Less Than Half The World Has Internet Access; Barriers, Disincentives Appearing, ISOC Finds

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By Maëli Astruc for Intellectual Property Watch

The internet is expected to reach 3 billion people globally next year, but “much development work still remains to bring the economic and social benefits of the internet to all people and to make sure everyone has quality access” Kathy Brown, president and CEO of the Internet Society (ISOC), said on today’s release of ISOC’s first annual report on the state of the internet.

The Global Internet Report was released today, finding signs of barriers and discouragement of some from using the internet in the wake of revelations of mass surveillance and lack of privacy. Other issues addressed include affordability and resilience.

ISOC Chief Economist Michael Kende, author of the report, identified two groups of non-users, those who lack physical or material access to internet and those who voluntarily choose not to access for several reasons.

The report (pp. 116-120) mentions that copyright licensing has been seen as a possible challenge, and some content being not accessible depending on the country where the user is located.

The report recommends a “reform of the licensing regime and copyright laws at regional or international levels … helping to equalize user experience around the globe.”

“We hope that this annual new series of reports contributes to how we all focus on the challenges to bring the benefits of the Internet to everyone,” Brown said in a press release.

William New contributed to this report.

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  1. Riyaaz says

    What a whitewash from pages 44 to 50 on Internet Governance. So many issues, almost don’t know where to begin. To be pithy: 1) There is no mention that improved Internet Governance particularly of Critical Internet Resources (CIR) only came about as a result of the disclosures of the NSA dragnet spying on everyone. 2) ICANN, IANA and Internet Society pushed the LIE of the single root argument to rebuff this. Not even at the non-binding IGF was CIR allowed to be discussed in any meaningful way. These institutions are complicit in violation of privacy of the people the world over because of their faith in US exceptionalism. This is institutional failure on a grand scale; 3) Multi-stakeholder Governance allows those private organizations (Corporations and those like ICANN) to have disproportionate influence on decisions, and many these organizations have been complicit in NSA spying in a way reminiscent of fascist countries. 4) Discussions in the US treat the developing world as if they are not entitled to the human right to privacy – but the US will bomb countries to get them to embrace democracy and human rights. This would be funny if it were not so serious; 5) Individuals like Karl Auerbach have been humiliated and mistreated particularly in the US in unconscionable ways, mistreatment of progressive developing country reps just being par for the course.
    I guess one just has to get used to this regulatory capture of internet organizations so the privacy genocide can continue. One would have hoped that these organizations would have had the temerity to embrace universal human rights, but are too beholden to narrow minded national and corporate interests to be netizens of any public interest standing. Shameless!!!

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