Global Information Society Watch 2011 : Internet rights and democratisation : Focus on freedom of expression and association online
Title: Global Information Society Watch 2011 : Internet rights and democratisation : Focus on freedom of expression and association online
Editor: Alan Finlay
Pages: 267 pp.
Source: Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch)
Publisher: Association for Progressive Communications (APC) / Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos)
Date (published): 06/12/2011
Date (accessed): 11/12/2011
Type of information: report
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"…Unlike any other medium, the internet enables individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds instantaneously and inexpensively across national borders. Unlike any other technological development, it has created an interactive form of communication, which not only allows you to send information in one direction, but also to send information in many directions and receive an immediate response. The internet vastly increases the capacity of individuals to enjoy their right to freedom of opinion and expression, including access to information, which facilitates the exercise of other human rights, such as the right to education and research, the right to freedom of association and assembly, and the right to development and to protect the environment. The internet boosts economic, social and political development, and contributes to the progress of humankind as a whole; but it is especially an instrument that strengthens democracy by facilitating citizen participation and transparency. The internet is a “plaza pública” – a public place where we can all participate.
The past year has been a difficult time globally: whether the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, unsteady global markets, post-election riots in Nigeria, civil war in Libya and a military clampdown in Syria. But there have been positive, and equally challenging, developments in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. Throughout the year people around the world have increasingly used the internet to build support for human rights and social movements. This edition of Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) offers timely commentary on the future of the internet as an open and shared platform that everyone has the right to access – to access content and to have access to connectivity and infrastructure.
Through the lens of freedom of expression, freedom of association and democracy, the thematic reports included here go to the heart of the debates that will shape the future of the internet and its impact on human rights. They offer, amongst other things, an analysis of how human rights is framed in the context of the internet, the progressive use of criminal law to intimidate or censor the use of the internet, the difficult role of intermediaries facing increasing pressure to control content, and the importance of the internet to workers in the support of global rights in the workplace. Some call for a change of perspective, as in the report on cyber security, where the necessity of civil society developing a security advocacy strategy for the internet is argued. Without it, the levels of systems and controls, whether emanating from government or military superpowers, threaten to overwhelm what has over the years become the vanguard of freedom of expression and offered new forms of free association between people across the globe.
Many of these issues are pulled sharply into focus at the country level in the country reports that follow the thematic considerations. Each of these country reports takes a particular “story” or event that illustrates the role of the internet in social rights and civil resistance – whether positive or negative, or both. Amongst other things, they document torture in Indonesia, candlelight vigils in South Korea, internet activism against forgetting human rights atrocities in Peru, and the rights of prisoners accessing the internet in Argentina. While the function and role of the internet in society remains debated, and necessarily so, in many contexts these stories show that to limit it unfairly will have a harmful impact on the rights of people. These stories show that the internet has become pivotal in actions aimed at the protection of human rights..."
Title: Danger or opportunity? ICTs and Women's human rights defenders
Date (published): 13/09/2011
Date (accessed): 14/09/2011
Type of information: blog post
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"This edition of GenderIT.orgi is dedicated to women's human rightsi defenders. Those working on women's and sexual rightsi often face challenges not only in the public space, but in their personal space, from their family and partners, as well. In this edition, we examine what new dimension brings ICTs into this struggle, how they are used to mobilize around women's and sexual rights, and the risks many defenders face online.
Security emerged as not only one of the main topics in our interviews but also in living practice, forcing us to question and change our communication protocols in order to pull this edition together without jeopardizing the safety of our interviewees. We hope then that you find the readings engaging!
This edition is a part of APC's “Connect your rights: Internet rights are human rights” campaign financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)"
* The changing face of women's rights activism: be careful what you say online
* “Defending yourself means defending your community”
* ICT skills gap = online security risks
* Connectedness or alienation?
* Who's gonna track me?
* Secure communications essential to women's rights defenders
Title: Navigating the Dataverse: Privacy, Technology, Human Rights
Pages: 100 pp.
Publisher: International Council on Human Rights Policy
Date (published): 05/07/2011
Date (accessed): 14/07/2011
Type of information: discussion paper
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"This ICHRP Discussion Paper examines the human rights implications of the immense diffusion of data-gathering technologies across the world in recent years. It starts from the premise that the relevant issues, while much discussed, are not yet well understood and are evolving rapidly, both of which contribute to widespread anxiety. The Discussion Paper explores the roots of this anxiety and attempts to determine its sources and effects. It queries the degree to which data-gathering technologies pose problems that represent (or are analogous to) human rights threats and asks whether and how human rights law may help to assess or address those problems.
The purpose of the Discussion Paper is to open up a set of issues for consideration by human rights groups and scholars and also to encourage those in the privacy field to think about human rights. It is intended as a platform for further investigation and research and, as such, is deliberately dilatory rather than comprehensive and conclusive. The paper indicates a number of areas where further research will be indispensable to understanding the full implications of current trends in information technology for human rights and to determine how those concerned by these impacts might orient themselves in the future."
Editor: Alan Finlay
Pages: 232 pp.
Publisher: Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos)
Date (published): 13/11/2009
Date (accessed): 03/12/2009
Type of information: research report
On-line access: yes (pdf, 4,56 MB)
This third report in the GISWatch series is entitled "Access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy" and reveals how vulnerable the internet as we know it is.
This third report in the GISWatch series is entitled “Access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy” and reveals how vulnerable the internet as we know it is.
The report unpacks the key issues impacting on access to online information and knowledge, including discussions on intellectual property rights, knowledge rights, open standards and access to educational materials and libraries.
The report also offers an institutional overview and a reflection on indicators that track access to information and knowledge. 48 country reports –-ten more than last year— analyse the status of access to online information and knowledge in countries as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Mexico, Switzerland and Kazakhstan, while regional overviews offer a bird’s eye perspective on trends in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Europe.
For the first time there is an innovate section that visually maps global rights as seen through the lens of Google searches, as well as a visual analysis of Twitter messages sent out during the recent Iranian political crisis.
The report has its own dedicated Global Information Society Watch website.
Title: APC's assessment of the fourth Internet Governance Forum, Sharm El-Sheikh, 15-18 November 2009
Pages: 7 pp.
Publisher: Association for Progressive Communications
Date (published): 26/11/2009
Date (accessed): 30/11/2009
Type of information: official statement
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"This year the fourth internet governance forum was playing it safe – perhaps because next year could be its last – but we still saw real progress. Privacy no longer plays second fiddle to security, people’s rights online are recognised as central by all sides. Social networking was the new star centre stage. There are still too few women and people of colour but participants are getting younger which is a good sign. Next year APC hopes for an IGF focusing on development and human rights and looking to the future. "
(via http://twitter.com/phat_controller )