As the Internet and other technologies grow and expand, privacy concerns are brought to attention. In the past year, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been one of the biggest topics of debate in the U.S. While Hollywood is concerned about their revenues decreasing from online piracy, the majority of Internet users are more concerned about their privacy that could essentially be taken away if SOPA were too pass and be implemented.
Fear no more, because the latest news is that the SOPA act is “dead and gone.” Chris Dodd, former senator and current chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, originally suggested that legislation be reworked for another round in Congress, but he has now taken that idea back and regrets to have to say that SOPA is no more. Although, there has been talk about negotiations on new language for the anti-piracy bill, nothing more has developed.
Privacy concerns have always been an important issue in the U.S.where we base our values off freedom. This was exemplified greatly on “Internet Blackout Day,” the protest led by Google and other Internet companies. The online protest majorly contributed to the House and Senate’s decision to pull SOPA from its calendars. These actions not only show how much we value our privacy on the Internet, but that the Internet can be an effective source even in regards to legislation. I believe that SOPA is just the start of Internet trials and tribulations, because it is so mainstream and hard to regulate. While our privacy can be breached easily on the web, we still have much control over what personal information of ours is out there.
Click here for article chronicling Defense Minister’s Call to Action
In Lagos, Nigeria, we are beginning to see a governmental recognition for the need of ICTs for development purposes. The Defense Minister, Bello Mohammed has called on ICT experts to help resolve insecurity in Nigeria. At a Defense Sector ICT Forum, Bello Mohammed asked the experts to develop software solution for the problem. He specifically called upon ICT stakeholders, giving them a position to be able to help the current national challenges facing the country regarding security.
Bello Mohammed said, “We are at a watershed in the history of our nation. When a nation is at a crossroads, it is time to break barriers and leap to higher grounds. The reason is because every nation is a bundle of talent, intellect and creativity. These inner resources are hardly exploited or harnessed to the full except there are challenges.” He also notes that all stakeholders must work together to evolve new ways of doing things and building capacity in modern information and communications technology.
This ties in with Shirky’s TED talk about using the free time that we have wisely by being innovative towards ICT. With the government calling upon stakeholders to help assist with problem solving through ICT is a great strategy. The synergistic approach can allow for less miscommunication and more development in countries.
The article focuses mainly on the barriers preventing telemedicine to succeed in both rural and urban areas. Since telemedicine has existed in the healthcare landscape for over a decade now, its adoption efforts in most areas are considered “modest, if not disappointing,” but some believe that as broadband initiatives have become more pervasive on a global level in the past few year, telemedicine has potential to be revived and revolutionized.
Telemedicine now includes doctor to patient phone calls, teleconsultations, videoconferencing, and real-time remote patient monitoring using mobile devices. These ICT labors have the potential to maximize efficiency in the health care industry, but there are few blockades that come along with its adaptation efforts.
Reasons for low adoption of telemedicine:
- Lack of support by governments and insurance companies to reimburse patients for the cost of telemedicine services and devices
- Lack in access, awareness and legal understanding
- Lack of examples of telemedicine succeeding on a wider scale beyond pilot programs
- Standards, regulations to create ubiquity
- Needs public-private joint support
Overall, the telemedicine system seems to be supported but not enough for it to be adopted on full scale. ICT systems like this will not be affective unless they are fully implemented, utilized and sustained with great collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Just like the common pay-as-you-go mobile phone plans, another technology for development is being built around the same idea. The popular business model in being paired up with solar energy service in Africa, bringing affordable electricity to its remotest countries. IndiGo solar allows for rural households that are far away from the electrical grid to generate their own power via a photovoltac panel and batter pack. Its users have the option of buying the energy the device produces for as little as $1 per week.
This technology also aims to replace more traditional lighting methods that are harmful to the environment such as kerosene oil. Eight19 is the British solar technology company that has designed and manufactured IndiGo solar. It works very much like mobile phone top-up cards, where you buy a card that costs roughly $1 and it reveals a code that grants access to the electricity for a week when dialed into the battery.
IndiGo solar is already being used in remote towns in Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan and Zambia. I believe that this technology could revolutionize the energy system in rural Africa, bringing light to areas that don’t normally have a sufficient supply. It will not only allow for extensive development, but the environment will also benefit given that it is eco-friendly and could help reduce carbon emissions.
Word on the street in Israel is that its state-owned electric company hopes to roll out its own high-speed national broadband network. The new technology that would be adopted is called “fiber to the home,” or FTTH. It is super quick, providing connection speeds of 100 megabits to a 1 gigabit per second, unlike traditional broadband speeds used in developed worlds that connect at speeds that are 5 to 10 megabits. With connections of 10 to 100 times current speeds, it will transform the entertainment, business and health care industries in the country. This technology is described as the “gold standard” of the next generation, and would easily put Israel at the forefront of Internet technology.
Putting it in a global perspective, let’s look at where other countries stand regarding FTTH. Below is the percentage of households that have this technology:
- South Korea-just over 50%
- Japan & Hong Kong- just over 40%
- United States-6.6%
Despite Israel’s small size, it is one of the world’s top high-tech centers having created leading products in areas like security software and instant messaging. If Isreal can develop information and communication technology at these levels, why hasn’t the United States taken such initiative? I think we need to start stepping up our game or we are going to be left behind in future generations.
Article Link: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/israel-sets-its-sites-on-its-own-national-broadband-network/story-e6frgakx-1226254885060