The annual report, called Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch), was released on November 16th by the Association for Progressive Communications and Dutch-funder Hivos. GISWatch 2009 is entitled “Access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy”.
It shows that accessing information and knowledge online is not as simple as switching on a computer, and that the wealth of information available on the internet today is by no means guaranteed for tomorrow. Whether it is a new legislation designed to control online content, the blocking of websites, or restrictive copyright laws that prevent poor nations and people with disabilities from accessing information, what was once a free and open space for sharing knowledge, is in many ways being shut down. As one author puts it, the information society involves a “continuing tug-of-war between the forces of authoritarianism and democratisation.” Read more