Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS
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Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS
UN provide global dimension to bridge digital divide and is responsible for ICT at the service of development for all
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Free and open internet is dying a slow death

Free and open internet is dying a slow death | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
The dream of a free and open Internet is slowly being killed by overregulation, censorship and bad laws that don't stop the right people, a top computer crime defense lawyer says.

The annual Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas kicked off Wednesday with a keynote address from Jennifer Granick, director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

Granick said that while the Internet needs to be reasonably safe in order to be functional, it's no longer the revolutionary place it was 20 years ago.

No one is murdering the dream of an open Internet, she said, but it's withering away because no one is prioritizing its protection. On top of that, new Internet users are coming from countries whose citizens aren't protected by a Bill of Rights or a First Amendment.

"Should we be worrying about another terrorist attack in New York, or about journalists and human rights advocates being able to do their jobs?" she asked.

Granick also railed against the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which carries sentences of up to 10 years in prison for a first-time offense. It does nothing to prosecute countries like China that launch state-sponsored attacks against the U.S. government and major companies, along with other dangerous hackers based overseas, she said. But, she added, it often hits small-time American hackers with unfairly harsh prison sentences.

In a separate briefing later Wednesday, Leonard Bailey of the Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section, said that in most cases, prosecutions of computer crimes are very "reasonable" and not "prosecutors gone wild."

"But all it takes is one flogging in the public square and there's a chilling effect," he says. "So, we have to try to get this right."

A slew of hackers and information security professionals took the stage at Black Hat later on Wednesday.

One of the most popular talks featured Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who gained fame recently by hacking into and taking control of a Jeep Cherokee, prompting Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 million vehicles to fix the problem.

In a light-hearted talk in a packed ballroom that was often interrupted by applause, the pair detailed how they spent a year hacking into the Jeep, before ultimately infiltrating it through the cellular connection in its radio and then connecting to its controls.

Wednesday's later talks were set to include sessions on the cloning of contactless payment devices such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, along with the hacking of gas pumps, new research on the prevalence of Internet scams and the hacking of Square Inc.'s mobile credit card-reading devices.

The conference continues on Thursday with sessions featuring the hacking of an Internet-connected sniper rifle, a look at ransomware and a discussion of the hidden risks of biometric identification.
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ITU Launches ICT Regulatory Tracker - TeleAnalysis - TeleAnalysis

ITU Launches ICT Regulatory Tracker - TeleAnalysis - TeleAnalysis | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
ITU has developed the ICT Regulatory Tracker, a new evidence-based analytical tool to help pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of regulatory interventions
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South Africa: SA Public ICT Spending to Hit U.S.$707 Million in 2019

South Africa: SA Public ICT Spending to Hit U.S.$707 Million in 2019 | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
Experts are projecting that South Africa's public sector ICT spending will rise to $707.6m by 2019.

This is according to new research by Frost and Sullivan on ICT spend in South Africa.

Researchers said the public sector spent $615.9m on ICT platforms in 2014.

"Managed services, combined with fixed and non-cellular connectivity, accounted for 73.1% of these investments," said the research.

Naila Govan-Vassen, the ICT industry analyst at Frost and Sullivan, said the projected increase in public sector spending in ICT will "centre around updating IT hardware and data centres and on supporting systems integration," especially within the health, education and administrative departments.

"South Africa's National Development Plan, the National Integrated ICT Policy Green Paper, and the Broadband Policy are expected to drive the development and uptake of e-government services," said Govan-Vassen.

However, limited infrastructure investment, legacy issues and security concerns around cloud computing are seen as the major drawbacks to this and this needs to be addressed, the report urged.
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Scooped by Dr Lendy Spires Foundation! South African Government Steps Up ICT Investments - South African Government Steps Up ICT Investments - | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |

Cape Town, South Africa — The upgrade of legacy systems and security will be a primary focus, says Frost & Sullivan

Departments across the public sector are planning to introduce eGovernment services with the objective of improving information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure in South Africa. To achieve this, there will be an increased investment in software licenses, specialised computer services, system advisers, and system development.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, ICT Spend in South Africa: Public Sector finds that the public sector saw an ICT spend of $615.9 million in 2014 and estimates this to reach $707.6 million in 2019. Managed services, combined with fixed and non-cellular connectivity, accounted for 73.1 percent of these investments.

For complimentary access to more information on this research, please visit:

"South Africa's National Development Plan, the National Integrated ICT Policy Green Paper, and the Broadband Policy are expected to drive the development and uptake of eGovernment services," said Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Analyst Naila Govan-Vassen. "ICT spend will centre around updating IT hardware and data centres and on supporting systems integration, especially within the health, education and administrative departments."

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The role of ICT in citizen and government engagements in East Africa

The role of ICT in citizen and government engagements in East Africa | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
iHub Research, today presented a report on a study they undertook in 2014 to assess how ICT tools are being used, for and in various aspects of governance in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. This study, with an aim to bridge the research and insights gap on ICT use in East Africa, sought to answer the following:

Which ICT tools are used in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania addressing these four aspects of governance,
Access to information
Service delivery
Tracking corruption
Citizen participation
In which ways are ICT tools used in the above four areas?
What successes and challenges exist in the use of these tools?

The presenter Ms. Varyanne Sika from iHub Research Kenya said that In Uganda 1Government agency, 11 Civil Society Organizations, 2 Developers and 36 Focus Group Discussion Participants were interviewed and the rest from Kenya and Tanzania.

General Findings

There exist numerous websites, mobile phone and web applications for governance which are not used as often as the developers expected because of two key reasons:

Successful uses of ICTs in governance have been found in cases where nonInternet based ICTs such as radio and mobile phones (feature phones) are used, or in areas where forums exist for citizens to physically meet then follow up on issues raised using ICTs. Mobile and web applications, which are created mostly in tech hubs and tech competitions such as hackathons, are popular and hyped only among people who are particularly interested in technology and applications. Few people are reached through the app creators’ marketing strategies, if at all there are any such attempts. Radios are the most common ICT tools in many rural areas; many success stories were reported among the organizations which use radios to make information on various governance issues accessible to citizens.

Citizens are motivated by the ease provided by ICT tools to interact with government and CSOs. The use of ICT is increasingly diminishing the fear of getting victimised thus boosting citizens’ morale to leverage ICTs in reporting issues affecting them in society.

