WS 187 Society before and after the Internet and digital media
>>:Joonas Mäkinen, All right, good day everyone. This is workshop one 87, society before and after the Internet digital media. Can everybody hear me properly? Yes. I am yo nis and I am from Finland, representing electronic frontier Finland and sort of the youth worker here trying to get some young people along an trying to see how the views of young people and older or any age of Internet users differ and why and the point of this work shop was to investigate and sort of list down the differences that we are aware of and the possibilities and perhaps problems that have come with the Internet. We have a lt of people here who are early adopters of the Internet, the Internet, the modern Internet is about 25 years old and most of the technology is 40 years old, even older than that and then there are some people who have started using Internet just lately. Internet is not just something that has happened in time; there is also geogramcal viewpoint. You can't pick one single time and say it is where Internet came along because it is still happening around the world, new people starting to use this technology and in general other ICT different digital media. So in the beginning I would just like to introduce by saying and pointing out something very obvious, there are different areas where I think and many think Internet has revolution nighsed things. Of course communications, that is what the Internet is for. Business is something that couldn't survive just like that without Internet. Internet has made possible, perhaps, demonstrations, revolutions, who knows. It might be just a tool, let us talk about that and personally my favourite, education is also something that has greatly benefited, has had large benefits from the Internet. As an example I can tell you that a month ago in Finland there were 20 to 30 mathematicians and we formed a group, we locked ourselves for one week into a school and we wrote first course book in mathematics over the weekend. It is free and openly available with great licence. Stuff like this would not have been possible before the Internet. But we have
panel lists here who represent, well different backgrounds and different ages and we start by giving sometime for introductions and let us see what sort of enlightened situations we find out so if we could start from here. Take the microphone.
>>: Yes, and I am very interested in age background. When did you first start using the Internet? What do you think are the great things that or bad things that Internet has brought along?
>>: Ashnah Kalemera , I am representing the collaboration for ICT in South Africa, we are based in Uganda. Personally when did I start using the Internet? That would have been in my `A' Levels, so quite recent. I am trying to remember. Yes, it is definitely not more than 10 years. It is less than 10 years. I won't speak about the Internet from a personal perspective I will speak about it from my work related perspective. To give you a background I will talk about Kenya and Tanzania from a viewpoint. In net is new in Tanzania, it is not 25 years old, it is probably as old as I have had access to the Internet. The there are only 14,000,000 Internet users in Kenya, 5.9 in Tanzania and about 12,000,000 in Uganda. These are countries that two of them don't have access to information build, Uganda has an access to information act but it has not been operation liesed, this was past in 2005 but no implementations around that so with that background what Internet has enabled citizens of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania it has changed, this countries have undemocratic processes so through the Internet citizens have been empowered, there is information provided, often data porters are available in Uganda and Kenya, citizens are able to access information on the it net, also able to contact their leaders by Internet, Parliamentary initiatives you speak in Uganda where citizens liaise with their Members of Parliament through mobile SMS or Internet portal that is incorporating social media. In terms of election monitoring which is obviously quite big in the region citizens are using Shah Hi di, Web platform to monitor elections and report election malpractice and via laition of human rights. Then to combat corruption an poor service delivery there are also initiatives Internet aist initiatives, obviously that either
monitor service delivery, report poor service delivery, report corruption or just express viewpoints on that to their leaders. Unfortunately it has not been all e great, some things remain as they were before the Internet. There is people still marginalised, the poor, the rural poor, the women and the youth do not have access to the Internet so it is not something that has benefited them in L the ways that I have mentioned. Access to law like I mentioned the figures in the region, less than 30,000,000 users and the pop lai is a lot bigger than that. It is expensive, it is very expensive and recently governments have obviously found ways to limit access to the Internet, be it antiGovernment in surgeonses or Web in surgeonses I put that in quotes or just don't have infrastructure, Internet infrastructure in areas that are not economically profitable for ISPs and for Government. An example would be you Canada where in a recent an tag ma tick protests, the Government order drt ISPs to shut down access to social media, that was Facebook and Twitter for 24 hours because the opposition was mobilising pte strs through those channels so yes, it has good things and bad things. Thanks.
