Two APC members in Africa — Women’sNet and Ungana Africa — have shared resources and skills to work in the area of technology planning for non-profits. They are shortly expected to share their work with other APC members.The process aims to enable organisations to make better-informed decisions about technology, and thus promote their organization’s mission and objectives through its use.
APC, the network of civil society organisations pushing for a pro-people thrust to the internet and ICTs (information and communication technologies), is gearing up for participation in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This UN-sponsored conference about information and communication gets underway later this year.
Just after the United States made clear it intention to retain control over the internet’s root-servers, an ICANN meeting took place in Luxembourg. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a California-based non-profit corporation created in 1998 to take over a number of Internet-related tasks earlier performed on behalf of the US Government by other organizations, notably the IANA.
When civil society from Brazil and France got together recently, they focussed on exchanging "experiences in digital solidarity". Their mid-July meet in Paris saw them also look at the possibility of cooperation in fields like Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
ICTs, or information and communication technologies, offer immense possibilities to reduce poverty, improve governance and advance gender equality in Africa. But, cautions an APC-produced paper on the role of ICTs in the development of African women, this will happen only if these technologies are made more accessible and consciously applied to achieve these objects.
Wireless networks is attracting growing attention across the globe, as a plausible way of providing internet access in marginal areas or in cases where costs are prohibitive. Cristo Redentor Telecentre co-ordinator Cristina Ojeda joined a workshop on wireless networking organized by the Latin American School of Networking EsLaRed) in Mérida, Venezuela and narrates her experience.
How’s this huge, influential and potentially-useful beast called the internet to be governed? Who is to call the shots? Brazil-based RITS’s strategy director Carlos Afonso takes a close look at how control of the internet is sought to be transformed, before a crucial crossroad comes up in the next few months. This 50-page paper in PDF format, commissioned by APC member Instituto del Tercer Mundo (ITeM) as part of its WSISpapers series, also provides useful historical background on the current internet global governance system.
Why do intellectual property issues matter to civil society? Because they affect the public’s access to knowledge in the public domain and to copyrighted work, and infiltrated into the domain of food and medicine, threatening the sustainability of indigenous knowledge and biodiversity. What can be done to protect the global commons, and culture and life forms in the public domain that are the heritage of humankind? What can civil society do locally to ensure that IP legislation responds to social and cultural needs rather to the needs of international capital? These questions are looked at in the latest edition of “Chakula”, the APC Africa ICT policy newsletter.
The WSIS Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus has supported and voiced its appreciation for the process and outcome of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). The Caucus has welcomed the adoption of a broad working definition of Internet Governance, and believes that the high quality of the WGIG final report is the result of both the multi-stakeholder collaboration and the open and inclusive consultation with the wider WSIS community.
What happens when wireless, Free Software and the internet reaches the Amazon? APC’s member in Brazil, RITS, gives an update of their project in Pará, a territory covered mostly by jungle, and the Amazon Rainforest.