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: WSIS and the world today
Inside the Digital Society: WSIS and the world today 24 November 2021 David Souter

In my keynote speech to the intersessional meeting of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, I discuss how our progress reviews of the World Summit on the Information Society must account for how digital society is now inextricably linked to all aspects of global development and crises.

Inside the Digital Society: Metamorphosis?
Inside the Digital Society: Metamorphosis? 17 November 2021 David Souter

Facebook-Meta's metaverse might be less Toy Story and more like The Matrix. Either way, here are five reasons we need to be cautious about the ethics of such virtual visions.

Inside the Digital Society: Is your COP half empty or half full?
Inside the Digital Society: Is your COP half empty or half full? 10 November 2021 David Souter

Climate change and digital society are the two trends that will underpin global development in our time. They interact much more than is being understood or discussed at conferences like COP and IGF.

Inside the Digital Society: Eight challenges for internet governance
Inside the Digital Society: Eight challenges for internet governance 02 November 2021 David Souter

At the IGF we often concentrate on specific themes which might be technical, like the domain name system, or more generic such as access or cybersecurity. The challenges I’m going to raise today are more fundamental issues that affect the internet as a whole.

Inside the Digital Society: Having a national conversation about the internet
Inside the Digital Society: Having a national conversation about the internet 25 October 2021 David Souter

The internet may be the same, in some ways, everywhere, but it’s also different everywhere.

Inside the Digital Society: Data, data everywhere…
Inside the Digital Society: Data, data everywhere… 18 October 2021 David Souter

Who “owns” data? Who should have access to them or rights to exploit them?

Inside the Digital Society: The internet and the media
Inside the Digital Society: The internet and the media 07 October 2021 David Souter

Media (or free media) are important facilitators of public discourse and of the environment for democracy and rights.

Inside the Digital Society: Assumptions on the internet and (geo)politics
Inside the Digital Society: Assumptions on the internet and (geo)politics 21 September 2021 David Souter

I’ve spent some time reflecting on the way we’ve thought about the internet and digitalisation over three decades, and how we may need to think differently in future. What assumptions have we made; and what assumptions should we make, about its relationship with politics and geopolitics?

Inside the Digital Society: Digital COVID - Looking back and forward
Inside the Digital Society: Digital COVID - Looking back and forward 13 July 2021 David Souter

David Souter has been looking back over the pieces he wrote about COVID’s impact on the digital society, present and future. Before this column enters its Northern summer/Southern winter break, he thought the time had come for some reflection on how that has been going.

Inside the Digital Society: Digital accountability
Inside the Digital Society: Digital accountability 06 July 2021 David Souter

Look back at the early days of digital enthusiasm, and you’ll find many assumptions. “Good things” (or opportunities) were often emphasised in digital literature back then; less good things (or risks) less so.

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