>>: All right. Here I just want to say that after this introduction around it is more than welcome that any of the people in the audience like here in person or remotely somewhere do ask questions. I really want to leave time for that an after the introductions I do have some general questions for everyone yes., please, next one.
>>: Deidre Williams. : Good afternoon everybody, my name is Deidre Williams. I come from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. I am 65 years old which puts me between fint serve and Tim burr nrs Lee consistently speaking so I -- chronoly speaking I suppose I am the before but I am also the after. Please remember that I am here now and I have attended the I G Fs since hydrobad in 2008, remotely nast year in Nairobi.
Background, backgrounds I will speak to you as a person because that is why I am here. I will speak to you as myself because I think the ordinary users of the Internet are very often left out so you can learn about me and how I look at this phenomenon and
through me you should be able to see other people, ordinary people, not techie people, ordinary people. Okay. I remember rotary telephones that had four numbers. That is science fiction. When I was a little girl I read a lot of science fiction and there used to be stories about personal communication devices. These people had something all the time to talk to other people and it was magic. If you were eight, nine, 10 years old, to think of that, well, the magic happened. My association with Internet began 20 years ago. In 1993 I was lucky enough to be studying at the university of ill noi owe BANA Champagne when something called mosaic was launched. It was the first or one of the first Web browsers and just about that time this strange person in Switzerland was doing something with something called the worldwide Web. We weren't too sure about the world mie Web yet but it was just being born. My original Internet was a place which was rabidly non-commercial. It was like the Olympic games used to be. You could not have a commercial connection. It was absolutely forbidden. That is something that has changed a great deal. The Internet is now very commercial and so are the Olympic games. Maybe it is a sign of the times.
All right, uses, before the Internet in the little island in the Caribbean where I live, news was a problem. We had television news coming in but it all seemed to come from the same source. It was difficult to get alternative points of view. Information, that was difficult too. How do you find out about things? The the encyclopedia is rant the year it is published but it gets older and older and so does the information it contains. I believe you mentioned collaboration, working collaboratively. That was one of the magic things when I first, my first Internet in Saint Lucia was dial up U U P, twice a day, the University in poor ta re Co exchanged mail with the university, with -- I am sorry with the ISP in -- was it even an ISP then -- with the place in seit Lucia twice a day and I could collaborate with somebody back in ill noi. I could sent him a draft of a paper and he could write on it and in the evening exchange of mail I would get it back ken and again and this was wonderful.
Absolutely wonderful. The speed then you will all find very cloa. Before any sort of Internet it was even slower but the early Internet was pretty slow. You had time to think about what you were doing and what you were saying and things were not crisis all the time. It was a less visual world because photographs were more problematic. Somebody today was going round with a polar roit camera -- Polaroid camera. Back then you had a camera with a film in it and then you had to have the film developed and you had to wait and it was expensive and it took a long time and you didn't take many photographs because photographs themselves were expensive. Now my cell phone is full of them. All right, that is the befores. Afters. I am not sure that I like being available all the time and unless a discipline this I am available all the time everywhere, even in Azerbaijan my husband could ring me up. As an example of that I was at the LA C I G F in Bogota in Columbia last month I think it was and my sister found out I was tair my sister lives in Northern Ireland and she spent two days looking over my shoulder because the camera was behind me and listening to everything I said and saying things like: your hair is coming loose at the back, which is a bit disconcerting over 5,000 miles. The speed is very fast. You press the button and it has gone and the other person has seen it and oops I didn't really mean to say that at all. That can be very difficult. It is much more visual. You have digital pictures; you have -- taking a picture is nothing. You do it in a flash. You have got Skype. When my children were small my mother lift in England and we had telephone calls my then little boy would hold the telephone and not say a word. I don't know how many dollars a minute. He was loving his granny but his granny was completely unaware of his doing anything. For -- I have one grand daughter and she lives in Peru and we have been there all of her life. So when she met us for real no problem, she knew us already. We had been with her through chickenpox and measels and going to school and because of Skype. She could see us and hear us and, great.
