Inside the information 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: Of politics and social media
Inside the Information Society: Of politics and social media 26 June 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 the relationship between social media and politics.  There’s been a lot of talk lately about politics and social media. Some have seen Facebook, Twitter and the like as champions of empowerment; others, more recently, as vehicles for hate. I’d suggest they’re both and more; that their impact’s messy; and that it’s changing and ...

Inside the Information Society: Measuring the Internet
Inside the Information Society: Measuring the Internet 19 June 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 different ways to measure the Internet.  What do we mean by measuring the Internet? There are many different ways to answer: Should we measure inputs, for example – the quantity and quality of infrastructure, the number of devices or domain names? Should we measure outputs – how much businesses and individuals use the Internet or...

Inside the Information Society: Should you love your digital assistant?
Inside the Information Society: Should you love your digital assistant? 12 June 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 the impact that digital assistants might have on our lives.  I wrote last week about new paradigms for the ICT sector – new ways in which ICT businesses can reach out for our attention, time and money.  The trick for online business...

Inside the Information Society: What’s in store? Scenarios for the ICT sector
Inside the Information Society: What’s in store? Scenarios for the ICT sector 07 June 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 the relationship between ICTs and post-conflict reconstruction. What's the future for ICTs and Internet? You’ll find different perspectives and priorities in different places. At the Stockholm Internet Forum, three weeks ago, for example the ...

Inside the Information Society: ICTs and trade facilitation
Inside the Information Society: ICTs and trade facilitation 21 May 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 ICTs and trade facilitation. Some aspects of ICT4D (ICT for development) excite development activists more than others. There's a lot more written from an ICT4D perspective about social issues like health, education and empowerment, f...

Inside the Information Society: ICTs and post-conflict reconstruction
Inside the Information Society: ICTs and post-conflict reconstruction 15 May 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 the relationship between ICTs and post-conflict reconstruction. ICTs are becoming more important in every aspect of our lives – and that includes the ways we fight and make up afterwards, as people and as countries. I'll look later in the yea...

Inside the Information Society: What's happened to the price of fish?
Inside the Information Society: What's happened to the price of fish? 08 May 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 the impact of mobile phones on markets for small-scale primary producers. One prominent theme in literature on ICT4D (ICT for development), back to its early days, has been its potential impact on markets for small-scale primary producers. Fa...

Inside the Information Society: The second machine age - reasons to be fearful?
Inside the Information Society: The second machine age - reasons to be fearful? 30 April 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 meant by the 'second machine age' - and how it should reshape our thinking. When I was a child (in the 1960s), there was a popular TV show in Britain called Tomorrow's World. Each week it showed the wonders new technology had in sto...

Inside the Information Society: Marking Mark’s card. A comment on Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto
Inside the Information Society: Marking Mark’s card. A comment on Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto 10 April 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 comments on Mark Zuckerberg says in his recent online "manifesto". Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, recently published a "manifesto" about his company, the Internet and society in general. Last week, I said why I think it is important. Thi...

Inside the Information Society: Should we fear monopolies?
Inside the Information Society: Should we fear monopolies? 13 March 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 reflects on telecoms and Internet monopolies. Once upon a time When I first worked on ICTs, in the 1980s, most countries had telecoms monopolies. Almost everywhere, one business, usually state-owned, did everything to do with telecoms – from running...

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