"Prior to establishing the website, the special circumstances under which we functioned had restricted our activity and limited the access to our work by others in related fields (see http://www.uthr.org/history.htm ). Setting up the website was a liberating experience and proved to be significantly a more popular medium than the print media. Thanks to Marilyn's efforts, we get 150- 250 hits every day when we release new reports and about 100 hits per day otherwise. What I found innovative and more meaningful in Virtual Activism's vision of "closing the digital divide" is that it is managed by people who have experience in activism in the developing countries and know the pitfalls and limitations of the organizations which function in those parts. Hence they have a clear perspective in providing all the support including training to make those local organizations independent and efficient in using the tools for their benefit. It not only provides resources just to host a site but makes available all the tools on the web which are useful for campaign purposes, thus opening up new frontiers to the local organizations."

— K.Sritharan Ph.D. University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna


ICT for Development

Core Indicators: The Partnership has developed a core list of ICT indicators to help countries track ICT infrastructure, access, and measure ICTs in households, enterprises, education, and government. The list is revised regularly and was endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission. [link]

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Letter to Congress regarding SOPA

On 15 November, over 60 civil and human rights organizations, including Virtual Activism, wrote a letter to Congress  urging the rejection of SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act ]. The following is part of the text of the letter sent to Congress:

Re: H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act
Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Conyers,

As press freedom and human rights advocates, we write to express our deep concern with H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

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Citizen's Media Law Project publishes an online guide to reporting on Occupy Wall Street

A Citizen's Guide to Reporting on #OccupyWallStreet: this online guide is a project of Citizen's Media Law Project and its aim is to provide a legal guide to activists on the ground involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. [link] However this guide specifically addresses the law as it pertains to New York City and the protests currently occurring in Zuccotti Park. The information provided will not apply with respect to the other #occupy protests throughout the country.

For other information on Occupy Wall Street, please go directly to their site at http://occupywallst.org/ and/or watch streaming live event.

 

Making Sense of the Digital Era: A human rights approach to the Internet

Human Rights Europe has released a podcast by Jan Malinowski providing a human rights approach to digital media:

Defending the right to a free, open and interconnected Internet has become a touchstone of the western progressive tradition. Finland and Estonia have gone furthest in their embrace of the internet as an instrument of free expression, ruling that access to the online “knowledge society” is a human right for their citizens. The Internet was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Price in March 2009. Yet away from the political rhetoric and think-tank policy papers, the real world may look upon the internet as a useful but anarchic frontier of the global age.

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Conclusion of Conf on Women & Social Media in MENA

The Conference on Women and New Social Media in the Mediterranean Region was organized by Centre Isis pour Femmes et Developpment in Fez, Morocco with the cooperation of Fez University from 24-26 June 2011. The Conference was attended by more than 100 women and men from the region, and was especially interesting because it included many of the younger generations presenters and attendees. Panelists were primarily academics who presented papers around the following general topics:

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Middle East Initiative

mengos
Middle East NGOs website is our  Middle East and North Africa-focused initiative. Please click to visit site

UNGIS

United Nations Group on the Information Society:

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