Everyone has the right to access to, and make use of, the Internet.
Access to and use of the Internet is increasingly indispensible for the full enjoyment of human rights including the right to freedom of expression, the right to education, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the right to take part in the government of a country, the right to work, and the right to rest and leisure. The right to access to, and make use of, the Internet derives from its integral relationship to all of these human rights.
The right to access to, and make use of, the Internet shall be ensured for all and it shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary in a democratic society to protect national security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Charter.
The right to access to, and make use of, the Internet includes:
- Quality of Service
The quality of service to which people are entitled access shall evolve in line with advancing technological possibilities.
- Freedom of choice of system and software use
Access includes freedom of choice of system, application and software use. To facilitate this and to maintain interconnectivity and innovation, communication infrastructures and protocols should be interoperable, and standards should be open.
Everyone should be able to innovate in content, applications, and services without having to undergo centralized authorization and validation procedures
- Ensuring Digital Inclusion
Digital inclusion requires that all people have access to, and effective use of, the range of digital media, communication platforms and devices for information management and processing. To this end active support shall be available for self-managed and other community-based facilities and services. Public Internet access points shall be made available, such as at telecentres, libraries, community centers, clinics and schools. Access to the Internet via mobile media must also be supported.
- Net neutrality and net equality
The Internet is a global commons. Its architecture must be protected and promoted for it to be a vehicle for free, open, equal and non-discriminating exchange of information, communication and culture. There should be no special privileges for, or obstacles against, any party or content on economic, social, cultural, or political grounds. This does not preclude positive discrimination to promote equity and diversity on and through the Internet.
Based on the initiative Women´s Rights Programme (WRP) of APC
Women, as one of the fundamental stakeholders in the information society, play a very crucial role. It is important to fully integrate gender concerns in our work. A rights based approach to Internet governance is the only safeguard for women to fully enjoy the benefits of the Internet.
Access to the Internet is extremely important for women to be able to gain information which may not be available to them otherwise. This will also facilitate them to achieve full realisation of their rights, especially in case of those from the marginalised communities. The Internet can also function as the harbinger of citizenship rights, bridging their right to be informed with the duty of the governance institutions to inform.
On the other side, the Internet women can be exposed to risks such as surveillance, harassment, stalking, identity theft and manipulation, which are also related to consequences offline, such as persecution in private and professional environments, defamation or bodily harm. The tracking of mobile phones is seen as a useful innovation; however, it is often used for stalking.
Being aware about the way individuals think about gender, including stereotypes and how discrimination and gender roles hurt people, can help understand how Internet contents of a sexual and violent nature can lead to violence and discrimination against women.
We aim to build capacity within women’s movements in the creative and strategic use of ICTs so that they can shape technology. This in turn gives these women the chance to explore the convergence between ICT issues and women’s rights agendas. We develop tools and resources for fostering a gender analysis of ICT projects and policies. Our work is expressed through several initiatives that we implement internationally with our members and partners. Our work areas are:
- Gender and ICT policy advocacy
- Violence against women and ICTs
- Gender evaluation and research in ICTs
- Training and capacity building
Open source software is software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone.
Source code is the part of software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software, a program or application—works. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.
A certification standard issued by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) that indicates that the source code of a computer program is made available free of charge to the general public. The rationale for this movement is that a larger group of programmers not concerned with proprietary ownership or financial gain will produce a more useful and bug -free product for everyone to use. The concept relies on peer review to find and eliminate bugs in the program code, a process which commercially developed and packaged programs do not utilize.
Programmers on the Internet read, redistribute and modify the source code, forcing an expedient evolution of the product. The process of eliminating bugs and improving the software happens at a much quicker rate than through the traditional development channels of commercial software as the information is shared throughout the open source community and does not originate and channel through a corporation’s research and development cogs.
About Open Source Initiative (OSI)
The OSI is actively engaged in building open source community, public advocacy, education, and promoting awareness regarding the significance of non-proprietary or open source software. In order to establish an open source environment around the world, OSI preserves and supports the Open Source Definition and also provides the OSI-Certified Open Source Software Certification Program. To achieve this OSI certification, the software should be distributed using a license that ensures the legal right to freely read, use, modify, and re-distribute the software.