Global Information Society Watch 2009

16 08 2010

“Freedom of expression and the free flow of information and knowledge are essential to democratic societies. Therefore the focus of this year’s Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) report is ‘access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy'”…

Read the whole report at


How does your country’s library services compare?

12 08 2010

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has published its 2010 World Report. The report evaluates participating countries in terms of freedom of information and freedom of expression, and  focuses on how these issues relate to libraries and library services.

Read more:

World Press Freedom Day

3 05 2010

May 3 each year has been officially designated by the United Nations General Assembly as World Press Freedom Day.

All around the world on this day, supporters of media freedom celebrate the fundamental principles of press and media freedom that are articulated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For more news and information on World Press Freedom Day visit the website:

In related news, Reporters Sans Frontiéres (Reporters Without Borders) just released this year’s list of Predators of Press Freedom.

Freedom on the Net: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media

8 04 2010
Source: Freedom House.

As internet and mobile phone use explodes worldwide, governments are adopting new and multiple means for controlling these technologies that go far beyond technical filtering. Freedom on the Net provides a comprehensive look at these emerging tactics, raising concern over trends such as the “outsourcing of censorship” to private companies, the use of surveillance and the manipulation of online conversations by undercover agents. The study covers both repressive countries such as China and Iran and democratic ones such as India and the United Kingdom, finding some degree of internet censorship and control in all 15 nations studied.

Internet access is ‘a fundamental right’

12 03 2010

Source: BBC World Service

Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right, a poll for the BBC World Service suggests.

Internet Freedom in the 21st Century: Integrating New Technologies into Diplomacy and Development

10 03 2010

Source: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs .

This report outlines five key freedoms of the Internet age:

  • Freedom of Speech: Blogs, emails, text messages have opened up new forums for the exchange of ideas.
  • Freedom of Worship: The Internet enhances people’s ability to worship as they see fit.
  • Freedom from Want: Online connections expand people’s knowledge and economic opportunities including locating new markets.
  • Freedom from Fear: Those who disrupt the free flow of information threaten individual liberties and the world’s economy and civil society.
  • Freedom to Connect: Connecting with others near and far offers unprecedented opportunities for human cooperation.

Open Net Initiative 2009 Year in Review

4 02 2010

Source: Open Net Initiative (ONI)

The events of 2009 demonstrated a global rise in third-generation Internet controls. Within the first two weeks of January 2009, both Pakistan and Thailand had ordered the filtering of several Web sites, and Germany announced plans to filter certain types of pornography, garnering outrage from free speech activists. By mid-year, the events surrounding the elections in Iran had taken center stage, prompting Iranian authorities to crack down on Internet use and sparking outrage throughout the world, which then rippled through social media.

The OpenNet Initiative estimates that at the end of 2009, 32% of all Internet users were accessing a filtered version of the Internet.