Freedom of expression
Blatant censorship is one thing, and can be fought. But who controls the controllers? What about the more subtle forms of control and blockages, that often can work in the more brutal ways of the unseen hand? APC member-organisation RITS’s Carlos Afonso, made this point articulatedly at the Internet Governance Forum in Athens. Afonso underlined that it was difficult to deal internet-related issues "without considering the situation of regulation, legislation and control of the network itself." He questioned the view that "the technical question is not as relevant as the other issues." What is the responsibility of network operators? Controlling players decide if voice over IP traffic can pass through an exchange point or not.
Television and radio broadcasts were suspended yesterday, and back in full-swing again. Meanwhile, bloggers have quickly responded by setting up community sites to let the news out.
On the first day of the Digital Citizen’s Indaba in Grahamstown, South Africa, Ethan Zukerman asked: “50 million people Style information: This term should not be capitalised. out of a global population of 6 Collins English dictionary ">billionpeople – not exactly representative is it?”
Getting to the 2006 iSummit took Andrew Garton to Santiago where he spent two days musing over digital rights management amidst trips to the Brazilian Consulate, Internet cafe's and "real" coffee shops.
India is planning to significantly amend its Copyright Act of 1957, to include among other things the concept of Digital Rights Management, a move which could well restrict access to knowledge. Lawyers-with-a-difference are closely monitoring what's happening on this front.
An ant, they say, can infuriate an elephant. That is, if the ant choose the right target, and goes into the elephant's ear. In the Egyptian world of technology, an 24-year-old engineer is doing the same by giving a voice to protest that's otherwise stifled in that part of the globe.
Alaa has finally be released after 45 days in prison. We heard the good news from Manal earlier this week. Here is a news report from the The Independent published on 21 June 2006.
Supposedly the birthday should be a bright day, with pleasant weather, gifts, lots of flowers, hundreds of birthday wishes via SMS and emails, sumptuous ice cream cake, dinner party with friends etc. However, this wasn’t the case on my birthday this year.
Says Amnesty International: "Independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas has been staging a hunger strike since 31 January 2006 to obtain access to Source: TechSoup Glossary and GenderIT.org">internetfor all Cubans. Internet remains under governmental control, accessible only through official organizations or at hotels from where Cuban nationals are normally barred".
APC condemns the unjust detention of free speech bloggers and journalists in Egypt. Alaa Seif Al-Islam, a seasoned blogger and APC colleague, is one of four Egyptian online diarists being held in detention for criticising the current regime since May 7. In addition, APC has heard disturbing reports about violent actions taken by state security against several of the bloggers who were released from custody last week, only to be subsequently re-arrested. Authorities prevented human rights lawyers from visiting the bloggers who had been beaten and tortured on Thursday May 25.