Facebook, I don't have a Facebook account and I will tell you why. I have serious
concerns about privacy and intellectual property as far as Facebook is concerned and I don't like having to think about the politically correct way to communicating with my friends, and my friends I feel are deserving of small group or individual attention. I don't think Facebook does it that way. That is not my way. I choose not to do it. It makes me very F unpopular, I -- oh you don't do Facebook I will have to send you an e-mail. That is me.
Is that enough?
>>: All right. I take it a bit more historical perspective maybe.
>>: John Kampfner : Hi everybody. Yes, my name is John capner I am now Google's
ex-turn adviser on freedom of expression. I also advise the global network initiative which brings Google Yahoo, Microsoft and now Facebook in contact with civil so the, academics and others with regard to human rights. I previously was I ran index on censorship, the UK's main freedom of expression organisation and before that I was a journalist for more than 20 years which puts me at the age of 49 in the middle, upper echelons of the age bracket. I am old enough for my teenage daughter to use the terms BC and AC before computers and after computers. And I am the only person when I go into Google meetings. I very ostentatiously don't take my laptop. I take my notebook and my pen just to make a point that you don't always have to look at your computer when you are at a meeting. I talk to Google I don't tall for Google and that is an important difference. The aim is very much to ensure that within the realms of the possible freedom of expression issues are at the forefront of everybody's mind. I am a pragmatist with regard to Internet, I use it pretty much -- sorry I use it pretty much every moment of every day. I am completely wired up unfortunately. Whether when I travel which is pretty much all the time there is nowhere I go where I am not reachable all the time on my phone, on my computer, whatever else. I don't regard that as an enormous encumbrance because I also think that when you are off duty you can switch things off, it is fairly simple. So
I absolutely relish the convenience of the digital economy and how that has transformed lives. Now with regard to the bigger question of has it transformed society? Has it transformed behave? Greater minds than myself have looked at that for quite sometime and I think the jury is out. I was fortunate enough to be a foreign correspondent in east Berlin when the wall came down and 2 years later I moved to was go for 2 years to watch the collapse of commune smr in the 80 as as an in turn I, then it was for Reuters I used to physically hadn't carry pieces of paper for dissents on planes as did all correspondents, pretty much diplomats, everybody else and you would take them to your verse deswitnesstion wherever you had to be going to and then give it to Reuters U P, hoof was doing it, New York times, hoof, dash, spee gall and that was then transcribed and published. That is is how you got information out in those days. Then came the facts. The reason for saying that apart from going down a false no, sir tal ji memory lane which I have no intention of doing so was to say to people who are politically engaged now wherever they may be for whatever cause they may be espousing to use technology, but not to be se used by technology. Technology is a tool. Technology is a platform. The Web is a platform. It obviously by a factor of X it speeds up the passage, the transfer of communication. What it does not do is it does not change societies. In the sense that it does not produce revolutions, it does not produce environmental movements, it does not produce anything. And the simple evidence for that was that in the times I was a journalist, I was witness to revolutions, several of them I was also witness to rerible things, genocide in Rwanda, wars, not too far from here and elsewhere and so those sotal battles between authority tai Ryans, between those trying to change things and lots of variations in between continue to this day and they will not change so I think that is my starter for ten. Happy to take any of these subjects on, but just to remember that when you look at the failed reen revolution in I ran, when you look at the successful in the first stage but who noains the second stage Arab spring. When you look at challenges around
the world and not just in authoritarians, those that might have been listening to me yesterday morning in an interesting I thought human rights discussion here with A zai Ryan NGOs will have heard this thought that the battle for human rights for civil liberties is not just one that is confined to authoritarian states. It takes place in every country around the world but these, the measures for doing that, the measures for getting people involved, getting people to understand the practical, the pragmatic, from the purely idealogical, in other words, just to get people to -- is one that is carried as much off line as on line and that on line is there to facilitate but to facilitate as part of wider society. Thank you.
