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: A short history of the Internet
Inside the Information Society: A short history of the Internet 21 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 suggests a way of looking at the history of the Internet. Histories of the Internet History matters, even for something as recent as the Internet. Looking back helps us understand how we got to where we are today, and helps us think about where we might end up tomorrow. With something as fast-moving as the Internet, we need all the help that we can get w...

Inside the Information Society: Internet governance needs African experience of African issues
Inside the Information Society: Internet governance needs African experience of African issues 17 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 reviews what this year’s African School on Internet Governance said about Africa’s Internet governance priorities. I spent last week at the annual African School on Internet Governance – AfriSIG for short – which is organised by APC and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). This post’s in two parts – the first about AfriSIG ...

Inside the Information Society: Meeting the climate challenges of ICTs
Inside the Information Society: Meeting the climate challenges of ICTs 07 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 is the second of two about the impact of ICTs on the environment. In last week’s post, I wrote about the impact which ICTs are having on climate change. To summarise: There are two sides to ICTs and climate change On the one hand, the ICT sector – netw...

Inside the Information Society: What is the impact of ICTs on climate change?
Inside the Information Society: What is the impact of ICTs on climate change? 02 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 is the first of two about the impact of ICTs on the environment. See part II here. Climate change, many feel, is the biggest challenge facing the planet. It’s also the central question of sustainable development: how do we enable economic prosperity and ...

Inside the Information Society: Can privacy survive in the digital age?
Inside the Information Society: Can privacy survive in the digital age? 26 September 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 is about how the possibility of privacy is changing in the digital age.   Privacy, say many people, is the human right most threatened by the Internet – and more generally by ICTs. I agree – so much so that I think we need to change the way we thi...

Inside the Information Society: Where is our relationship with mobiles going?
Inside the Information Society: Where is our relationship with mobiles going? 15 September 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 is about our changing relationship with mobile phones. The way people use mobiles and other ICT devices is the most dramatic change in life and lifestyle in my lifetime. Mobility is at the heart of that. Fifty years back, you needed a big office to hold a ...

Inside the Information Society: Building capacities... or building capabilities?
Inside the Information Society: Building capacities... or building capabilities? 12 September 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 is about building skills or capabilities for the digital age. Last week’s blog explored the impact that information technology’s having on the world of work. Some of us are enthusiastic about – or at least comfortable with – the disruptive impact ...

Inside the Information Society: What about the workers?
Inside the Information Society: What about the workers? 26 August 2016 David Souter

David Souter’s weekly blog for APC about the Information Society returns today from its summer/winter break. This week’s blog is about the impact of ICTs on the world of work. More attention’s being paid of late to the impact that ICTs are having on the world of work. Not before time, I’d say. After all, the work we do is central to most of our lives. It plays a big part in deciding how...

Inside the Information Society: ‘Information for all’ and the power of intermediaries
Inside the Information Society: ‘Information for all’ and the power of intermediaries 05 August 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 is about the growing role of intermediaries in information access. The Internet, we all agree, has transformed access to information. Those of us with broadband access – though, let’s remember, that’s a minority worldwide – can, increasingly, acce...

Inside the Information Society: How the digital divide has changed
Inside the Information Society: How the digital divide has changed 02 August 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 looks at how the digital divide has changed since the concept was first developed in the 1980s. ‘Bridging the digital divide’ has been a central theme – perhaps the central theme – of international agreements, development programmes and nat...

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