Paperback | $26.00 Short | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262600675 | 324 pp. | 6 x 9 in | June 2006
International organizations, governments, academia, industry, and the media have all begun to grapple with the information society as a global policy issue. The first United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in December 2003, recognized the connections between information technology and human rights with a Declaration of Principles—in effect, the first "constitution" for cyberspace—that called for the development of the information society to conform to recognized standards of human rights. Critical issues in the policy debates around WSIS have been the so-called digital divide, which reflects a knowledge divide, a social divide, and an economic divide; and the need for a nondiscriminatory information society to provide universal access to information technology in local languages throughout the developing world. Other crucial issues include the regulatory frameworks for information access and ownership and such basic freedoms as the right to privacy. The contributors to this timely volume examine the links between information technology and human rights from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Scholars, human rights activists, and practitioners discuss such topics as freedom of expression, access to information, privacy, discrimination, gender equality, intellectual property, political participation, and freedom of assembly in the context of the revolution in information and communication technology, exploring the ways in which the information society can either advance human rights around the world or threaten them. An afterword reports on the November 2005 WSIS, held in Tunis, and its reaffirmation of the fundamental role of human rights in the global information society.
David Banisar, William Drake, Ran Greenstein, Anriette Esterhuysen, Robin Gross, Gus Hosein, Heike Jensen, Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Hans Klein, Charley Lewis, Meryem Marzouki, Birgitte Kofod Olsen, Kay Raseroka, Adama Samassékou, Mandana Zarrehparvar
About the Editor
Rikke Frank Jørgensen is Senior Adviser at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and adviser to the Danish Delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society. She is on the boards of Digital Rights (DK) and European Digital Rights (EDRI).
"Read this book. Human rights laws, common to 150 countries and stretching back more than 50 years, provide the existing foundation on which to build the information society. The authors, speaking collectively in the voices of many disciplines, limn the roadmap, including the monuments to human hope and ingenuity, the resting places, the points of interest, and the hazards on the way to our common future."
—Deborah Hurley, author of Pole Star: Human Rights in the Information Society
"The advancement of a global information society offers an important opportunity for promoting equal and sustainable development, especially in less developed countries. This book serves as an important contribution to this end, addressing positive and negative implications that occur in the interface between human rights law, new technology, and societal development."
—Ambeyi Ligabo, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression
"A remarkable, sober, and sobering book, quite different from the triumphalist celebrations of the information society as a universal panacea. Jorgensen convincingly demonstrates the tremendous human rights issues that are at stake."
—Peter Leuprecht, Faculty of Political Science and Law, University of Quebec at Montreal