The Bulgarian police has called in bloggers and pressured them to stop writing about the recent wave of environmental protests that has swept across the country in the recent weeks. While the issue is hot in Bulgaria and broadly covered by the Bulgarian press, I thought it would be important to share it with the APC community and request your support.
A new watchdog report from APC and the Third World Institute monitoring promises made by governments and the United Nations to ensure that information technology is used to benefit millions of people, was launched in Geneva on May 22. Studies of the ICT policy situation in twenty-two countries from four regions are featured: Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda); Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines); Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru); and Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania), with one report from a Western European country (Spain).
Amendments to Bulgaria’s Access to Public Information Act were passed by the National Assembly at the first reading. Many of the proposed changes breach established international standards on the right to information and appear specifically designed to hinder access to public records.
Metamorphosis is a think and do tank from Macedonia, gathering experts and activists devoted to the development of an information society, which we see as crucial element in bettering people’s lives. Most of the people currently involved rely on a background in the IT industry and the NGO sector, but in general, we favour an interdisciplinary approach and broad involvement of stakeholders. APCNews interviewed Bardhyl Jashari, director of this newest APC-member.
The APC member in Croatia, ZaMirNET, has joined an industrial cluster working on free and open source software. Read part one (of two) of this new adventure which might help transform Croatia’s software sector. The full interview in part two reveals the specific role ZaMirNET will play in the still-in-formation economic network.
The Djurslands International Institute of Rural Wireless Broadband (DIIRWB) is not joking about free information infrastructures. Its advocates study and plan projects, and then go out in the open field to help to start up wireless networks. But before antennas are glued to barns and receivers taped to posts, summer camp participants convened in rural Denmark for some fresh air. APCNews talked to one of them.
Milena Bokova, executive director of the BlueLink Information Network, a digital network supporting environmentalists and civil society in Bulgaria, had the opportunity to participate in PrepCom 2. She shares some reflections with APCNews as an East European civil society activist and a new participant in the WSIS process.
A crowd of about four hundred turned out to demonstrate against proposed European software patents legislation. It was the first "geeky", free-software related demonstration in Hungary said APC member Green Spider, organised by groups not typically used to leaving their computer screens to get their voices heard.
APC member in London, GreenNet, tells APC about their latest mammoth project. A website for the ESF which will process registration of more than 40,000 attendees, provides logistical information and houses must-read documentation on the issues – in five languages.
A legal opinion of Communications Data Retention in the United Kingdom commissioned by Privacy International questions the legal
Privacy International reports: "The Opinion, which relates to the EU framework directive on the retention of communications data, has ramifications for ten EU states that have implemented, or are planning to implement, measures to place communications users under blanket surveillance. The UK is in the early stages of implementing such measures." The Opinion, provided by a prominent global law firm, has unequivocally concluded that the government’s plans would be unlawful.
The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) maintains its recommendation to ISPs that they do not subscribe to the voluntary code of practice under the Home Office’s data retention proposals, says GreenNet.