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2016

A coalition of press freedom groups filed a complaint on 4 January with Europe's top human rights watchdog claiming that a contentious new Polish law threatens media independence. These changes would be 'wholly unacceptable in a genuine democracy,' the four associations, including the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), wrote in their complaint to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists. Refer to the source and complete EURActiv article. The complaint refers to a media bill which was approved on 30 December, and is said to contradict the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe 2012 Declaration on Public Service Media Governance.

2015

Egyptian officials have decided to shut down Facebook's Free Basics. The reasons for the suspension are not immediately clear. One Egyption telecommunications official explained that a two-month permit for Free Basics had expired.

The Boston Consultancy Group has published the 2015 BCG e-Intensity Index, which measures the maturity of 85 Internet economies. The index has three components: enablement (fixed and mobile infrastructure), engagement (how businesses, governments and consumers embrace the Internet) and expenditure (money spent on online retail and advertising). The index shows that 'the rich are getting richer, but the not-as-rich are slowly catching up'. Denmark leads the index, while Thailand and China improved their rankings the most compared to last year.

As can be read in the WSIS+10 Summary Report, development was one of the underlying themes at the WSIS+10 conference, last week in New York. Almost all policy statements referred to the important connection between WSIS outcomes and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Other development themes were also amply raised:

  • Many digital divides were mentioned, mainly between developed and developing states, rural and urban areas, and men and women, as well as the inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, the disabled, or cultural minorities.
  • The importance of access was agreed upon, although countries noticed different prerequisites, ranging from an emphasis on infrastructure to the need for an enabling environment.
  • Discussion on capacity development took two main directions: traditional development assistance and the creation of a culture of cybersecurity. Education plays a role in both. 

 

The International Data Corporation has estimated that Internet access will be available to 3.2 billion people, or 44% of the world's population. Of this number, 2 billion will be using mobile Internet. User growth is biggest in China, India and Indonesia. The organisation has also published an infographic on how the world uses the Internet

Facebook urges Indian users to send an email to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in support of Facebook's Free Basics project. Users are requested to fill out a form when they sign onto the social media platform. The campaign has caused controversy, as opponents say its message undermines net neutrality principles. 

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