News

We will not obey the Internet Real Name Law

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA 23 April 2004

A new law passed in the South Korean parliament on March 9 requires internet media and press websites to verify the names and identification numbers of all visitors who post messages on bulletin boards or chat rooms and even personal websites regarding political elections. Civil society groups, including APC member Jinbonet, held a press conference pledging to defy the law which they claim is a violation of freedom of expression.

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APC elected to the executive committee of the Global Knowledge Partnership

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 23 April 2004 (APCNews)

The Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) is an international multistakeholder network committed to harnessing the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for sustainable and equitable development. Within the GKP framework, governments, civil society groups, donor agencies, private sector companies and inter-governmental organisations come together as equals to apply ICTs for development.

APC takes its place on the committee which oversees the direction of the GKP together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UNESCO, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and others. The Excomm as it is known was chosen by the members of GKP during online voting in April.

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Business planning for e-networks links Central Europe with the Balkans

SOFIA, BULGARIA 22 April 2004 (APCNews)

A Mission-Driven Business Planning workshop for environmental civil society online networks in the Balkans in February was attended by APC members from the Balkans and six fledgling electronic networking initiatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo/a, Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro.

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Elections in South Africa from a women's perspective

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 18 April 2004 (Women'sNet)

South Africa went to the polls for the third time since the end of apartheid in the early 1990s. APC member, Women’sNet, provided analysis and opinions online about the elections and perceptions of men and women. Articles included "The Dreary Dialogue", a report on interchanges between the political parties and women in civil society by director, Natasha Primo.

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Whose “information society”?

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 2 April 2004 (APCNews)

Was WSIS worth it? The general verdict on the recent United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in December 2003 was a thumbs-down. The Summit outcomes were limited after an arduous and expensive process. However, argues Anriette Esterhuysen, APC’s executive director, from the perspective of many civil society organisations that participated actively, the WSIS has created a new opportunity for solidarity across ideological, sectoral and geographical divides.

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APC action plan for 2004-2007 in final stages

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 31 March 2004 (APCNews)

The APC executive board and staff met in March for an intensive planning meeting to map out APC’s activities for the next three years. The meeting took place following the definition of strategic priorities for the APC by the 36-member APC council in Cartagena, Colombia last November.

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Two thousand telecentre users from marginal neighbourhoods in São Paulo surveyed

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 29 March 2004

In December 2003, APC’s member in Brazil RITS carried out a survey of the users of 10 of the 107 municipal telecentres that serve under-privileged neighbourhoods in São Paulo in order to find out who’s using them, users’ habits and preferences when they visit the centres and use the internet, and to find out what their expectations and possibilities are regarding really getting the most out of ICTs. Two thousand questionnaires were distributed in different neighbourhoods. The results of the survey will be posted on the OPPI – the Observatory of Public Policies on Infoinclusion in Brazil- at the end of May. Find out more about RITS’s involvement in the telecentres.

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Theta on Survival & Prosperity in the NGO Sector - The Role of Technology in Strengthening Organisational Capacity

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 29 March 2004 (SANGONeT)

During the past few years the South African non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector has experienced dramatic changes. In the 1990s many NGOs were forced to close down because of a lack of funding and related organisational problems. APC member in Johannesburg, SANGONeT, is currently in the process of establishing various new partnerships and brokering arrangements in support of its ICT service delivery activities and services to the South African NGO sector. To assist in developing these ICT services, SANGONeT is offering this Thetha –or discussion- in early April.

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Choosing open source software: Decision-making materials for civil society organisations

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 29 March 2004 (APCNews)

Free and open source software (FOSS) holds a great deal of potential for civil society organisations. The most obvious benefit of FOSS is that it is often free to use or low-cost. However, it also offers more including crucially better security. Ddid you know that if your computer uses the GNU/Linux operating system you don’t have to use anti-virus software? No more days or data lost recovering from the latest virus…

The materials available in the MultiMedia Toolkit’s latest unit on FOSS provide an introduction to FOSS, tackling questions like ‘what is open source?’ and ‘how will it benefit my organisation?’ They also include practical advice on how to review open source software packages and select the right ones for your organisation.