A key demotivation in the two-way interaction between citizens and government using ICTs is the belief by citizens that nothing will come out of the interaction. A demotivating factor for using ICTs in interacting with citizens on the part of government and CSOs, is costs involved in setting up and running ICT initiatives, limited expertise and a lack of incentive to use ICTs. High illiteracy levels have been a big hindrance towards successful implementation of the ICT tools especially in rural areas. Many organizations lamented about inadequate knowledge and basic ICT skills, which would allow them to use the tools appropriately, as major obstacles that limit many of the citizens from using the existing ICT tools.

Overall, citizen participation is the most dominant use of ICT tools from the interviews and focus group discussions we conducted. Citizen participation exists in forms such as, using mobile phones to share and receive information with CSOs that run governance programs, toll-free numbers, radio shows, social media platforms by both CSOs and Government ministries and departments. Participation by citizens is in reporting cases of poor management of public resources and sharing opinions on governance issues. Monitoring service delivery by the citizens is especially dominant in areas away from cities. Monitoring service delivery is through using an integration of innovative methods such as using digital cameras for evidence based monitoring, and simple ways such as using SMS to report cases of poor service delivery. Social media is mostly used by organizations interviewed to push out information to citizens with an aim of increasing access and raising awareness. This was particularly prevalent with civil society initiatives targeting youth.

When ICTs for Governance Work:

The cases in which ICTs are successful in promoting citizen participation possess two characteristics:

Involving low cost and non-Internet based ICTs
Involving physical meet-up of citizens

Combining two or more ICT tools has proven to enhance two-way interaction between citizens and government.

Ashnah Kalemera, the Programs Associate at the Collaboration on International ICt policy in East and Southern Africa talked about several tools that CIPESA which promotes effective and inclusivity in ICT Policy, Says OpenNet Africa was established in 2012 to monitor internet freedoms in Africa with a primary focus on East and Southern Africa. is a centralised platform for information on African internet freedoms and cyber security, including research materials, censorship incidents, laws on internet freedoms, online safety tools and advocacy materials.

OpenNet Africa is driven by a small and dedicated group of individuals who work in partnership with organisations from across the continent and beyond with the shared goal of promoting internet freedom in Africa.

Limitations of ICTs in Governance:

The report highlights the following limitations

User experience considerations are rarely made when creating ICT tools. In most cases government websites are found to be user-unfriendly.
“Those websites are ugly, it discourages me from going beyond the home page, so I don’t. ” – FGD Participant, Nairobi.”
Lack of involvement of citizens (who are the primary target/end users of most of the ICT tools for governance) in the development of ICTs for governance leads to poor prioritization of the citizens’ needs. Awareness creation about the existence of these tools, why and how they should be used is not done by the implementers of the tools.

Combining two or more ICT tools has also proven to enhance two-way interaction between citizens and government. In instances where no action is taken after making follow ups, the station publicly calls out the ‘culprits’ on air to put a spotlight on their failure to take action. This has induced fear among government officials who do not want their corrupt ways made public. When these incidents of corruption are reduced, citizens are motivated to use ICT tools to report corruption, as their contribution does not go in vain.


Despite the investment in ICTs in Governance by the East African governments, evident in the established policies for ICT and e-Government, the implementation of ICT-related projects in governance has not yet been effective in promoting two-way interaction between citizens and governments.

The underlying reason for challenges in implementation of ICTs and ICT initiatives in governance is majorly the design-reality gap yet to be effectively addressed by governance stakeholders. This means that decisions on which ICT tools and initiatives to deploy in governance lies squarely with governments and organizations running the initiatives. Since the initiatives are created for the two-way interaction between citizens and government, more successful implementation would be achieved if citizens were involved in the design process. The design process of applications, which are made for citizens, should involve comprehensive needs assessments and user experience design, which require adequate time and resources. Mobile and web applications that are created or developed in competitions such as tech hackathons do speed up the design process such that within a few days or a few weeks, an app is created. The short time taken to create apps in these hackathons does not allow enough time to involve citizens in the design process; the design-reality gap in these apps is therefore maintained.

Low-cost and non-Internet based ICTs are a natural fit for promoting citizen participation in the East African countries with respect to governance. A big proportion of the East African population lives in rural areas which, as yet, do not enjoy extensive ICT infrastructure as the urban areas do. This therefore makes it imperative that ICT initiatives match the infrastructure available and tech-savviness among citizens in rural areas.

The high investment of ICTs in governance is informed primarily by the potential and promise of their effectiveness in governance. To meet this potential, investment in ICTs for governance needs to shift from developing the ICT tools themselves, to efforts and strategies that reduce the gap between design and implementation of ICT tools and initiatives
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Tanzania Becomes Regional ICT Hub

Tanzania Becomes Regional ICT Hub | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
The East African Muslim republic of Tanzania will soon become a centre of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for East African countries after completion of the national Internet Data Center (IDC) in Dar es Salaam.

Opening the first Huawei Clouds Conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa said the national IDC will serve as a high quality database station.
“This will be the best center for ICT and IT industry across East Africa,” he said.

“Its construction will start next month in the Kijitonyama suburb of Kinondoni District in the city,” the minister added.

“The center will have high-tech infrastructure and will host services from both the government and business sectors,” he went on to say.

“It will provide high speed broadband connectivity utilizing fiber optic cables,” he detailed.

According to him, construction of the center will cost USD93.7 million and it will not rely on electric power but rather it will use solar power and batteries.

“Since ICT plays a key role in the country’s development, through it, we will be able to do many things efficiently and effectively. The center will be used to store data from telecom companies, private and government offices,” the minister went on to explain.

He said the fiber optic network deployment is being implemented in five phases the first and second phases will connect Dar es Salaam to the rest of the country and its neighbors Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.

“Fiber optic infrastructure facilitates fast communication that will help government offices in remote areas get connected to the headquarters faster,” the minister said.

The minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Huawei Tanzania making the latter an ICT development advisor to Tanzania.

“This will enhance cooperation on training, education, advisory services, summit and exhibition in ICT fields for Tanzania up to 2025,” he said.

The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Lv Youqing, said Tanzania deserved to be the center of ICT in East Africa because it has a good foundation and favorable conditions for investors and its IT market is broad.

“As a global ICT leader, Huawei has been in Tanzania for more than 17 years. Many Chinese companies have come to Tanzania to invest,” he noted.

“Tanzania and China have good relations for a long time, especially after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tanzania in 2013,” he added.

Speaking at the same occasion, Huawei Managing Director, Zhang Yongquan said; “we are thankful for the long lasting trust the government and our telecom customers, including Airtel, Viettel, Tigo, Vodacom and TTCL share.”

