Inside the digital society

David Souter writes a weekly column for APC, looking at different aspects of the information society, development and rights. David’s pieces take a fresh look at many of the issues that concern APC and its members, with the aim of provoking discussion and debate. Issues covered include internet governance and sustainable development, human rights and the environment, policy, practice and the use of ICTs by individuals and communities.

Inside the Digital Society: What impact has COVID had in practice?
Inside the Digital Society: What impact has COVID had in practice? 20 July 2022 David Souter

Two years ago, the assumption was that the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns would have lasting impacts on digitalisation – that they would accelerate the process by which offline turned to online, increase its pace and shift the way we do things towards digital alternatives. But has this happened as much as was expected?

Inside the Digital Society: Thinking of cybercrime – and listening to victims
Inside the Digital Society: Thinking of cybercrime – and listening to victims 05 July 2022 David Souter

Fraud is now the commonest crime in the UK, and most of it is online. Cybercrime and cybersecurity have become some of the biggest problems in digital policy development, and we need to think broader and listen to victims to be able to respond to them.

Inside the Digital Society: Does internet governance require a reboot?
Inside the Digital Society: Does internet governance require a reboot? 21 June 2022 David Souter

A new paper says that the internet and its governance is now suffering from resistance to change, paranoia and a lack of strategic direction and accountability, among other problems. Some thoughts and critiques on the paper's conclusions and recommendations, as well as three ideas that it misses.

Inside the Digital Society: How do we measure the digital society?
Inside the Digital Society: How do we measure the digital society? 08 June 2022 David Souter

Many of the assumptions about the digital society made in its early days have proved unreliable. A look at how policymakers need a much better knowledge base if they are to help maximise opportunities and mitigate threats.

Inside the Digital Society: Tweet tweet
Inside the Digital Society: Tweet tweet 17 May 2022 David Souter

Our columnist reflects on five issues for the wider internet environment raised by Elon Musk’s planned acquisition of Twitter, including for human rights, freedom of expression and corporate accountability.

Inside the Digital Society: What’s all this about digital cooperation?
Inside the Digital Society: What’s all this about digital cooperation? 18 April 2022 David Souter

Digital cooperation will be crucial if we want ICTs to focus on the public good, and this column outlines some opportunities, threats, and paths forward for this.

Inside the Digital Society: Digital (in)equality
Inside the Digital Society: Digital (in)equality 31 March 2022 David Souter

A poor understanding of digital inequality continues to lead to inadequate and counterproductive policies. This column discusses six themes that could improve policymakers’ understanding of the nuances behind this persistent inequality and disconnect.

Inside the Digital Society: Three questions about our digital assumptions at a time of war
Inside the Digital Society: Three questions about our digital assumptions at a time of war 08 March 2022 David Souter

I’ve thought long and hard about what it’s possible to write as war rains down on the heart of Europe. I’ve decided to revisit three fundamental questions about the internet and digital development, and ask if we need to reconsider what we mean by them.

Inside the Digital Society: How optimistic are you?
Inside the Digital Society: How optimistic are you? 02 March 2022 David Souter

Should we be cyber-optimists or cyber-pessimists about our digital society and its future? Some new thoughts and updates on how I was thinking about this five years ago.

Inside the Digital Society: Digitalising culture
Inside the Digital Society: Digitalising culture 16 February 2022 David Souter

Cultural expression matters to how we experience life, and we need to reflect more on how digital society is impacting it and what that tells us about other changes as well.

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