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Saturday, 7 August, 2021 - 14:32

State surveillance of citizens extends far beyond Pegasus spyware, the software developed by the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group. There is a multi-million-pound global market in which companies compete to profit from helping states to illegally spy on their own citizens.

 

Rightly there has been shock and outrage globally as citizens learn that their governments are buying Israeli malware to hack the mobile phones of political opponents, judges and journalists. But the revelations have not come as a surprise to the members of the African Digital Rights Network (ADRN), who earlier this year discovered disturbing examples of surveillance technologies being used by the state against its citizens in every one of the ten countries in Africa we studied.

 

Citizens in every country are guaranteed the right to private communication in their constitutions, domestic laws, and in international conventions that their government has signed up to. The use of bulk interception and mass surveillance technologies, scanning mobile phone messages, hacking encrypted communications, and intercepting internet traffic in attempts to close down civic space and suppress opposition, is a clear breach of these rights. Yet, governments routinely sign...

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Don’t Recycle!

Don’t Recycle your old computers. Reuse them!

Re-use is 20 times better for the environment than recyling,
according to research from the UN.

Extending the productive life of our PCs by upgrading and donating older computers for re-use is the single most effective thing that each of us can do to reduce the environmental impact of our own computing.

A is for Access

Our practice of applying ICT for Development (ICT4D) is often concerned with access issues: trying to ensure that even the most marginalised communities, in the most remote locations, have equitable access to the tools that they require for development.

10 million first steps

How do you measure the value of being able to save lives with telemedicine?
Or of being able to provide the training that means a young women gets her first job as a network engineer?

Vapourware

There was a lot of media coverage this weekend about the unveiling in India of the the world’s cheapest ‘laptop’ which, media reports say, will cost $35 and is ‘likely’ to go down to $10. http://bit.ly/bqngWZ

Designed by the respected Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi the device is not a laptop at all but rather an iPad-like touchscreen slate.

The eWaste Billions

Our love for the latest gadgets & gismos puts the planet in peril.

More precisely the problem is toxic design & manufacture, rapid obsolescence & replacement cycles, and inadequate reuse & recycling.

Death by a Thousand Cuts

The axing by the government of the WEEE Advisory Board is a matter of real concern, coming as it does on the back of decisions to cut the budgets of DEFRA and of the Environment Agency.

The new government says it wants to bring the responsibilities of the WEEE Advisory Board ‘back into government’ where there is more accountability.

ICT Against Apartheid

One of the people who played a key role in establishing Computer Aid had previously spent 22 years in jail for treason.

Denis Goldberg was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, and amongst his other duties he organised the supply logistics for the ANC camps in Zambia, Zimbabwe and other ‘Frontline States’.

Enough Email Already

When old-timers like myself first began applying information and communication technology to development there was no such thing as ICT4D, no world wide web, no broadband, and no SMS.

Working in the Nicaraguan parliament after the Sandinista revolution, my first assignment was training staff to use WordPerfect for MS-DOS on a pre-hard-disk IBM PC.

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