>> Amelia Andersdotter: I am going to start without any further introduction. So
I want to thank you first, John, for bringing up Germany and Russia. I am born in 1987. I have no recollection of these events that you describe and since I started being a member of the European Parliament I keep getting struck with how many of my colleagues have very personal relationships to these huge and traumatic events that I know nothing of. Germany has always been one country for me in the map books. Czech Republic and slow via ca has always been two countries I literally do not remember a time when this was not the case and all of the information that I get about that is basically either anecdotes or kind of factual data so I think -- I mean -- I have been talking to my colleagues at the European Parliament who are at in political trials at that time and also like the transformation of Spain in the 1970s, what it was like to live in the for an ces Spain when you had to look to the north to see what would it be like with information freedom there and how do you perceive yourself in relation to Europe and how do I perceive contrary to that myself in relation to Europe because for a very long time like up until 2002 I believe the Berlin matter fell down in the 1960s because I thought it was like this really past and distant event and it took me a long time to realise that it really wasn't but I think that what is common about the way that my generation now would be
using communication to facilitate our protests and the protests that went on at that time is that technology E definitely does not cancel out live interaction. It is still live interaction which is at the core of all sotal change and we very often forget that when we talk about things like blogging or Twitter or social media as tools. Those basic truths like the importance of somebody being present during your trial when you are alone in the face of sum-up with a lot of power, that still holds and whenever social media has been successful at transforming a society, it is always because it is organised a lot of people physically but now then, the new model that we are having for protests appears at least to me to be very targeted at the immediate responses so we have immediate responses in terms of that sum-up will send out a call for a protest on Twitter and maybe the next day there is 4,000 people protesting on the street but it will not be a sustained thing, like the Berlin wal kind of falling down, this was wrecktively sustained it built up over years and years and then this culmination and many years after that during which people continued to interact an it is maybe an interaction that I don't see as much in the protest move mrnts, I don't know like in the Arab spirit and I have been thinking about that in terms of how we discuss these things in the European Parliament now like how do we view these democratic tools and we really lack kind of tools, or even discussions devices to talk about the trenchantness of protests that are brought on by social media. So I think that that would be if I was going to discuss something in relation to Internet and social protests it would be what are the opportunities for more sustained, maybe activity around what you are doing in terms of sotal change and also maybe intro speculatively from the European side because we discuss now a lot that we can use, we can promote freedom of expression or democracy in other parts of the world through promoting the use of, constructive use of communication and communication technologies but if we react very strongly to information broad casts like in I ran where you very easily got the impression that maybe this was a revolution coming to I ran and actually it wasn't because the response that they
were able to transmit through social media was probably much larger than what they were actually able to gather up domestically and I think we need to think about that in Europe also, how we deal with this so that we don't get too hooked on the information flow as it were. Whenever you have lots of information you also have lots of disinformation and we are facing a huge challenge in how to tell those things apart, especially when it comes to bringing society changes so that would be my two starting points, I guess.
>>: Okay, thank you Amelia. I will have a very brief reintroduction for myself. I am the youngest one in this panel. I am 24. And my Internet usage was, well it happened in the mid90s and I actually can't remember much of it. Family had always had some computers and at one point Internet came along and I remember when a Guy came into our house, a modem and then for a test he hope open opened up a Website of a video game producer from the United States and then my Dad was worried if it costs a lot because it is a long distance call and then when I sent my first e-mail, using fedora I think, there was the address bar and it says just address so I input the street address, postal address as my friend, pressed entered, I thought it mkt but it didn't. There has been a lot to learn and I don't think I am any sort of digital native. I actually I think there are many services, many technologies, many tools that are, I won't say way jont me but are something that I won't grasp totally, that I perhaps don't have interest in checking out, that would take time for me to learn. There are many younger people who perhaps are digitally natives but last year in Nairobi there was this discussion on whether young people on the Internet or people, or young people who use IT in general are digitally native or digitally naive and this aroused quite a lot of discussion and over the years I have noticed that there are both of those but it is not just young people; it is not just old people; it is everywhere and everyone. It is sad to see, for example, that, okay, let us take Finland where I am from and the use of computers, the use of technology in schools is