON, UK 10 October 2004

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the FBI. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively removing those sites from the internet.

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Massive victory at WIPO!

5 October 2004

For years now, progressive groups have been trying to get the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization to start thinking about ways of promoting creativity and development instead of just IP — to get the organization to see that its raison d’etre is a better world, and that stronger IP laws is just one way of accomplishing that — and that IP only works sometimes.

Which is why this is such good news: at the general session of the WIPO in Geneva this weekend, the Assembly as adopted a decision to put development and the promotion of creativity front-and-center in its goals. That means that from now on, WIPO isn’t an organization that blindly supports more IP no matter what, but rather one that seeeks to improve the world by whatever tool is best suited to the job.

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The first “free software” workshop run for women by women in the world? Southern African women do it!

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 1 October 2004 (APC-Africa-Women)

Splicing cables, partitioning hard drives, developing technology plans and sharing stories of activism set the scene for a lively and full first Southern African Development Community Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) workshop to be held. And as far as we know, the first FOSS workshop for women in the world, writes Jenny Radloff of APC-Africa-Women.

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African journalists trained in how to communicate securely online

GRAHAMSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 30 September 2004 (APCNews and Toni Eliasz)

Online security and privacy should be of concern to anyone who uses the internet. But for journalists and human rights organisations operating under repressive political conditions or in situations of conflict, online security can become a matter of life or death. The challenge is to gather, protect and disseminate information in a way that minimises risk to activists. APC is offering workshops on "Secure Computing and Online Communications", most recently at Highway Africa, the world’s largest conference for African journalists.

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Neighbourhood telecentres in Argentina’s second city to ensure women and girls make full use of technology

ROSARIO, ARGENTINA 30 September 2004 (APC WNSP)

Report from an awareness-raising workshop held in Rosario, Argentina to introduce local social activists to GEM – the APC’s gender evaluation methodology tool for ICT initiatives.

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South African policy activist becomes APC's new Communications and Information Policy Programme Manager

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 30 September 2004 (APCNews)

Willie Currie joined APC as our policy programme manager in early September. Currently based in New York, from 1999-2002 Willie was a councillor with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA).

In the mid ‘90s, he co-ordinated the telecommunications policy process that led to South Africa’s first post-Apartheid telecommunications policy document. Prior to this, as general secretary of the Film and Allied Workers Organisation, Willie was involved in the development of broadcasting policy during the transition to democracy in South Africa and a public campaign to ‘free the airwaves’. APCNews talked to Willie about his new role.

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NEW APC MEMBER: South Asian network “Bytes for All” joins APC

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 30 September 2004 (APCNews)

South Asia has 23% of the world’s population but less than 1% of the internet users. Bytes for All a Southern Asian network promoting ICT for development has just become APC’s newest member. Bytes for All is active throughout South Asia with volunteers from numerous countries including India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

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Communications rights activists from across Asia plan actions and solidarity

MANILA, PHILIPPINES 30 September 2004 (FMA)

A workshop held in Manila focused on pressing communication rights issues in the Asian region including attacks on freedom of expression and independent media. Activists issued a statement in support of a Thai colleague present who returned home to face a million-dollar lawsuit for speaking out in the press against government corruption.

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Youth network in Colombian capital puts young people in touch with their communities

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA 30 September 2004 (Colnodo)

“I learned a lot and changed my way of thinking not only about computers and the internet, but about working for the community”. “I didn’t just learn to write and upload news to a website, I learned about leadership and how to build projects.” “In the RIJ we are bringing about positive change for young people. We help get their message out.” This is how some of the teenage participants feel about RIJ, a communications network for Bogota youth. Now the project is over, they’re still planning to keep the network alive.

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Resistance in Hungary to EU proposals on software patenting

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 30 September 2004 (APCNews)

A crowd of about four hundred turned out to demonstrate against proposed European software patents legislation. It was the first "geeky", free-software related demonstration in Hungary said APC member Green Spider, organised by groups not typically used to leaving their computer screens to get their voices heard.

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WSIS Update: APC reports on recent and upcoming meetings on internet governance and the financing of ICTs in developing countrie

LONDON, UK 30 September 2004 (APC)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process continues and two issues on which governments were unable to reach consensus during the first phase in 2003- ‘internet governance’ and ‘financing mechanisms’- are under the microscope. Last month saw the first open consultation on the ‘working group on internet governance’. APC briefs you on the discussions taking place.