“We thank them for the continued support they have given us. In the big data base era, telecom operators and enterprises from various industries are facing new challenges and must come together to improve service delivery,” he said.

“We will continue to bring ICT innovations to Tanzania to improve service delivery for our customer,” he summed up.
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UN Review Of WSIS Intensifies; Questions About ICANN Board Role In IANA Handover

UN Review Of WSIS Intensifies; Questions About ICANN Board Role In IANA Handover | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
This year’s United Nations review of implementation of the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is picking up pace. Meanwhile, intensive efforts continue to meet a September target for the handover from the United States of key underlying functions of the internet.

The WSIS took place in two parts, 2003 in Geneva and 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia, and resulted in a series of outcomes, mandating a review this year. The UN General Assembly is scheduled to hold a high-level review meeting in mid-December in New York, and is following a process leading up to that. The Internet Society has provided guidance on the WSIS+10 review process, here.

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution, A/RES/68/302, in July 2014 that laid out the process. This included the appointment of two co-facilitators by the General Assembly president in June 2015, and an intergovernmental negotiation process including preparatory meetings and information interactive consultations with stakeholders from June to December.

This is a big year for the UN General Assembly as it is expected to adopt a new post-2015 development agenda at its September summit.

Leading up to June, the UN system has organised a WSIS+10 review, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), as well as numerous stakeholder contributions.

The UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) also has a key role, according to the Internet Society (a key stakeholder), having been tasked with assisting the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as the focal point for the system-wide follow-up of WSIS.

ECOSOC, based in the New York headquarters, is expected to review the CSTD report [pdf] in July.

And last week, the WSIS+10 Forum was held in Geneva, giving an opportunity to discuss many aspects of the WSIS+10 review. It also was an opportunity to discuss the transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) away from US control (see below).

Though not a policymaking event, the 25-29 May WSIS Forum resulted in a set of outcomes that will be sent on to the CSTD.

In a “bottom-up multi-stakeholder” process, stakeholder groups have been holding intensive consultations amongst themselves in order to come up with contributions to the process.

IANA Transition

In a related track, the US Commerce Department National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), which has managed oversight of aspects of the internet since the 1998 creation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has designed a process for handing over the last of its unilateral control of the global internet.

The US last year proposed to hand over its oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which is responsible for the global coordination of the domain name system root, internet protocol addressing, and other internet protocol resources.

But NTIA has set conditions that it cannot be put into the hands of an intergovernmental organisation or government, and it must give its approval. And before the proposal comes to the NTIA, it must pass through the ICANN Board.

IANA has three main functions, as shown below (source:

Domain Names

IANA manages the DNS Root Zone (assignments of ccTLDs and gTLDs) along with other functions such as the .int and .arpa zones.

Root Zone Management
Database of Top Level Domains
.int Registry
.arpa Registry
IDN Practices Repository

Number Resources

IANA coordinates allocations from the global IP and AS number spaces, such as those made to Regional Internet Registries.

IP Addresses & AS Numbers
Network abuse information

Protocol Assignments

IANA is the central repository for protocol name and number registries used in many Internet protocols.

Protocol Registries
Apply for an assignment
Time Zone Database

The transition planning process has been divided between these three components (names, numbers, protocols), with each coming up with plans to be joined together and sent on.

On the numbers side, there are five regional internet registries, which have been coordinating the IANA stewardship process transition along with other groups. The five RIRs are coordinated by the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and are: African Network Information Center (AFRINIC), Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), and Regional Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia (RIPE NCC). The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) also contributes to this track.

The numbers processes were fed into the Consolidated Regional IANA Stewardship transition Proposal (CRISP). The CRISP proposal on numbers will be joined with those of the names community (from the Cross-Community Working Group on accountability, CCWG) and the protocol proposal from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Architecture Board (IAB).

All of these will then feed into the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG), then to ICANN and finally to the US government. It has been noted that the September 2015 deadline for NTIA handover is not a fixed deadline but more of a target.

WSIS review process:

WSIS review process graph


WSIS Forum

At the WSIS Forum on 28 May, a panel was held entitled, “IANA Stewardship Transition – A Live Example of a Multi-Stakeholder Process.” The event was chaired by Pablo Hinojosa of APNIC.

Olivier Crepin-Leblond of the ICANN At-Large Community (ALAC), which represents users, spoke about the process, describing the numerous groups and many stakeholders involved. He said another group, the Cross Community Working Group on the IANA stewardship transition (CWG), had already involved some 94 meetings and calls, some 4,600 hours of work and nearly 4,000 mailing list exchanges. The CCWG (on accountability) had had 75 meetings and calls with some 4,300 working hours and over 4,000 mailing list exchanges.

Slides from the presentation are available here [pdf].

Speakers also described progress toward agreement, such as development of draft service agreements and proposals for replacing the role of NTIA. An example might be for instance replacing the relationship between RIRs and NTIA with a relationship of RIRs and the IANA operator.

In addition, Crepin-Leblond and other speakers discussed efforts to boost the accountability of ICANN, which has over the years become larger, better-funded, and, in some people’s eyes, less publicly accountable.

Eliot Lear of Cisco Systems, an IETF regular, discussed the process from the protocol standpoint. Protocol parameters relate to when the IP packet is shipped across the Web whenever a user does an action, and the destination port shows what application will be used. There is a parameter registry for that, and ICANN administers that for the IETF as the IANA operator.

He described the process of a group of like-minded technical people coming up with a draft amongst themselves last year and then subjecting it to heavy commenting from the community that led to 10 revisions before it was agreed and sent to a steering group, which made additional changes before sending it to the ICG. Even then, the decision was appealed, so a further process could happen.

Markus Kummer, an ICANN Board member and Swiss former head of the Internet Governance Forum, said the US contract with IANA has been at the heart of the internet governance discussion for over a decade, and was seen by many governments as inappropriate. Now the historic moment has arrived when the US is ready for transition. He noted that the US has played a “very light” role on control, just checking for accuracy to ensure tasks have been performed accurately. But even though it does little in this role, the US has a big stake, he said, and noted how far the US stake can reach by pointing to the recent FIFA scandal.

On the role of the ICANN Board, he said some panellists overlooked it. Will the Board say no, make changes or just pass it on, he asked. The Board has already made comments and has said in general that the transition in workable, but details need to be worked on. The same goes for the accountability question, he said. His personal hope is that the Board will pass the proposal on and that it will not be problematic.

