APC member BytesForAll joined India’s (and probably Asia’s) largest Free/Libre and Open Source Software events, FOSS.in (http://foss.in). There were big names taking part, such as Welsh kernel hacker Alan Cox. There was a real mixed bag attended. This included Women geeks from Brazil, Indian techies keen to enlarge their tech skills or see how IT can become relevant to the lives of this country of one billion with a large poverty sector, those keen to plug in its benefits to the world of education, mega-corporations and governments throwing in sponsorship dollars and rupees…
When an intiative in Brazil to promote community telecentres was endangered, the threat was turned into an opportunity. Free Software tools were re-engineered in a way that they became more powerful and useful. Telecenters that are part of a telecentre-network can use the new system to allow roaming accounts between telecenters. So, a user can create an account on a telecenter in one city and go to other city and login with his original account, without having to make another profile for him on the new telecenter.
Training African community technicians to set up wireless internet access points, making the case for women’s involvement in technology policy, convincing the world’s governments that the internet should be considered a global public good. 2004 was another busy year for APC.
State Security Intelligence walked out of private cars at 1:30 in the morning of Monday 5 December 2005, and surrounded the house of online journalist Ahmad Abdollah before breaking in. His son Islam told five bloggers (Malek, Amr Izzat, Socrates, and Manal and Alaa) who visited him the day after that he noticed three machine guns during the break-in. "They woke the rest of the family, ordered them to line up under gun threat, then searched the house and confiscated computer hard discs, compact discs, and hundreds of books," he was caught as saying. Ahmad Abdollah, who runs the Center for Islamic Enlightenment (video)
which aims at comparing different religions, and bringing them closer together maintains the website Balady Net. He is also a staff writer in the al Methaq al Araby online newspaper.
http://wentafrica.blogspot.com/ is an electronic reflection of the Women’s Electronic Networking Training, which began in early December at Uganda. Women from Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Zambia, Sudan, Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Senegal are participating in the second such workshop being hosted by APC-Africa-Women. This year, the focus of WENT Africa 2005 is Free and Open Source Software Solutions (FOSS) in women’s organisations in Africa. Melissa’s screen began by talking gobledeegook!
November’s World Summit in Tunis was overshadowed by the global argument over internet governance. Its biggest controversy came with the proposition put forward by the EU a month earlier that there be a new inter-governmental body that oversee ICANN. The US government — which currently enjoys unilateral control over the internet infrastructure — was furious and launched an enormous lobbying campaign, both public and private, across the board to retain its position. ‘The Register’ has published what it said was the first full-text version of a strongly-worded letter sent by the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to the UK foreign minister Jack Straw,
acting in the role of presidency of the EU.
This week in Tunis, at the World Summit on the Information Society, both inside and outside the official Summit, we have witnessed serious attacks on human rights and the right to freedom of expression. Please sign the open letter to Kofi Annan today.
APC launched our new-look Africa ICT Policy Monitor website in French on the final day of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia.
Why is that the police who want to look like an average citizen look alike all around the world? Why do they cut their hair and comb it the same way? Why do they use the same black glasses and same gold chains? Why do they like those tropical shirts that in the long run become a uniform? In Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Tegucigalpa or Tunisia, they are instantly identifiable.
One of the focuses of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process has been on the cross-cutting nature of technology, and how it can act as an enabler of other development objectives. In a workshop session on eRiders at WSIS, Toni Eliasz from Ungana-Afrika today presented a "replicable and low-cost ICT capacity building and support model" uniquely suited to enabling technology within this under-resourced sector commonly referred to as civil society.
This is an update on an earlier story about Tunisian websites that are currently blocked in Tunis. Please see the list below of additional sites. Once again it is not a complete list but it is a significant one from a Tunisian blogger on the APC WSIS blog.
The Governments of Latin America and the Caribbean take on commitments towards the implementation of eLAC2007
The government representatives of Latin America and the Caribbean approve of the temporary regional Mechanism for the implementation of the regional plan of action for the information society, eLAC2007.
Who will control the internet? Negotiations appear to be pointing towards a multi-stakeholder, multi-lateral forum
Heated discussions between governments meeting in Tunisia at the World Summit on the Information Society seems to reaching results which could change the face of how the internet is managed for the next several years. APCNews reports.
Many international NGOs taking part in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) have collectively decided to cancel their activities planned for today, November 15, at WSIS. This measure is to make government, private sector and civil society delegates aware of the human rights violations that have been adding up over the last two days including beatings of journalists by police and the breaking-up of meetings since November 13. It is also a clear showing of solidarity with all independent NGOs in Tunisia who seem to have to put up with police repression on a daily basis. Markus Beckedahl interviewed APC’s Anriette Esterhuysen on the reasons for this drastic decision. Listen to the interview.
Under the incredulous eyes of the participants at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), journalists and human rights defenders were manhandled, insulted, and then violently beaten. APCNews reports from Tunis.
Today, the website of the Citizens’ summit on the information society (CSIS) was effectively off-line for all web users in Tunisia. It appears that Tunisian authorities have started to intensify their crackdown on legitimate initiatives related to the World Summit on the information Society (WSIS). Blocking the access to the www.citizens-summit.org is the latest in a series of measures introduced to silence voices critical of the government and its human right record.
APC has participated extensively in the internet governance process at the World Summit on Information Society. Out of this participation and in collaboration with other partners, including members of the WSIS civil society internet governance caucus, APC has crystallized a set of recommendations with regard to internet governance ahead of the final Summit in Tunis in November 2005.
Maxigas — a friend from Hungary — and myself had the opportunity to go to the Tunis City Centre last afternoon, just to have a feel of the city and get to know a little more about Tunis. The atmosphere seemed quite festive, and preparations for the WSIS are in full swing. Green plants are being transported in numbers and transplanted on roadsides and important squares, large pictures of the Tunisian President are installed everywhere, and even most of the banners also carry his pictures welcoming the WSIS delegates. But questions remain….
Organisers of the Citizens’ Summit on the Information Society (CSIS) were forbidden from holding their event in a pre-confirmed hotel conference room at Tunis, venue of the currently-underway World Summit on the Information Society. After confirming the reservation, Hotel Oriental Palace announced to the organisers by fax that, "following unforeseeable works in room Farabi", they were compelled to cancel the reservation, and would reimburse the advance payment, awaiting the CSIS’ technical suggestions.
South Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) officially announced on September 12, the that it would introduce the internet real-name system as a counter-measure against problems of cyber violence and start a legislative process regarding this system. But this move — seen by some as a form of pre-censorship — has brought in resistance and concern.