I love the project and I think it is a very very unique snapshot of "the internet" and "the real world" - it is a global snapshot and horizon scan... it is very valuable for me to look back on the reports from all the countries and draw comparisons... it is like the story of the internet.. different chapters, different themes, every year :)
ICT policy issues were not a priority for our organization previously. Due to GISW we got involved in this areas and disseminate these ideas in the Romanian NGO and academic communities.
There is genuine need for the new spaces opened by this project , which at the same time sharing different country experiences building plat form for solidarity and supporting different communities to share their challenges and to show the state violations of its international HR obligation. The report development for me is a learning process and opportunity to meet other activists and defenders from different country sharing the same values and principles.
The GISWatch is a magical space for learning, knowledge sharing and advocacy. Stakeholders should use this to help implement the human right-based appproach to programming.
The project has unique value as it provides a global but detailed overview of different key topics. It helps people to get the arguments and diverse/complementary detailed views about topics.
In the long term, some of the topics should be revisited to monitor evolution and update the content to keep it relevant.
GISWatch may be very useful for those who want to have a general idea of global situation on specific issues and in that sense, the theme is often quite broad, so different topics may be included in the same theme.
The number of reports published on human rights on the internet in the last year alone is staggering. Who has the time to read them all, some might ask. The good news: You don’t have to. If you take the time to read one report, make it GISWatch 2011.
Written by internationally renowned experts, the report brings its readers easy-to-read and yet comprehensive articles, many with policy proposals, on the most important challenges protecting human rights on the Internet is facing today. But the Internet is about people and their stories. This is where the report's country studies come in. They shed light on how the Internet can truly be a catalyst for change – and how it can be misused.
As the speed of information and communication interchange increases, finding a collection of studies that allow readers to stop and study, to gather their thoughts and form opinions on the future development of human rights protection online, is exceedingly welcome. This report is just what international Internet lawyers need to, first, understand some of the most pressing issues of today, and, then, to see why their work, their efforts, their energies matter. The stories the report tells are impressive, saddening, moving, uplifting.
The people at the centre of these stories are why we got involved in protecting human rights on the Internet. APC and Hivos deserve our thanks. And the people of the world our unflinching commitment to their human rights. Online and offline.
GISWatch 2011 offers timely commentary on the future of the internet as an open and shared platform that everyone has the right to access. [..] It makes a valuable contribution to dialogue on freedom of expression, freedom of association and democratisation and seeks to inspire and support collaborative approaches.
GISWatch 2011 preface
How often is the technology policy solution, an environmentally sustainable one? And how often are sustainability policy tools drawing on innovative communication technologies? Global Information Society Watch 2010 proposes, not often enough.
Given thematic global governance tracks for information communications technology (ICT) and environment within the UN system are led by specialized agencies, greens and techies barely pass each other in the halls. Operating in silos on various levels of policy engagement, ICT and environmental policy-makers don’t often have the opportunity to sit in the same negotiating rooms, discuss joint implementation programmes, or let alone talk to each other during a tea break.
With a throwback to specialization, the national, regional and global governance systems of ICTs and environment exist in tangents, with institutions unable to harness the potentials for catalysis and coherence of innovative private-sector solutions to conserve the environment. A promising area not directly addressed within the UN Climate Change Conference negotiations this December in Cancun, Mexico is the linkage of climate change with ICTs. Consider how the talk of sustainable consumption (and energy efficiency) in climate governance fails to carve out role for ICT applications as part of the clean energy technology discourse (and issues of technology transfer). It is with much relevance and timelines that this year’s issue of the Global Information Society Watch focuses on the intersection of ICTs and Environmental Sustainability.
The report highlights that despite the gulf between the fields, there are enough promising pilots (citizen science) and troubling issues (e-waste) for environmentalists and technologists to come to the policy table and dialogue. For substantive policy action to take place and bridge the gulf of these issues, more thoughtful leadership from virtual roundtables like GIS Watch, is needed to seat together ministers and practioners from nations of technologies and ecologies. Catherine Candano is a research scholar in Communications and New Media at National University of Singapore, focusing on the interaction of ICTs and environmental sustainability. Recent work on global ICT policy and climate change is published in Walter F. Leahl (ed.) "The Economic, Social, Political Elements of Climate Change" by Springer, Berlin.
“Every child should have a computer”. This political statement is often heard, especially in countries where the ICT penetration has not reached the tipping point. But is that enough for an ICT policy? Should we give every human being on the planet a computer, if we limit the Internet, by ICT policies, to what we want to be (by ignoring net neutrality claims)? Should we give every human being a computer just to be thrown in the backyard at the end of its (short) life?
The answer depends probably just on us and how do we see the ICT policies, beyond the immediate objective. The GISW 2010 report suggests to look beyond this immediate objective to a subject that may be seen far away from the ICT world: sustainability and protecting environment.
Executive director APTI, Romania