The worst outcome, said Kummer, could be if the ICANN Board says for whatever reason that the result is not good. Hopefully they will remain involved, he said. Kummer noted that there is considerable expertise on Board, and that they may have questions, such as to confirm to the community, ‘Are you sure you want this, or that?’

From the floor, consultant Richard Hill questioned the process, saying that everybody is “not exactly” equal. People named by ICANN constituencies have higher status, he said, and there are preconditions to the process put forward unilaterally by the US, which will have the final decision in the end.

“I would dispute that this is democratic by any meaning of the word, unless you are a US citizen,” Hill said. He further raised the question of ICANN’s role as both convenor and participant. And he said the process is difficult to follow, technical with a lot of material, and a lot of time needed.

A panellist defended the process, saying agreements have been based on consensus and that the process itself has been working in an open, democratic, inclusive manner.

An audience member from Delhi asked why the ICANN Board should play an intervening role after the process is completed, as it will already have had a chance to give its say. He asked whether the Board has a veto on the process.

A panellist explained that there are members designated by their group and there are participants, who are anyone that wants to follow. If there is no consensus, then it could come to a vote restricted to members. But, the panellist said, it is an inclusive process, so he does not anticipate a vote in the end.

Meanwhile, another audience member asked if there is a risk they are creating a “subsidiary structure” to ICANN here rather than a fully independent structure for the IANA.

Tracy Hackshaw of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Trinidad and Tobago, a member of the ICANN Government Advisory Committee (GAC), said governments are different than other stakeholders. They represent the views of their country and need to consult back home on issues before providing input to the process. So for governments, the speed at which the process is moving is “a challenge,” he said.

“Issues of the root of the internet are not the issues of the day in small island nations,” he said, so government has to do extra work in regional bodies to formulate positions. Governments look at internet governance from the standpoint of critical infrastructure and stability, he said, adding that issues such as how the root and the domain name system remain stable need to be raised in the transition process.

Marilyn Cade, a veteran representative of US business interests on the internet, said businesses are most concerned about security, stability and resiliency, and “how the internet can help them reach the next 100 or 1000 customers.”

Bill Drake of the University of Zurich and member of the Noncommercial Users Constiuency, another veteran of the internet governance debates from the US perspective, noted that there were no ICANN representatives on the panel, but rather representatives of the internet community. He and others noted that participation in the process is completely open to anyone to get involved, and praised ICANN as “quite extraordinary” in the way it deals with civil society.

Background: RIRs

A regional internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and registration of internet number resources within a particular region of the world. Internet number resources include IP addresses and autonomous system (AS) numbers.

Map of Regional Internet Registries:

RIR map 2015

The Regional Internet Registry system evolved over time, eventually dividing the world into five RIRs:

African Network Information Centre (AfriNIC)[1] for Africa
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)[2] for the United States, Canada, several parts of the Caribbean region, and Antarctica.
Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)[3] for Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring countries
Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC)[4] for Latin America and parts of the Caribbean region
Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC)[5] for Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Central Asia
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Kenya’s iHub “ICT in Governance” Research Reveals Non-Internet-based ICTs are the most effective |

Kenya’s iHub “ICT in Governance” Research Reveals Non-Internet-based ICTs are the most effective | | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) that function independent of the internet are the most successful for use in governance, according to a report on ICT and Governance in East Africa, conducted by iHub Reasearch, the research arm of the Kenyan startup incubator, iHub.

The research analyzed the existing use of ICT in governance in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and found that ICT tools for governance is most effective in cases where they are low-cost and non-Internet based.

According to the study, mobile and web application don’t push the needle on democratization and decentralization of governance as much as simple and low-cost solutions enabled by radio and feature phones.

“Mobile and web applications, which are created mostly in tech hubs and tech competitions such as hackathons, are popular and hyped only among people who are particularly interested in technology and applications.”

The study recommends a broad-based consultation with citizens when ICT solutions for governance are in the works in order to ensure adoption.

The study was sponsored by ICT4Democracy East Africa Network with support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. You can read the full report here [PDF].

Photo Credit: craigCloutier via Compfight cc
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How African markets are primed for explosive growth in mobile tech

How African markets are primed for explosive growth in mobile tech | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
Today, everyone wants to know what the future of mobile will look like. One interesting way to think about it is to see where there can be disruptive innovation.

There are basically two ways innovation spreads through a market: from the top down, and from the bottom up. From the top down, an expensive innovation enters the market as a premium product and, as technology improves and economies of scale kick in, spreads down until it’s in everyone’s hands. That was how the automobile became so ubiquitous.

But there’s bottom-up, or disruptive innovation, made famous by Clay Christensen: a new product comes with fewer features, at a lower price point, and aimed at an underserved segment of the market. As the technology improves and becomes more affordable, parallel with growth in the market, that new innovation eats up more and more value. So far, the smartphone has been a top-down story.

Hence the question: given how often disruption happens in the broader technology industry, is there a place where it could start in the mobile industry?

Today, the richest markets in the world—North America, Europe, East Asia—are awash in smartphones. But everyone is now talking about the next frontiers in emerging markets like Brazil and Southeast Asia. But what about after that?

Enter Africa.

The market for mobile technology in Africa exhibits some of the key, telltale signs of fertile soil for disruptive innovation. It is underserved. Though buyers prefer cheaper products, there are plenty of them. And these buyers have specific needs that aren’t being met by the main service providers and device manufacturers.

In Africa, key issues revolve around not only cost, but also power consumption and connectivity. To make cheaper phones, manufacturers equip the device with less memory. But that requires an OS that is specially designed to be very economical in memory. Google is well aware of this risk, which is why it has announced Android One, a version of Android for these markets. But as the history of countless companies reminds us, being aware of a disruptive risk and being able to execute on it are two different things.

What is top of mind for Google execs? Is it winning Africa, or is it matching the latest whizbang features in iOS 17? If the latter, a disruptive challenger can still come in with a more fitting product and essentially eat the market from the bottom up. (This is basically Firefox OS’s strategy, as best as I can tell.)

A classic example of something like this is the power bank phone that’s taking over Ghana. It’s quite cheap, and far less sexy than an iPhone or a Galaxy. But it provides features well-suited to African markets, such as multiple SIM slots and a power bank (portable, long-lasting battery packs specifically designed faulty power grids in parts of the continent). Data-sipping versions of Facebook and WhatsApp preinstalled, too.