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Choosing open source software: Decision-making materials for civil society organisations

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 29 March 2004 (APCNews)

Free and open source software (FOSS) holds a great deal of potential for civil society organisations. The most obvious benefit of FOSS is that it is often free to use or low-cost. However, it also offers more including crucially better security. Ddid you know that if your computer uses the GNU/Linux operating system you don’t have to use anti-virus software? No more days or data lost recovering from the latest virus…

The materials available in the MultiMedia Toolkit’s latest unit on FOSS provide an introduction to FOSS, tackling questions like ‘what is open source?’ and ‘how will it benefit my organisation?’ They also include practical advice on how to review open source software packages and select the right ones for your organisation.

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“avanza”, a website for Colombian development

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA 29 March 2004 (Colnodo)

Colnodo, APC’s member in Bogotá, in association with the Colombian Confederation of Non-governmental Organisations, launches “avanza” (meaning “advance” or “move forward” in English), a website for Colombian development.

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Steps forward toward an Ecuadorian information and communication technology network for development

QUITO, ECUADOR 29 March 2004 (INTERCOM)

An “Information and Knowledge Exchange Network on Information Communication Technology for Development” for Ecuador has been created.

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Southern civil societies portal launches monthly bulletin

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 29 March 2004

Choike, the southern civil societies portal produced by APC member in Uruguay, the Third World Institute (ITeM), is now offering a monthly newsletter. This month’s features special reports on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and migrant sex work. The specials are produced by Choike’s editorial team but they take their sources from the work of civil societies in the South. Subscribe to the Choike bulletin.

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Brazilian publication on the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 29 March 2004 (RITS)

On April 28, APC member in Brazil, RITS, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation will present a new publication "The World Summit on the Information Society: a subject for everyone". Composed of analytical articles on the principal issues involved in the WSIS process, the book will also look at the Summit Declaration and Action Plan and the civil society declaration. The presentation will also include a debate with panelists – Sergio Amadeu da Silveira, president of the National Information Technology Institute, and ambassador Clodoaldo Hugueney, representative of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. According to Paulo Lima, RITS director, this is the opportunity to place in the balance the Summit up till now and its strategic importance as well as broadening the debate and the participation of civil society in information society issues. More about RITS.

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APC in Latin America and the Caribbean

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 26 March 2004 (APCNews)

APC has been present in Latin America since the late 1980s when two of our founding members were technology activist groups based in Nicaragua and Brazil. Here we briefly summarise our current internet and information and communications technology (ICT) policy efforts in the region, the innovative work of the Latin American branch of APC women’s programme in Latin America and last year’s APC Betinho Communications Prize which recognises notable technology initiatives in the region.

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Internet to improve local government transparency and accountability in Colombia

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA 20 March 2004 (Colnodo)

Transparency for Colombia and APC member Colnodo recently donated their new software “Internet for Accountability” to allow a mass take-up of the ‘good government’ tool. More than 500 municipalities will receive the software plus internet access on the signing of a transparency and anti-corruption agreement.

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Positioning for second summit phase has begun

GERMANY 20 March 2004

The structure as well as the struggles for the second

phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) summit process are slowly becoming clearer. One thing is clear: It will be more complex than the first round, as it has to deal with many more loose ends. WSIS 2003 only had to deliver two pieces of paper (the declaration of principles and the action plan). This left a lot of time for endless discussions, arm-twisting on wording, sorting out friends or foes in different arenas, and for civil society to start playing inside the official UN process. Now, the negotiators from Geneva will meet the real world. And as conflicts remain, the actors are positioning themselves for the second round.

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GESAC, SCD, FUST, XPTO … and digital inclusion?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 3 March 2004 (Carlos Afonso)

Carlos Afonso, director of planning at RITS APC’s Brazilian member organisation outlines the digital inclusion opportunities and initiatives carried out in Brazil so far, from the successful ones to the dismal failures. According to Afonso, despite the flurry of acronyms being thrown around, Brazil still does not have a national strategy that will provide the majority of Brazilians with access to the internet. He believe it’s crucial that the Brazilan government gets involved in the set-up of community telecentres and computers in schools and public libraries – the cheapest and most efficient way of democratising access to information and communication technologies.

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Failure and Success at the WSIS: Civil Society's next moves

IRELAND 24 February 2004

The depth of disappointment with the formal outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society cannot be fully explained by reference to the usual process of summit attrition, governments horse-trading down to the lowest common denominator.

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Update: on the CRIS Campaign

LONDON, UK 24 February 2004

After the excesses of Christmas and New Year, the CRIS Campaign in their own words has been very quiet in the early part of 2004. However, the team is back with an update on the First World Forum on Communication Rights held in Geneva in December, plans for CRIS for 2004 and an invitation for local networks to become part of CRIS.

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