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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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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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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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Hands-on workshop on free software targets women technicians from Southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 30 August 2004 (APCNews)

From 6-10 September 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa, APC member Women’sNet hosted a southern Africa-wide workshop to build awareness of and demonstrate the potential use of free and open source software (FOSS) in the non-profit sector, and women’s organisations specifically.

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New report: Bridging the Gender Digital Divide – Challenges in Central and Eastern Europe and the ex-Soviet states

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC 30 August 2004 (APCNews)

A research study “Bridging the Gender Digital Divide: A Report on Gender and Information and Communication Technologies in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS)” produced by UNIFEM in collaboration with UNDP and Lenka Simerska and Katerina Fialova of the APC women’s programme (APC WNSP) reports that women in CEE/CIS share many of the challenges experienced by women in other world regions. But there are also some issues specific to this region that needs to be examined in the context of the legacy of communism and historical and cultural sub-regional diversities.

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Agreement to increase access to refurbished computers in Africa

LONDON, UK 30 August 2004 (Computer Aid International)

Every year in the UK approximately 3 million PCs are decommissioned and are no longer in use. A great many of these un-used PCs are in fine working order. Yet, in the developing world 99% of schoolchildren graduate from high school not having seen or touched a computer in the classroom. APC member in the UK, Computer Aid has supplied over 35,000 refurbished PCs to Africa over the past six years and intends to send an additional 25,000 in the next year alone. In June, they signed a partnership agreement with AITEC Africa, Africa’s leading organiser of ICT exhibitions and conferences to provide a framework for co-operation between the two organisations to improve the supply of low-cost computers to African institutions.

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Local communities in Australia relive history and organise online

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA 30 August 2004 (c2o)

One neighbourhood retraces its history through an online archive of web pages, photos, and audio clips. It is a rich telling of anecdotal histories of Aboriginal mounted police, a prisoner of war camp, and more that would otherwise be lost. Another community has built a website to monitor the media regarding development planning that could make or break the community.

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First annual "ICTs and civil society" conference to take place in March 2005

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 30 August 2004 (SANGONeT)

APC member, the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), will be organising its first annual "ICTs and Civil Society" conference to take place from 2-4 March 2005 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Internet country domains as an asset of the commons: the Brazilian case (.br)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRASIL 26 August 2004 (APCNews)

Internet domains (such as .uk, .fr) are sold for a profit to any taker, even if the prospective holder does not have any legal binding with the corresponding country. Thus many ccTLDs are no longer identified with their countries on the Internet, having been sold to national or foreign companies for a profit – some are supposed to be identified with some specific sectors of activity instead of countries, just like some sTLDs (sponsored gTLDs, like .aero for example), but in practice accept any registrant from anywhere in the world with a valid credit card.

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APC's free software provides the basis for the new European Social Forum website, in five languages

LONDON, UK 8 August 2004 (GreenNet)

APC member in London, GreenNet, tells APC about their latest mammoth project. A website for the ESF which will process registration of more than 40,000 attendees, provides logistical information and houses must-read documentation on the issues – in five languages.

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