Here are some other ways African mobile tech could be disruptive:

1) Payments. This is by now a familiar story. Countries like Kenya are very far ahead of the developed world in terms of adopting mobile payments. With services like M-Pesa, and others, people can store money in their phones and transfer amounts to other people with a few taps; paying for cabs, bar tabs, and even utilities and taxes. Today, the amount of money transferred using mobile phones represents more than a quarter of Kenya’s GDP—an astonishing number. This is another example of “leapfrog” innovation: the reason why Kenyans all flocked to mobile payments when they became available was because many didn’t have bank accounts, but they had phones.

2) Omnipresent wireless broadband. Bringing mobile phone service to the African continent required a lot of innovation. Cheap, durable routers and networking equipment had to be invented and manufactured. An unreliable grid had to be worked around. (Many cell phone transmitting stations are solar-powered, an innovation that is slowly making its way to the developed world.) Redundancies had to be built into the system for contingencies. Upgrading that infrastructure to broadband will be a lot easier than building it in the first place. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the near future, we see faster mobile internet in Africa than in many other places in the world.

3) Health. Africans are leapfrogging the West because of poor infrastructure—in this case, a dearth of doctors and other medical services. Africans are already turning to mobile technology for health information, on platforms like MAMA and other health services.

4) Commerce. Once more, lack of infrastructure, in this case retail, is leading to leapfrogging. In the West, ordering something on your smartphone and then picking it up from a locker is still experimental. It is more developed in places like South Africa. With fewer brick-and-mortar megamalls, and with an already high penetration of mobile payment services, it makes sense that “m-commerce” innovation will happen first (and grow fastest) in Africa.

When we think “future of mobile,” we don’t typically think about Africa. But then again, before 2007, we didn’t typically lend Apple much consideration either—and look what happened. In other words, when it comes to the next big thing in phones, don’t underestimate this part of the world.lacan

This article is published in collaboration with Quartz. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

To keep up with the Agenda subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Author: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is a writer and fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He lives in Paris.
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Innovative desalination technologies to solve one of the world’s biggest problems | Devex

Innovative desalination technologies to solve one of the world’s biggest problems | Devex | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
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ITU 150: ITU 150th Anniversary 1865 - 2015 - YouTube

ITU 150: ITU 150th Anniversary 1865 - 2015 - YouTube | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
Videos for the 150th Anniversary of ITU.
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ITU: Committed to connecting the world
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies. As the global focal point for governments and the private
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Innovating with Fatoumata: How m-farming can feed the next 2.4 billion people | ITU150

Innovating with Fatoumata: How m-farming can feed the next 2.4 billion people | ITU150 | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
Innovating with Fatoumata: How m-farming can feed the next 2.4 billion people
February 1, 2015
With a rapidly growing population, we must think differently about water if we want to ensure food security, conserve delicate ecosystems and reduce poverty by 2050. Fatoumata Kebe’s project CONNECTED ECO, a winner of ITU Telecom’s Young Innovators Competition, addresses this issue head on.

I am an aerospace engineer, but a 2009 trip to Mali provided inspiration for CONNECTED ECO, a social mobile farming solution which hopes to address the looming global water and food crisis.

From a young age I have been fascinated by space, looking at pictures in astronomy books before I could read. I hold an MSc in Fluid Engineering and I am in the third year of my PhD in Astronomy at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. I have also had some incredible opportunities: I have studied in the USA and Japan, and interned at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and European Space Agency (ESA) where I worked on the Venus Express mission. I am also part of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) which mobilizes the creativity and enthusiasm of youth to contribute to international space policy issues such as exploration and the harmonious use of our orbits.  This may not be the background that you expect for an agricultural social entrepreneur.

I was invited to Mali as part of the International Labour Organization’s Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) programme which returns expatriates from developing countries back to their country of origin for a short period of time on a voluntary basis to share expertise and skills with local people to aid development. Through the programme I had the opportunity to meet people working in Mali in several areas such as agriculture, women empowerment and education. I had a lot of discussions with my neighbours, with members of a women’s cooperative and some farmers. I was shocked when I heard that the farmers were not able to produce enough food to feed their families and had to sell a large proportion of their produce to pay their bills or to have access to healthcare.

I wanted to do something to address both of these issues which could start from a small number of people and spread all over the continent.

ITU’s Young Innovators Competition was exactly what I was looking for to achieve these goals. The Internet of Things (IoT) challenge would enable me to work on issues that I had been thinking about for years: water, agriculture, environment and women’s empowerment.

I started developing the idea of a social m-Farming project by looking at some concrete facts: by 2050, the world’s population will increase by a third, rising from 7.2 billion today to 9.6 billion. Most of these additional 2.4 billion people will live in developing countries. If current income and consumption growth trends continue, it is estimated that agricultural production will have to increase by 70 per cent by 2050 to satisfy the expected global food demand. At the same time, women in developing countries do almost as much work as men in the field together with other household duties. Additionally, literacy and education rates among women are incredibly low: in Mali, only 20.3 per cent of women are literate and only 23.1 per cent of teenage girls go to secondary school compared to 36 per cent men.  Agriculture in the developing world must therefore transform itself to feed a growing global population and provide the basis for economic growth and poverty reduction.

Therefore, my project would need to address two challenges.

Firstly, how water is managed will be at the centre of this problem as it plays a critical role in crop production. Tomorrow’s water management challenges differ greatly from those of recent decades; agriculture is already the largest consumer of freshwater,  and agricultural smart water management will be a key policy issue for the 21st century. The key to the solution is knowing the right time and volume of water to irrigate, however additional factors such as management practices, technological advances, market prices and agricultural policies must also be taken into consideration.

Secondly, providing women access to education is a cornerstone to achieving poverty eradication and economic growth. However, the impact that this will have will depend on the type of investment, both social and educational. Steps must therefore be taken to ensure women’s inclusion, not only in the classroom but in society generally.


CONNECTED ECO addresses the need for a new agricultural model to ensure that enough quality food is produced where it is needed most while preserving the natural ecosystem, and encourages women’s empowerment through digital training. CONNECTED ECO is a win-win solution capable of meeting the different needs of farmers, local communities and global consumers, to create common advantages.

CONNECTED ECO is a social mobile farming solution that takes advantage of existing IoT technologies that are readily available in the developed world, and transforms their potential into a sustainable business model. The start-up capitalizes on existing IoT capabilities, integrated with a specially designed smartphone app to create ‘smart farms’, where ecological processes are monitored in order to facilitate ‘smart’ water management and deploy irrigation more accurately. By bringing the cheapest, most suitable and sustainable sensors to Mali we can begin to develop smart sustainable farming: reducing water waste, increasing agricultural yield and promoting digital literacy among female cooperative farmers.

