Friday, 27 April 2012

Open Access or Silent Culture (part 1)

I gave a TEDxBradford talk to discuss another concept of openness, an alternative to the one which is intensifying in current rhetoric which focuses on barriers to access such as censorship and surveillance. Such as:

"...the Internet is at risk....threat comes from Iran, Syria, and other cyber-autocracies that use pretexts to deny their citizens their rights to express themselves, seek and receive information, and freely associate." (OECD representative K. Kornbluh, 2011)


“For nearly a decade, the United Nations quietly has been angling to become the epicenter of Internet governance, but now those efforts appear to be intensifying,” said Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) “It’s absolutely imperative for the United States to oppose this naked power grab led by Russia and China.” (from Politico) 


The juxtaposition of America vs. its anti-democratic rivals frames policy formulation in black and white ideological terms leaving no room to explore, to ask why and how.  Why will the U.S. benefit from influencing information monitoring or promoting the use of American software?  How will controlling information shape the digital battlefield?  

Here are is part 1 of my talk with (5) visuals (part 2 coming soon). Part 1 lays out the current concept of barriers/access and looks at how the ICT tools are being used to gather information in fragile conflict zones and some remaining challenges. Part 2 looks at why the system persists.