Access to information
While COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, there is growing concern that critical messages about the disease that are disseminated by health authorities, telecom companies, and broadcasters are not reaching persons with visual and hearing impairments.
Following consultation with its stakeholders, the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) prepared this submission to the Kenyan Senate COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee, with a series of recommendations related to ICT solutions to confront the pandemic.
In a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that people are able to obtain information that will help them stay safe and aware of an evolving situation, and initiatives like these are crucial for reducing the traditional barriers to information that prevent global access.
Brazil's communications regulator Anatel has acknowledged that community networks are a viable option for Brazilians. This decision provides for both regulation for existing community networks and the creation of future networks. The question now is, what happens next?
In the last two weeks of March 2020, the government issued several directives to Myanmar telecom operators ordering them to block at least 221 websites. We believe that the government’s order to block these websites lacks an adequate legal basis and is in violation of international human rights law.
7amleh concluded the online version of the Palestine Forum for Digital Activism 2020 with the participation of a quarter million Palestinians, Arabs and internationals. The conference was adapted from an offline event with 1,000 participants to an online event in two weeks.
While governments and health workers worldwide are focused on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also busy fighting another related pandemic that cuts across all sectors of society: a massive “infodemic” equally as wide-reaching and harmful.
The extent to which African countries are conducting technology-based disease surveillance is not fully known. While well intentioned, Covid-19 surveillance and data-based tracking interventions have been effected in haste, and with limited precedent and oversight mechanisms.
The Lebanese government announced on 12 March that Ogero, the national internet service provider (ISP), will double the speed and capacity for users until the end of April, but it did not clarify whether the decision includes other privately owned ISPs.
As governments around the world attempt to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases, authorities appear to be looking towards technology for support. Chatbots, online dashboards, and mobile caller tunes are some of the digital strategies put on display by officials to raise awareness around Covid-19.