The Concept: How does ‘m-Farming’ work?

By collecting live data on crop and soil conditions, CONNECTED ECO facilitates customized farming to maximize agricultural yield.

Farmers will be given wireless IoT sensor developed by a technology partner which are programmed to measure vital agricultural data points including humidity levels, light intensity, soil moisture and electrical conductivity. These statistics are transmitted via Wi-Fi to an integrated smartphone app – or SMS to low-end handsets – to give real-time information on prevailing conditions.

Users can access charts and graphs via the app’s dashboard which analyses the data over periods of time and compares measurements to a database of local meteorological conditions. Accessing detailed information about their land, farmers will be able to refine their agronomic techniques, reduce crop stress due to overwatering and therefore reduce water waste. The app advises farmers about both the optimum time of day and volume of water to irrigate, allowing farmers to develop tailored solutions for their land.

By automating the water system, the mobile app can also deploy and control the water flow to crops thus regulating irrigation more effectively. A solar-powered water valve is a flow device which, when attached to a drip irrigation system, allows for the most efficient watering possible. Thus this project will prevent both damage due to drought and excessive watering.

To access the services provided by CONNECTED ECO, farmers will need access to a Wi-Fi hub.

Social Development

Improving agricultural water management for a 2050 market requires a learn-by-doing, flexible and adaptive approach like our project. In addition to helping farmers cut costs while increasing the productivity of the land, CONNECTED ECO’s business model promotes social sustainability and poverty reduction. The United Nations assert that educating girls and women could ‘hold the key to breaking the cycle of poverty’, giving them the skills to find employment and become entrepreneurs, generating economic growth. ITU is instrumental in training women in developing countries in vital ICT skills through such programmes as the ITU Digital Literacy Campaign in partnership with, which has trained over a million women to become digitally literate, enabling them to access the labour market.

Using CONNECT ECO’s Internet of Things-enabled sensors and smart phone application empowers a new generation of digital citizens. People with no knowledge of software development can be easily trained to use the technology. Our model will focus on educating female cooperative farmers how to use CONNECTED ECO’s technology, improving their computer literacy and empowering them to be more successful in agriculture. Therefore, CONNECTED ECO’s model serves a social purpose: the integration of people that are marginalized in the labour market, working to reduce global poverty.

I will organize special training sessions and work to enable the local environment so that women can teach other women, thus contributing to sustainable, self-sufficient capacity-building efforts. I have identified a cooperative of women in Kati, Mali, that could be trained to use our IoT devices.

Next Steps

We are currently finalizing research and development, but have already identified an agro-ecology farm in Mali to test and refine the capabilities of the CONNECTED ECO project.

Once the testing period is finished, CONNECTED ECO will be deployed across Mali using IoT sensor developed by a technology partner. Eventually, we hope to see this project implemented across West Africa.


As a winner of ITU Telecom’s 2014 Young Innovator’s Competition, the visibility gained will help to accelerate the implementation of the project so we can begin solving the problem of agricultural water management and encourage women’s empowerment in Mali.

Hopes for the Future

This year, I hope to complete pilot testing in Mali. In the next five years, I hope that the women who use the CONNECTED ECO programme are elevated within society. I am confident that women will increasingly be recognized as important to advancing development and take leadership in social, economic and political fronts – and I want to be part of that process. In the longer term, I hope that CONNECTED ECO transforms the way that Africa thinks about agriculture and irrigation – Africa has the opportunity to be a leader in agro-ecology, consequently becoming the granary of the world.

On a personal note, once my thesis is completed, I would like to work towards the preservation of the environment in space and on Earth. I hope to one day be the CEO of a space and Earth environmental company.

Message on youth and innovation from Ahmad Alhendawi, UN SG’s envoy on youth

Podcast: What are small satellites?Yvon Henri, Chief, Space Services Department, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU explains what small satellites are, what they are used for and how ITU ensures harmonious interaction in space

Be He@lthy, Be Mobile

ITU have teamed up with the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop the ‘Be He@lthy, Be Mobile’ initiative which uses mobile technology to help governments implement programmes to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases like diabetes and respiratory diseases, and promote wellness.

Sustainable Development Goals

”This year, the United Nations will establish universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as we look to the future beyond the
UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed by world leaders in 2000. They will set the agenda to decrease poverty, improve health and environmental sustainability. Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and especially broadband, must be seen as catalytic tools to help achieve these goals, stimulating economic growth and empowering people to participate in and benefit from the opportunities of the digital economy. Already working in many of the areas outlined in the SDGs, ITU will continue to provide support to ensure the success of the post-2015 agenda and calls on the UN Member States to ensure that ICTs are fully included as powerful enablers of socio-economic development in the future SDGs.”

What will the future of the Internet of Things look like? See ITU Member Cisco predictions for the year 2020. (Infographic, 2008).Learn more


Youth Unemployment

A  2014 ITU report entitled
Digital Opportunities: Innovative ICT Solutions for Youth Employment casts a spotlight on digital jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities. The report highlights and differentiates the essential skills young graduates need to excel in the 21st century workplace, including computer literacy, digital literacy and web literacy.

Digital Natives

ITU’s 2013 ‘Measuring the Information Society’ publication included the first in-depth analysis of young people’s use of ICTs, with a special focus on ‘digital natives’. Who are ‘digital natives’? How many are there around the world? What trends can we expect to see in the future?

Young ICT Policy Leaders

“It is my belief that the Young ICT Policy Leaders (YIPL) programme marks the beginning of a new and revolutionary path – to empower the youth and include young blood to pump the growth of ICT.” 

Chamitha de Alwis
Consultant to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka
2014 YIPL programme.
Young Innovators Competition
Find out more about the
2014 Young Innovators Competition held in Doha, Qatar

Find out more about ITU´s activities on youth and ICTs


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Internet firms to be subject to new cybersecurity rules in EU

Internet firms to be subject to new cybersecurity rules in EU | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
Internet firms such as Cisco (CSCO.O), Google (GOOGL.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) will be subject to a new EU cybersecurity law forcing them to adopt tough security measures and possibly report serious breaches to national authorities, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The so-called Network and Information Security Directive has been stuck in talks between member states and EU lawmakers because of disagreements over whether to include digital platforms such as search engines, social networks, e-commerce sites and cloud computing providers.

