Information society

Defining internet universality indicators: Participate in the first phase of the online consultation!
Defining internet universality indicators: Participate in the first phase of the online consultation! 22 June 2017

In 2015, UNESCO put the concept of “Internet Universality” at the heart of its work to promote an internet that works for all. Internet Universality points to four “fundamental norms that have been embodied in the broad evolution of the Internet to date, and which provide a comprehensive way to understand how multiple different aspects are part of a wider whole.” These norms – known for short as the ROAM principles – are concerned with: Rights (R) Openness (O) Accessibility (A) Mu...

2018 edition of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) set to take place in Ghana
2018 edition of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) set to take place in Ghana 14 June 2018

The Collaboration for International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) is pleased to announce the fifth edition of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica). This year, the Forum will be hosted in partnership with the Media Foundation West Africa (MFWA) and will take place on 26-28 September 2018 in Accra, Ghana. The Forum is a landmark event that convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to delibe...

Inside the Information Society: Jobs? What jobs?
Inside the Information Society: Jobs? What jobs? 04 June 2018 David Souter

What will the digital society do to jobs? Will it usher in an age of unemployment or an age of leisure? Will we be served by robots or displaced by them? Will there be greater income inequality or less? This week: some comments on that theme, with a closing (counter-intuitive) conclusion.   Five scenarios are put forward where AI, robotics and employment are concerned. Where are we heading...

Inside the Information Society: Innovation and development
Inside the Information Society: Innovation and development 28 May 2018 David Souter

Inside the Information Society returns after a break.  This week’s post (based on a speech written for a recent conference) looks at the relationship between innovation and development. Complexity lies at the heart of the challenges that face those of us who are concerned with innovation and development.  We need to pay more attention to that complexity rather than embedding it with...

Inside the Information Society: The impact of the Internet on democratic politics
Inside the Information Society: The impact of the Internet on democratic politics 23 April 2018 David Souter

One of the biggest news stories about the Internet in Britain and America right now concerns Facebook, a company called Cambridge Analytica, and the impact that they might have had on democratic decisions. Two decisions in particular: the narrow vote in Britain to leave the European Union, and the election of Donald Trump. This story’s about many things: the power that data gives to data comp...

Inside the Information Society: Whatever happened to competition online?
Inside the Information Society: Whatever happened to competition online? 15 April 2018 David Souter

The Internet, it used to be said, would let a thousand flowers bloom. The low cost of market entry would enable thousands of application and content developers to reach out to users. There’d be more diversity, more choice, more freedom for users to exercise that choice. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Sure, it’s easier for individuals and small companies to bring something ...

Inside the Information Society: Competition – what happened to telecommunications?
Inside the Information Society: Competition – what happened to telecommunications? 09 April 2018 David Souter

Last week I wrote about the relationship between innovation and regulation in communications. I identified six areas of that relationship which I said I’d write about over the next few months (along with other issues). First up, this week and next, is competition. This week some history and ‘points of principle’; next week, some implications for today/tomorrow. (The history, of course, mu...

Inside the Information Society: Permissionless innovation and the precautionary principle
Inside the Information Society: Permissionless innovation and the precautionary principle 02 April 2018 David Souter

Facebook’s leading the news again, at least in Europe and America. Its current ‘crisis’ – if that’s what it is – has focused attention on the desirability or otherwise of regulation: of itself, its peers, the Internet in general. Can online businesses be trusted to do what’s right (with data or in other ways), or should they be regulated like other economic sectors? This week: a f...

Inside the Information Society: The road to artificial intelligence
Inside the Information Society: The road to artificial intelligence 26 March 2018 David Souter

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of this year’s hottest topics. Governments and businesses are investing big-time (China’s said by some to be best placed). Wide-eyed consultancies spell out the wonders they foresee ahead (with predictions of big dollars). Androids and robots stalk the silver screen.  I’ve been listening lately to AI experts talking of AI, and most of them rather w...

Inside the Information Society: The Internet – but whose jurisdiction?
Inside the Information Society: The Internet – but whose jurisdiction? 05 March 2018 David Souter

I’ve been attending the second Internet and Jurisdiction Conference in Ottawa. This post is not a comment on the conference but on the context for resolving issues that it raises. What’s the question? The underlying question’s the relationship between national law and the international nature of the Internet. There’s an issue of philosophy in this, but also one of practice. So...

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