Eben Moglen: Digital access as a human right

Yesterday I had the lucky chance of taking part in a meeting (and dinner!) with Eben Moglen (middle of snapshot), organized by the UOC’s Vicerector of technology, Llorenç Valverde (left) and the UOC’s Law professor Raquel Xalabarder (right).

From left to right: Llorenç Valverde, Eben Moglen and Raquel Xalabarder

There were plenty of things in what he said, most of them following my own
line of thought. My selected quote is, however, maybe quite unusual in the free software movement speeches: birthright bandwidth. Just a concept.

A concept, nevertheless, that just points to the same issue Enrique Dans deals with today, after two articles by Tim Berners Lee and Robert X. Cringely. Put it in my “own” words, the question is whether the internet, or access in general, is a public good and, furthermore, a human right. Dans says “the Net has become too important to be ruled by telcos and the entertainment industry”. Moglen spoke about birthright bandwidth, i.e. the right, by the simple fact of being born, to communicate with others – needless to say “through the internet” in this way of no return to the digital era.

So, right? public good? both? neither?

 

Update:
The review IDP publishes in its 4th issue the full transcription of the speech (PDF file, 152 Kb)

ICT4D feeds

After a little work with BibCiter and Mediawiki 1.6.5, I shall introduce the RSS feeds for this ICT4D personal portal:

Information Society indexes

Here come two resources to help understand the resemblances and differences among indexes to measure the Information Society.

The first one:

is a comparison of all (or almost, who knows one year after) the existing indexes

The second one:

    International Telecommunication Union. (2005). Measuring Digital Opportunity. Seoul: ITU.
    http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/ni/wsisbridges/linked_docs/Background_papers/Measuring_Digital_Opp_Revised_31_Oct_2005.pdf

is an essay led by the International Telecommunication Union to collaborate internationally to measure the digital divide: the Digital Opportunity Index

Book Review: The Dynamics of Technology for Social Change

I’ve been sent news about the release of The Dynamics of Technology for Social Change, a book by Jonathan Peizer. The book is about ICT projects in nonprofit and development environments. The index looks quite good:

    Chapter 1: The Soros foundations network: Catalyzing Change
    Chapter 2: The Internet Program: Web Surfing a Revolution
    Chapter 3: AFS: Using Technology Strategically to Facilitate Change
    Chapter 4: Sector Dependencies, Collaboration Dynamics, and ICT Challenges
    Chapter 5: Marketing, Promotion, and Trusted-Source Relationships
    Chapter 6: Nonprofit Capacity: Issues & Promising Approaches
    Chapter 7: Sustainability: Balancing the Profit and Value Motive
    Chapter 8: Implementation Strategies: Pilot versus Mega Projects
    Chapter 9: Implementation or Evaluation: Prioritizing the Criteria for Success
    Chapter 10: FOSS in the Nonprofit Environment
    Chapter 11: The Donor-Advised Support Conference Afterword
    Appendix A: The Internet Program Projects

OpenNet Initiative: Internet Filtering Map

In an effort to counter the once borderless Internet, states are seeking to create informational boundaries in cyberspace. This is accomplished through a combination of technical and regulatory means — including laws, licensing regimes, industry self-regulation, national filtering, and content removal — thereby creating a matrix of controls.

The OpenNet Initiative: Internet Filtering Map is a quickview way to show this matrix of controls

In other words, it reflects ONI’s work, that is:

The ONI mission is to investigate and challenge state filtration and surveillance practices. Our approach applies methodological rigor to the study of filtration and surveillance blending empirical case studies with sophisticated means for technical verification. Our aim is to generate a credible picture of these practices at a national, regional and corporate level, and to excavate their impact on state sovereignty, security, human rights, international law, and global governance.

[via John Palfrey]