Members of the European Parliament want the law to only cover sectors they consider critical, such as energy, transport and finance.

But after months of negotiations, digital platforms will now fall under the law's remit, albeit with less onerous security obligations, according to the document, which did not provide details of the obligations.

The paper from Luxembourg, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, suggests adopting a lighter approach for digital service platforms which typically do not have direct links to physical infrastructure such as, for example, a nuclear power company.

Any firm meeting the law's definition of a digital service platform -- which is still under discussion -- would automatically be covered to avoid member states taking different approaches and causing fragmentation across the 28-nation EU.

A cloud computing provider or any other digital firm providing a service for an infrastructure operator would be subject to the same rules applying to that operator, according to the document, which could still change in discussions after the summer.

Internet firms will also be subject to notification requirements in cases of security breaches, although there is no agreement yet on whether these should be mandatory or voluntary.

The paper asks member states to express their preferences at a meeting in September, after which drafting of a full legal text will start.

Firms in the digital sphere oppose being included in the law's scope.

"We’re pleased to see digital service platforms subject to a different regime but we’re disappointed at the lack of recognition that it is the use of cloud that determines the security risk not the service itself," said Chris Gow, Senior Manager, Government Affairs at Cisco.

The European Commission -- the EU executive -- and some member states reckon that because of the widespread use of Internet services and the number of businesses that rely on the web they should also be subject to security rules and reporting requirements.

Currently there is no pan-European cybersecurity law and only telecoms operators are subject to the incident-reporting requirements.
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India's stand on internet governance gets US backing - Times of India

India's stand on internet governance gets US backing - Times of India | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
The US has backed India's stand on internet governance, saying both countries share a common vision of ensuring every global citizen has a say on the subject.
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Scooped by Dr Lendy Spires Foundation! Ghana: Govt Hands Over ICT Centres to Communities - Ghana: Govt Hands Over ICT Centres to Communities - | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |


The government has handed over fully-equipped enhanced Community Information centres (E-CICs) to the people of Effiduase and Anum-Boso, Ngleshi-Amanfro, and Kpetoe, in the Eastern, Greater Accra, and Volta regions respectively.

The edifices, which are fully furnished with information communications technology (ICT) gadgets, are part of the 21 enhanced CICs built across the country. The Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, at the launch of the internet solutions metro-fibre infrastructure expansion project in Accra, stated that the Internet Solutions' World Class Metro Fibre, and Metro Ethernet Services Network expansion projects were being done with an initial investment of $15 million.

According to the Minister: "There is no argument that Ghana continues to drive innovative technology growth in the sub-region. In this regard, this next generation Metropolitan Ethernet network places Ghana at the forefront of the West African technology road map."

"The internet has, and continues to permeate every aspect of our lives, be it political, economic, education agriculture, etc., and as a result, created a new community, irrespective of location, origin, gender or race, of which we are all a part of," he noted.


Statistics from the National Communications Authority (NCA) shows that as of March 2015, the total lines access stood at 31,154,420, with a penetration rate of 116.61%.

These figures are a jump from 17,436,949, with a penetration rate of 75% in 2010.

Dr. Boamah noted that businesses would be able to connect with their branch offices with ease from remote data centres and government agencies for as much bandwidth as they need.

"For the first time, we are informed, businesses in Accra will be able to connect, not only to the Global Information Highway (the Internet) with ease, but to their branch offices, remote data centres, disaster recovery sites, government agencies effortlessly, and for as much bandwidth as they need."

In addition, organisations will be provided with highly secured, non-shared, dedicated, unrivaled high speed connectivity to the internet and their offices in the Accra Metropolis, connect with other organisations to use bandwidth-hungry applications and services, including banking, and e-commerce services.

"With such a facility to be provided by Internet Solutions, Ghanaian companies will experience cost effectiveness, secure communications, reliability, scalability and bandwidth management, which is acceptable to their needs and demand," he emphasised.

The government, as part of its e-Ghana project, established the National IT Agency to roll out a nationwide network to serve all government agencies with network and internet access. Currently, the government has a nationwide 4G LTE network that provides access to key government agency services to all regional and some district offices of MDAs and MMDAs.

Also, there is a 10 Gbps ring that inter-connects all government ministries and the seat of government in Accra. As part of the government's broader commitment to bridge the infrastructure gap to enable participation in the information age, it is building a National Data Centre that will serve the public and private entities in the country.

This facility is comprised of a primary data centre in Accra, which has over 500 rack space, estimated to be the largest in West Africa. Further, the secondary data centre of this facility has been completed, and is located in Kumasi to provide web hosting and infrastructure services solutions. The over two Pentabytes storage, which will be available at these data centers, will usher the country into an era where more and more local companies and start-ups will create local content.

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Pacific Islands Cable Breaks, Cutting Off Phones and Internet Technicians are restoring telephone and Internet service in the U.S Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands after a ...
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Uganda Budget: ICT makes positive strides - PC Tech Magazine

Uganda Budget: ICT makes positive strides - PC Tech Magazine | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
KAMPALA – While presenting the 2015/2016 National Budget, Matia Kasaija, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development stressed that the ICT services sector is currently one of the most important sectors in the economy,...
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EU Commission releases list of top 10 most innovative SMEs in ICT

EU Commission releases list of top 10 most innovative SMEs in ICT | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
The first Innovation Radar Report reviews the innovation potential of ICT projects funded under 7th Framework Programme and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, to demonstrate the economic impact of EU grant funding
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At UN, Access calls attention to human rights for WSIS+10

At UN, Access calls attention to human rights for WSIS+10 | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
Today Access is participating in informal interactive consultations on the World Summit on the Information Society "WSIS+10" review. The consultations are taking place during the UN General Assembly, and are organized by the President of the 69th session of the assembly. They are supported by UN DESA, ITU, UNCTAD, UNESCO, and UN-NGLS.

The consultations provide an important opportunity for stakeholders in the information society to exchange views on the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.

The representatives of stakeholders speaking today are:

Mr. Akinori Maemura, Japan Network Information Center (JPNIC)
Mr. Zaur Hasanov, TASIM (Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway)
Ms. Deniz Duru Aydin, Access
Mr. Joseph Alhadeff, Oracle
Mr. Daniel Stauffacher, ICT4Peace Foundation

Below is the complete text of the comments by Access' Deniz Duru Aydin:

Honorable delegates,

I would like to start by thanking the President of the General Assembly for organizing this consultation, and as a young internet user from Turkey, I am grateful for this opportunity to voice my opinions.