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WSIS Update: APC reports on recent and upcoming meetings on internet governance and the financing of ICTs in developing countrie

LONDON,UK 30 September 2004 (APCNews)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process continues and two issues on which governments were unable to reach consensus during the first phase in 2003- ‘internet governance’ and ‘financing mechanisms’- are under the microscope. Last month saw the first open consultation on the ‘working group on internet governance’. APC briefs you on the discussions taking place.

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Resistance in Hungary to EU proposals on software patenting

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 30 September 2004 (Green Spider)

A crowd of about four hundred turned out to demonstrate against proposed European software patents legislation. It was the first "geeky", free-software related demonstration in Hungary said APC member Green Spider, organised by groups not typically used to leaving their computer screens to get their voices heard.

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European Forum on Communication Rights to precede European Social Forum

LONDON, UK 29 September 2004 (APCNews)

Following the successful World Forum on Communications Rights held in Geneva in December, communications activists including the APC aim to bring together those working at different levels on communication rights – from grass roots activists working on practical projects and street level campaigns, to those engaged in lobbying and advocacy, to researchers and academics for a European Forum on Communication Rights on October 14 in London.

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Highway Africa 2004 - Building the information society

GRAHAMSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 16 September 2004 (APCNews)

Highway Africa is the world’s largest conference for African journalists. This year’s three-day meeting called "Media making the information society" is attended by more than 350 people. The information and communication technology (ICT) focus will provide a platform for journalists to learn and report on information society issues. APC is running workshops on secure online communication workshops and ICT policy. Read news coming out of Highway Africa by visiting the site and clicking on the news box on the left.

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Partnership will provide 1000s of low-cost computers for development work in dry lands of East Africa

LONDON, UK 10 September 2004 (http://www.computeraid.org/)

APC members ALIN-EA and Computer Aid have come together in order to extend low cost PCs to not-for-profit community development groups working in the rural dry lands across East Africa.

The partnership has already shipped 450 fully refurbished Pentium II and Pentium III computers to Nairobi for distribution by ALIN-EA to its member organisations and to wider civil society structures. The intention of the partnership is to be able to provide literally thousands of quality refurbished PCs at the lowest cost possible backed up by a first class technical support service and one year guarantee.

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The Zitt Geeks - Young Nigerians turn to computing to improve their job prospects

BAYANLOCO 2 September 2004 (Karen Higgs for APCNews)

The Fantsuam Foundation provides refurbished computers to civil society organisations and partners, runs computer training centres and offers the only internet connection for hundreds of miles around in rural Nigeria. All this in Kafanchan State where electricity is often unavailable and innovators power their computers using car batteries. The Foundation’s work is supported by a home-grown corps of ICT youth volunteers, the Zitt Geeks. The Geeks are already free software devotees and they are the first participants in Fantsuam’s business incubator which provides training, mentoring and funding to enable enterprising youths to become self-employed.

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ALERT: Bulgarian government ignores impact assessment in rush to build nuclear power plant

SOFIA, BULGARIA 31 August 2004

Bulgarian environmental organisations have formed a coalition protesting the planned construction of a second nuclear power plant in Bulgaria. “The government has already announced that the decision for constructing the plant is made despite the fact that the public hearings and an environmental impact assessment have not been finished,” says a representative of the coalition coordinator, APC member, BlueLink. “We ask governments and civil society groups to contact the Bulgarian government questioning the project.” Campaign volunteers can write to beleNE@bluelink.net or visit the campaign site.

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Catalysing a Gender and ICT Advocacy Movement: First APC women’s programme policy conference for change and empowerment

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 31 August 2004 (APC WNSP)

“We are constantly urged to make the case for gender and ICT,” said Karen Banks, former coordinator of the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme in her opening address to the APC WNSP’s first gender and ICT policy conference, “ICT policy makers, funders, governments and even civil society ICT advocates ask ‘why gender?’ and the women’s movement asks ‘why ICTs?’” Analysis of the debates that dominated the two-day meeting in Rio de Janeiro in June now online.

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