Access provides thought leadership and practical policy recommendations in the broader field of internet freedom, and based on that expertise mobilizes its global movement of citizens to campaign for an open internet accessible to all.
Access to internet and key technologies is rapidly being accepted as a basic human right in a connected society. Still the access to the “internet” is not something we can take for granted. Already today there are many who want to be able to control, analyze and limit access and content on the web.
Access' Global Movement for Digital Freedom is made up of ordinary people from all over the world. Many of them are normal internet users without much experience in either human rights or technology.
To make sure change happens on an institutional level, Access connect digital activists with those in the technology industry, academia, and government, so that together they can influence decision makers on key internet governance issues. They aim to keep the concerns of human rights defenders working in cyberspace at the forefront of both policy and practice, by providing thought leadership and innovative ideas at the national, regional and international levels.
More information about the initiative here.
The best with the app/supporting initiative
+ Address fundamental issues of the 21st century infrastructure, issues that almost no other established organizations work with.
+ Link single events to key policy questions
+ Engage is a number of diverse areas/issues in a way that demonstrate how often other stakeholders (e.g. policymakers, media and NGOs) do not see/understand the important of an open and free internet.
The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative
- US/western biased (even if the activity in the middle east triggered the initiative it is still very much western dominated)
- Lack concrete suggestions for China, Chinese companies, companies in China etc. Chin is, and will be even more, important in this area and an innovative organization like Access could make a difference.
- No clear benchmark/guidance for companies.
- Lack of concrete examples of why the open internet is so important to solve many of the important challenges of today.
- Need to keep better track on the impact of the different projects/campaigns.
What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?
It probably already is a world changer, but unless a few things are sorted out the impact might not be as good as it could be:
> A more global approach and organization. The important 21st century challenges needs to be addressed by 21st century networks with participation from all parts of the world.
> Closer collaboration/coordination with groups that are working with key challenges (environmental, poverty, human rights, etc.) to explore synergies and differences.
> Creating a mobile app that allows people to identify events and companies that are important and engage on the go.
How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
- Long shot
This is two level campaigning, direct during specific events and long-term to ensure institutional change. So while a lot can happen directly the actual delivery will not happen quickly.
How transformative is it
- A new world
- A major shift
- A bit of a shake-up
- A gentle rocking
The initiative both reactive and transformative in the short-term. Reactive as it fights to keep the internet open for most users, but for people in some countries it is transformative as they have never experienced a free and open internet. The long-term agenda is truly transformative as there are institutional barriers and filtering that needs to be addressed and all major media through history have gone though an open phase and then been transformed to something that mainly is used as a vehicle for government and/or corporate propaganda. It might be a good idea for people that think initiatives to keep internet open is not important to watch Dennis Potter’s last interview. Available on Youtube here.
How much does it encourage collaborations
How much are new networks supported
- Strong support for global networks?
- Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
- Provides interesting opportunities in the future
- Restricted to a small (expert) group
Not so much currently, but the area is perfect for creating new networks.
What synergies can be delivered
How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
- It solves everything
- Several important challenges
- Some important challenges
- Only one challenge
This initiative addresses the underlying infrastructure and if this infrastructure is not working, not much else will.
Nine billion contribution
How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
- Instant global equality
- Almost global
- Getting (incrementally) global
- Not applicable
Today not much time/resources are spent on projects/campaigns that ensure that open connectivity is ensured also for the poor on the planet. There is a need for a watchdog that ensures that hard- and software is developed in ways so that 9 billion people can use them.
Building on current trends
How well does it use current trends
- The app is setting new trends by itself
- Building on multiple trends
- Effectively building on one trend
- Not really building on any major trend
People are starting to understand the importance of an open internet, but also the threat it poses to many of those in power today. Access is in the middle of this.
How fast can it deliver
- It's already happening
- In the coming weeks
- In a year or so
- In a distant future (hopefully)
So much is happening so quickly that anything done in this area will have significant impact (good or bad).
Does it support transformative transparency
- Brave new transparency
- Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
- Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
- No increase in transparency
This initiative addresses the very foundation of transparency. When information and access is no longer free, there is no transparency. If this initiative is successful transformative transparency will be ensured.