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: 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.

Inside the Digital Society: The changing culture of childhood
Inside the Digital Society: The changing culture of childhood 22 June 2021 David Souter

This week, we'll focus on the way that children’s experience of culture’s changed over the generations, with some questions about what that means. And some nostalgia.

Inside the digital society: Digital divide or digital continuum?
Inside the digital society: Digital divide or digital continuum? 15 June 2021 David Souter

I’ve never really liked the term ‘the digital divide’. Alliteration’s easy. It gains attention to an issue, which is good, but it also oversimplifies.

Inside the Digital Society: How do we measure the impact of the internet?
Inside the Digital Society: How do we measure the impact of the internet? 01 June 2021 David Souter

Rather than talking about what the internet ‘can’ do, we can reflect on what it has done and use evidence to anticipate the future and adapt our policies. But doing so requires more sophisticated and holistic ways of measuring its impact.

Inside the Digital Society: The trajectory of the internet - past, present, future
Inside the Digital Society: The trajectory of the internet - past, present, future 25 May 2021 David Souter

Last week I wrote about how we define the internet. This week, some thoughts about its history and its trajectory. The internet has been around now long enough for its history to be written.

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