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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a quick and dirty guide to Podcasting… in short, how to hear ours and other Podcasts with the minimum of fuss. It was written the other day, as we were finding quite a few people who knew about Podcasting, but didn’t really find a simple way to get onto it. This was published on our independent publishing label, Secession’s web site and RSS feed. Hope this helps…
Inter-Press Service (IPS), civil society’s leading news agency, is offering special coverage of the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held at Tunis, from November 16-18, 2005. IPS, unlike the mainstream global news agencies which are mostly focused on the affluent world, calls itself an "independent voice from the South and for development".
BANGKOK, THAILAND 7 November 2005 (Dafne Sabanes Plou)
It is interesting that during this new Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) Forum that is being held in Bangkok, Thailand, numerous workshops and even an intervention at the plenary have been on scientific and technological advances, which are bringing along great changes regarding nature and the conception of human life. There were however also interventions on the modification of life that can seem aggressive and once again oppressive for women. In the two workshops presented by the Center for Genetics and Society and Our Bodies Ourselves, both from the United States, great concerns arose relating to genetic testing, choosing the sex of babies, selective abortion rendered possible thanks to ultrasound technology, and the technology to select sperm to produce boys or girls.
The women’s movement knows just how handy new ICTs can be when it’s time to coordinate its own movement, lead campaigns, lobby, and have political effect. Nevertheless there are difficult access barriers for these technologies that are not limited to infrastructural or cost-related issues, but are trapped by power relations and inequalities that leave these tools out of the reach of millions of people, most of which are women. The workshop that tackled this subject during the 10th Feminist Encounter held in Serra Negra, Sao Paolo, Brazil, aimed to raise awareness about the relationship between gender and ICTs though an open dialogue with the participants, composed of a majority of journalists, community radio producers, social communicators, and women’s and feminist movement activists.
APC members meeting in Bulgaria in October elected their new executive board until 2007. For the first time, the APC chair is a woman and more than half of the eight member-board are women. This is good news for an organisation where traditionally governance has been a male-dominated arena. Continuing another positive advance established in the previous board where each region APC works in was represented, in the new board, once again representatives come from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and now North America.
On the internet, you find websites in hundreds of different languages and dialects, in all shapes and designs. If diversity in audio, photo, text or video content is the living proof that the internet is a space for true expression and creation, certain web development standards need to be applied for the content to reach and be shared by people at the margins of mainstream communication channels. During a well-attended workshop entitled ‘Inclusive development and ICTs/universal design for all’, hosted by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) in Varna, Bulgaria on October 9, 2005, Hiroshi Kawamura of the DAISY Consortium presented a set of practical tools that can make the internet work for the rest of us.