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 Information Society: The what and why of multistakeholder participation
Inside the Information Society: The what and why of multistakeholder participation 23 January 2017 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post looks at multistakeholder participation. Twenty years ago, I wrote a report for the Institute for Public Policy Research – a British think tank –called A Stakeholder Approach to Regulation. I argued in it that regulating utilities like telecoms should be about more than just promoting competition: that other public policy objectives mattered, an...

Inside the Information Society: E-government - of the people or for the people?
Inside the Information Society: E-government - of the people or for the people? 15 January 2017 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post looks at what’s happening with e-government. In last week’s post, I talked about the growing polarisation that’s happening between cyber-optimists and cyber-pessimists, and called for greater cyber-realism: recognising both positives and negatives, and taking steps to shape the Information Society rather than leaving it to shape our lives for ...

Inside the Information Society: Cyber-optimists, cyber-pessimists and cyber-realism
Inside the Information Society: Cyber-optimists, cyber-pessimists and cyber-realism 09 January 2017 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post looks at cyber-optimism, cyber-pessimism and the challenges ahead. Are you a cyber-optimist or a cyber-pessimist? Do you see the Information Society that’s coming as a blessing or a curse? Do you enthuse about each new step along the road ...

Inside the Information Society: Looking back on 2016
Inside the Information Society: Looking back on 2016 12 December 2016 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post looks back at major developments in 2016. This year’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has just concluded in Guadalajara. The year is drawing to a close. It’s time to look back on the Information Society in 2016. Here goes, with reference...

Inside the Information Society: What should we seek from this week’s Internet Governance Forum?
Inside the Information Society: What should we seek from this week’s Internet Governance Forum? 05 December 2016 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post sets out aspirations for this week’s Internet Governance Forum. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is happening this week in Guadalajara, Mexico. Today, a brief preview; next week, some thoughts on what took place. The IGF, for those who’re unfam...

Inside the Information Society: What does the latest ICT Development Index tell us?
Inside the Information Society: What does the latest ICT Development Index tell us? 28 November 2016 David Souter

Source: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post is about the latest edition of the ITU’s ICT Development Index. Each year, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) publishes a report which it calls Measuring the Information Society. This u...

Inside the Information Society: Upsetting and resetting standards, rules and norms
Inside the Information Society: Upsetting and resetting standards, rules and norms 19 November 2016 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post is about the importance of standards, rules and norms – and the need to re-engineer these for the digital age. Standards, norms and rules I spent last week at conferences. Three days, first, at the Global Internet and Jurisdiction Conference in Pari...

Inside the Information Society: Assessing the impact of ICT4D
Inside the Information Society: Assessing the impact of ICT4D 11 November 2016 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post looks at the challenge of measuring the impact of ICT4D. It’s tempting to write this week about the impact of the US presidential election on the Internet or on ICT4D (the use of ICTs in development programmes and activities). I’ll resist that, th...

Inside the Information Society: A short history of ICT4D
Inside the Information Society: A short history of ICT4D 07 November 2016 David Souter

AlterMundiEach week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog suggests a short history of ICTs in development. Two weeks ago I offered a short history of the Internet. This week I’ll follow up with thoughts on a short history of ICTs in development (ICT4D). There are plenty of potential origins. Some woul...

Inside the Information Society: Governing the grown-up Internet
Inside the Information Society: Governing the grown-up Internet 31 October 2016 David Souter

Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society. This week’s blog post looks at how we think about the internet and how it is governed. In last week’s post, I offered my framework for the history of the Internet. It’s summarised in the diagram alongside. I pointed to five phases in its evolution, from a small network...

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