Looking back or looking forward? was the title of the first piece in David Souter’s column on APC.org, Inside the Information Society, published more than two years ago. Inspired by this question, the blog has continued to feature articles – 28 in total in 2017 – on issues ranging from internet governance and sustainable development to workers’ rights, trade, post-conflict reconstruction, community networks, the role of intermediaries in promoting rights, the internet of things, the future of the IGF, privacy in the context of Facebook’s leaks… all with a cross-cutting human rights and ICTs approach.
“Five years ago, my daily newspaper might have carried one or two stories or features on the Information Society that were relevant each day. Now there’ll probably be at least five or six, sometimes ten,” Souter wrote in his 2017 piece “What’s next?”, also mentioning the change in tone: “There’s more skepticism about the Information Society now than there was five years ago; more uncertainty; more anxiety. People are as concerned now about what might go wrong (in their eyes) as they’re excited by what might go right.”
For two years now, the Inside the Information Society column has been asking about what’s happening in this rapidly changing environment, and questioning the assumptions that underpin our thinking, with the aim of encouraging debate. Souter’s pieces take a fresh look at issues that concern APC, its members, and the wider ICT community, which in 2017 included the entries available here.
To watch out for: In 2018, the Inside the Information Society column will continue raising issues that concern APC and its members and provoking debate.