Can The Internet Be Saved Without Harming Democracy?

save the internet

[From The Guardian-] Citizens of the internet: here is some welcome news. Your downtrodden digital rights might be getting a well-overdue booster shot. But it comes with some warnings.

Last week in the Hague, a high-level group of 29 internet policymakers and influencers – including prominent ex-US and UK security and intelligence officials Michael Chertoff, Joseph Nye, Melissa Hathaway and David Omand – issued a clarion call for the protection and promotion of human rights online. Self-styled the Global Commission on Internet Governance, the group made this call as part of the broader objective of restoring trust and confidence in the internet.

WHO Opens Its Database Of Medicines Side Effects To The Public

safe medicines

The World Health Organization has announced that its Global Medicines Safety Database is now open to the general public. The database named VigiAccess can now be accessed on any computer or smartphone in the world.

German Big Brother Awards To German Secret Service, Interior Minister, And Barbie

Hello-Barbie

Mattel’s and Toytalks’ “Hello Barbie” Friday night received a Big Brother Award in Germany. The US doll found itself in illustrious company for the negative privacy award with two German Ministers of the Interior, a Minister of Health, several Amazon ventures and Elance-O-Desk. The Organization Digital Courage has handed out the awards since 2000.

Wave Of Protests Against TTIP, CETA, TISA

TTIP protests Munich

A wave of protest marches and information events against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) yesterday swept across Europe, the US, Canada and number of other countries. On the eve of the 9th TTIP negotiation round set for New York (20-24 April), thousands took to the streets in the European capitals of London, Brussels and Helsinki.

WIPO Development Committee To Hear Report On Implementation, Discuss Patent Flexibilities

CDIP

Member governments will discuss the development dimension of the World Intellectual Property Organization next week, looking in particular at how the United Nations organisation is implementing the recommendations of its Development Agenda in its activities.

Harmonised Filing System For Plant Variety Protection Discussed At UPOV

Ornemental plants

An industry proposal calling for a harmonised procedure to simplify applications for new varieties of plants and heighten intellectual property protection stirred debate at the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) last month.

Experts Debate Medicines Access In South Africa And Beyond

ficpi cape town

CAPE TOWN – Pharmaceutical patents and access to medicines was the focus of an animated panel discussion by experts offering divergent views on the topic at intellectual property group FICPI’s 2015 World Congress, currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa.

EU, US Issue Joint Statement On Information Society

eu-us-flags

The European Union and the United States today held the 13th bilateral Information Society Dialogue and issued a statement highlighting issues discussed and agreed.

The two government entities covered topics such as the EU Digital Single Market, digital skills, open internet, the data-driven economy, internet governance, the United Nations review of the 2003-2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and cooperation on international telecommunications policy.

Council Of Europe Holds Consultations On Draft Internet Freedom Text

Movements such as Save the Internet have risen up in recent years

A committee of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe is drafting a recommendation on internet freedom and is requesting public comments until the end of the month.

Don’t Keep the Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Secret

TPP why so secret

[From the New York Times Opinion pages, by Margot Kaminski:] COLUMBUS, Ohio — WHEN WikiLeaks recently released a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, critics and proponents of the deal resumed wrestling over its complicated contents. But a cover page of the leaked document points to a different problem: It announces that the draft text is classified by the United States government. Even if current negotiations over the trade agreement end with no deal, the draft chapter will still remain classified for four years as national security information. The initial version of an agreement projected by the government to affect millions of Americans will remain a secret until long after meaningful public debate is possible. [Note: article mentions a US FOIA case by IP-Watch]