Reflections on Digital Technologies and the Internet A note to the Women's Major Group for the UN OWG on SDGs meeting – Dec 9th 2014

The role of the Internet and of digital technologies in structuring our lived reality is beyond doubt. As a core facet of contemporary society, the Internet is central today to the enjoyment of our rights and freedoms. ITU statistics point to how the Internet has developed unevenly throughout the world - 77 percent of people from developed countries are Internet users, the corresponding number for the developing world being 31percent. This gap obviously has implications for development parameters in relation to education and work, and of course, for democracy and wellbeing.

As an axis of global power today, the Internet is key to aggrandising wealth and consolidating hegemony. The WSIS Principles heralded "connectivity (as) a central enabling agent"... in their vision for "an equitable, development oriented information society". More than ten years since the commitment to creating this new society through"universal, ubiquitous, equitable and affordable access to ICT infrastructure and services", remains a distant dream. In fact, the Internet has rapidly lost its
public good character, instead evolving as an enclosed commons at the service of global capitalism and rather ironically, as the next frontier of intellectual property control.

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