Access to information
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
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".
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.
Manal and Alaa Bit Bucket — www.manalaa.net — an Egyptian blog set up on March 20, 2004, promoting free expression and human rights, was one of eight finalists chosen for a weblog contest by the German radio station Deutsche Welle, under its freedom of expression category. Manal and Alaa have been working with the APC in the field of FOSS (free and open source software). Their site contains blog posts which they wrote "about our experience as part of the pro-democracy movement in Egypt". It also includes detailed accounts of street protest, political rallies, elections monitoring, police brutality, the picketing of court houses in order to get activists released, secret meetings and the like.