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About Internet Society 6 November 2020

Member News: Internet in a Small Box

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

Net-á-porter: The South African Chapter of the Internet Society has been promoting an “Internet-in-a-box” initiative using an SD card to configure an inexpensive Raspberry Pi device. Interested people can configure an SD card or even order a pre-loaded SD card.

Taxing the ‘Net: The Mexico Chapter has gone on record as opposing a digital services tax proposed by the Mexican government. “If this initiative is approved, which would have a negative impact on free access to content and information by citizens, [and] we could find ourselves with a potential instrument of discrimination and censorship,” the Chapter said. The tax on foreign digital services would be 16 percent.

Moving governance forward: Pacific Islands Chapter member Swaran Ravindra noted that cybersecurity and digital inclusion were big topics at the recent Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum 2020. “Disruptive technologies … have enormous benefits for the Pacific region at large, but we cannot ignore the need for our people to be completely cognizant of the cybersecurity issues which we are being exposed to,” she wrote. “Fiji struggles with cyberbullying, suicide, mental health issues, fraud, and crime [that] technology may have been a part of, either intentionally or unintentionally. In order to leverage technology for the benefit for all, we need legislation and regulations which promote good Internet governance.”

Training the community: The Benin Chapter recently released a new document on training community leaders about the work of the chapter and its advocacy. The document talks about the importance of encryption, community networks, and open standards. The Chapter wants to empower its members by involving them more in proposals, project design, mobilization, and other activities, the report said.

Networking the community: After the Haiti Chapter recently published a video advocating for community networks in the country, the Internet Society Foundation has given the Chapter a grant to pay for training of 120 young professionals from the regulatory body (CONATEL), the private-sector and civil society to help the country create new community networks. The Foundation has given the Chapter a second grant for an initiative to map Internet access and speeds, particularly in the most vulnerable locations that could benefit from community networks.

Explore this year’s Chapterthon projects to see how our members are using the power of the Internet to better lives. Then download the project blueprints to make a difference in your community and throughout the world!

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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