I am here today representing Access, an international human rights organization whose mission is to defend and extend the digital rights of users at risk around the world.

We believe that a review of the progress made on the vision of a people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented information society since WSIS must take into account how human rights online have been advanced — as well as put at risk — over the last ten years.

The internet is critical for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. Three years ago, when the Human Rights Council passed its landmark resolution, the international community affirmed that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online.” Now, we are at a pivotal moment where the internet has become central to our capacity to enjoy our human rights, both online and offline. We must rise to this opportunity.

However, as a member of a global civil society organization and a Turkish activist, I become aware — nearly on a daily basis — of the challenges faced by grassroots groups, journalists, and human rights defenders around the world, as they use digital communication technologies to exercise fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and association.

Unlawful surveillance by government authorities undermines the security of our communications, turns citizens into suspects, and imposes chilling effects on expression. Participation in the information society diminishes when individuals cannot trust that their data — whether it holds financial and health information or details about their political beliefs — will be protected online. Any interference with the right to privacy must be strictly necessary and proportionate, prescribed by law, and undertaken in pursuit of a legitimate aim.

Governments have the duty to protect our rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and association, online and offline. Despite their promises and plans for action seeking to build confidence and security in the use of ICTs, in the past ten years we have seen states at times failing to ensure that laws, regulations, activities, and powers related to communications surveillance adhere to international human rights law and standards.

Likewise, state restrictions on expression online often do not respect international standards. Unfortunately, beyond filtering content online, several governments have even used internet “kill switches” during times of social unrest or protest. These practices can never be justified under human rights law.

We believe that the ongoing focus in cybersecurity policy making on “critical infrastructure” fails to consider the risks that people face in our current digital environment. These include malware or cyber-attacks that target vulnerable users around the world — such as journalists, bloggers, and human rights defenders — while harming the security of the network as a whole. A paradigm shift is needed, to put the security of the user first and build upward through the different layers of the internet architecture. We hope to see member states take into account users’ rights and priorities while engaging in new cybersecurity initiatives to build a more open and secure internet.

When it comes to access and bridging the digital divide, we believe that there have been effective multi-stakeholder initiatives — from the promotion of internet exchange points, to the ongoing efforts of international organizations such at the ITU and others to promote North­-South and South-­South knowledge and technology transfer. We also support new initiatives and funding structures to connect the remaining 57% of the world’s population.

But we should ensure access for all the world's people to the internet without discrimination or interference, safeguarded by the principle of Net Neutrality. This requires that the internet be maintained as an open platform on which network providers treat all content, applications, and services equally, without discrimination. Therefore, practices such as zero rating raise serious human right concerns, because offering only selected services for free, instead of the whole internet, limits users’ access to selected platforms and content, and creates barriers to local content creation and innovation.

When everyone has access to the open Web in its entirety, there is the potential for limitless economic, social, and political benefits. Yet, for the full promise of the internet to flower, we must keep human rights central to the WSIS process and ensure that states adhere to their human rights commitments in the four ways I’ve outlined:

End unlawful surveillance and protect the right to privacy;
Stop censorship and internet shutdowns;
Ensure our rights are not undermined in the name of cyber security; and
Protect Net Neutrality and prevent the discrimination of data, content, or platforms

Not only should states be obligated to fulfill these commitments — but it is only via such efforts that we can together achieve the vision of an information society where individuals, communities, and peoples can reach their full potential.

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KT's fixed-line Internet technology registered to ITU - The Korea Observer

KT's fixed-line Internet technology registered to ITU - The Korea Observer | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |

SEOUL, July 10 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s No. 2 telecom giant KT Corp. said Friday its technology that provides a high-speed Internet connection via existing fixed-lines has won recognition from the United Nation’s communications arm, paving way to export the technology.

KT said its so-called “GiGA Wire” technology, which allows users to enjoy Internet service three times faster than the previous very high bit rate digital subscriber line (VDSL), has been officially registered with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The GiGA Wire technology allows users to use high-speed Internet through existing telephone lines, without having to replace them with optical cables, KT said.

Following the registration, KT will be able to sell the GiGA Wire technology to countries that seek to upgrade fixed-line networks, such as Britain, France, the United States and Japan, it said.

The ITU is an information and communications arm of the United Nations that sets technological standards, allocates radio frequencies and satellite orbits, and works to improve the quality of communication services.

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Pavan Duggal Delivering High Level Policy Statements at ITU, WSIS Forum 2015

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About ITU 150 | ITU150

About ITU 150 | ITU150 | Internet, ICT, ITU, Technology & WSIS |
About ITU 150

2015 marks ITU's 150th anniversary On 17 May 2015 ITU will be celebrating 150 years since the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telegraph Union. For a century and a half since 1865, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been at the center of advances in communications – [...]

2015 marks ITU’s 150th anniversary

On 17 May 2015 ITU will be celebrating 150 years since the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telegraph Union. For a century and a half since 1865, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been at the center of advances in communications – from telegraphy through to the modern world of satellites, mobile phones and the Internet.

150 years is only a brief interval in the recorded history of mankind. Yet those 150 years have been extraordinarily significant in terms of human progress and discovery. One of the most remarkable advances of the past 150 years has been the incredible increase in both the speed and variety of human communications.

First we saw the telegraph and the telephone, then radio and television, followed by satellite communications and the internet – heralding a new era of ubiquitous connectivity over the past twenty years. It is difficult to imagine how we communicated in 1865 – with no phones, no email, no instant messaging or SMS. Even the telegraph wasn’t available for personal use, so the most common method of long-distance communication back then was to send letters carried on horseback or by ship. The exponential growth of science and technology over the past 150 years is fascinating – and it is part of ITU’s story.

The story of ITU is one of international cooperation, among governments, private companies and other stakeholders. The continuing mission is to achieve the best practical solutions for integrating new technologies as they develop, and to spread their benefits to all.

2015 will be a commemoration year that we wish to celebrate with all our members – including governments, private companies, and other stakeholders.

Learn more:

  • Thematic months: Each month in 2015 we will focus on a different ICT-related theme.
  • ITU150 Golden Book: Read the thoughts from people around the world on the occasion of our 150th anniversary.
  • History and Digital Collections: Your gateway to a wealth of information about ITU’s history and a growing selection of digitized documents.
  • ICT Discovery: Witness ITU’s contribution to the history of ICTs by organizing a trip to our interactive visitor center.
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