South Asia-based BytesForAll‘s newest member, Nalaka Gunawardene of Sri Lanka, who is a veteran journalist and observer of the “ICT4D” (information and communication technologies for development) field, was there at the launch of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN-GAID) in mid June 2006 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He wonders whether the newly-formed UN-GAID will manage to connect disparate initiatives, enhancing or multiplying their impact? Or might it evolve into another self-serving bureaucracy, competing with everyone else for limited resources, media attention and people’s time?
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.
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.
APC staff writer Frederick Noronha runs in to Willie Currie in Dhaka, Bangladesh and asks: Could you share something with us on the South African community radio policy? It’s a fairly useful one, isn’t it so? Willie Currie, APC’s manager of the Communications and Information Policy Programme answers: Yeah. There are 100 odd community radio stations in South Africa.
Where the Government in Pakistan, Intellectual Property Organization, Federal Investigation Authorities and the Business Software Alliance BSA are initiating a crackdown on Software Piracy in Pakistan, there is hardly any awareness of piracy and its implications within society apart from members of the IT Industry. It is crucial to the basic Human Rights of the citizens of Pakistan that they first be provided Anti-Software Piracy Literacy and trainings on Free and Open Source Software as an alternative to pirated software. ICT Software Freedom is their basic human right in the Information Society!
Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), a government entity has drafted “Electronic Data Protection Act 2005” by outsourcing the work to an individual Mr. Aslam Hayat Khan. As per PSEB, the proposed Act aims to prevent unauthorized access and theft of electronic data and to ensure intellectual property rights with regards to the processing of electronic data in Pakistan.
"Whatever is the state of localisation in India, the government is definitely responsible for framing the policies. We have dreams of software superpowerdom, yet basic tools are not in place. They have spent crores (tens of millions by Government of India organisations) CDAC and TDIL, and that too all in the name of undertaking work in Indic computing and benefitting the people," says Ravikant of New Delhi, who has been closely keeping track of Free Software localisation efforts in India.
Technology is changing. But the mindset stays the same. And so are the laws. Now, you can start working your networking from a single room. You can start small, keep on deploying, moving out from there, and cover an entire country as you encourage the demand to expand. But is there any recognition to this?
Because the technology has changed, it has a huge impact on how investments will be made, and how the people will use
As my preparations are underway for reaching Dhaka for the APC ICT Policy Meeting, alot of FOSS activity is going around within Pakistan as well as around the globe. Its a very busy year for all of us FOSS Advocates, Journalists and Researchers. Its good to see APC’s involvement in the South Asian region and it would be great to contribute and co-ordinate APC activities in the region.
So today, we started the APC Asia ICT Policy Meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The latter half of the morning and the earlier part of the afternoon was spent in OST (Open Space Technology) to give the participants the opportunity to determine which issues and topics they wanted to spend time discussing…