Speak up on this important issue!

May 16, 2009 at 11:11 am 4 comments

HD_WTISD-09-Poster-EIt is World Telecommunications Day tomorrow. The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), states the ITU website, is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

This year’s theme is an important one – “Protecting Children in Cyberspace. It aims at ensuring that children can safely access the Internet and its valuable resources without fear of falling prey to unscrupulous predators in cyberspace.

ITU calls upon all stakeholders (policy makers, regulators, operators and industry) to promote the adoption of policies and strategies that will protect children in cyberspace and promote their safe access to online resources, states the ITU website.

So what does this call to action entail? Mostly it involves creating awareness and having legislation and policy that focuses on protecting the rights of children in cyberspace.

Very briefly it calls upon Member states to:

  • Create public awareness on the issues related to protecting children in cyberspace and to identify policies, best practices, tools and resources for adaptation/use in their countries.
  • Support ongoing work aimed at developing Guidelines on protecting children online for policy makers and regulators.
  • Identify risks and vulnerabilities to children in cyberspace as the Internet and other online resources continue to expand.
  • Build resource repositories for common use
  • Promote capacity building aimed at strengthening global response in protecting children as they venture into cyberspace.

So how is Pakistan commemmorating World Communication & Information Society Day? I received an invitation yesterday from the Ministry of IT in Islamabad asking me to join them in the WTISD celebrations at the Marriott in Islamabad. The programme consists of a Video message from the Secretary General of the ITU and a welcome address by my friend Pervaiz Iftikhar CEO of the USF. This will be followed by presentation on the theme by the Member (Telecom) and an address by the Federal Secretary IT Mr.Hifzur Rehman who is hosting the event.

Here is the message from Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2009.


Although I won’t be able to dash off to Islamabad tomorrow, I hope the Ministry will put up the videos of the presentations and talks on their website so that sharing takes place.

In addition, there is an initiative that has been launched by Super Technologies in Pakistan. I received a call from Suzanne Bowen VP of Super Technologies last night to tell me about what they are doing and to ask for my support. There is no-one I know who says ‘no’ to Suzanne. She is such a vibrant and enthusiastic lady that you want to be a part of anything she is associated with.

Anyway, I felt strongly that Suzanne was right and Pakistan should be actively involved in commemorating WTISD. The theme too is very close to my heart. I am copying below an email from Suzanne and I hope that all of you will actively participate.

Super Technologies, Inc. and several of its friends such as P@SHA, the government of Pakistan, Interconnect Partners, Multinet Private Ltd, SATC, Foresight Technologies, Gerry’s, the Computer Society of Pakistan and others invite you to participate in ITU’s World Telecom Day with the very important theme of Protecting Children in Cyberspace in a unique manner that will last for decades. For details on how to participate, go and view the invitation video and the blog.
We are looking for those who are participating in World Telecom Day in Islamabad and other cities in Pakistan to record video of themselves, the Ministry, other companies, families, parents, entrepreneurs, and other individuals about Protecting Children in Cyberspace and then post the videos to http://www.youtube.com or http://www.viddler.com and be sure to tag the videos like this: world telecom day, pakistan, protecting children in cyberspace. Let us know at rehan@supertec.com what you do so that we can publicize further via blogs and press release.
If you would like for us to send a professional to an office to create this video, please contact rehan@supertec.com, suzanne@supertec.com for this. May 17 is World Telecom Day, but we can continue through May. Let’s work together!
I am interviewing some young people today to get their views on the subject – using my flip video of course- and I will certainly put up the videos on youtube as Suzanne has suggested. I think we should actively participate and voice our opinion on how our government and our society can help protect children in cyberspace. I wish some talented person would develop a theme song for us to mark this occasion. Listen to this theme song that Bangladesh has on their site.
I remember one of the television channels had interviewed me once on this subject. It was then that I wk_logo_white_bghad done some research on the subject so that I would be able to talk about it knowledgeably. That is when I discovered Parry Aftab better known as The Privacy Lawyer or The Kids Internet Lawyer. Parry has written extensively on the subject of children’s safety on the internet and also about children’s privacy. One of her websites wiredkids.org provides guidelines for parents and educators.
I think we need to hold seminars and workshops on the subject – both for kids and for grown-ups. Anyone want to join the initiative?

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Atif Mumtaz co-Founder of Brightspyre.com talks with ITLoW An Appeal to the conscience of every Pakistani!

4 Comments Add your own

  • […] post:  Let your voice be heard on this important issue Thank you for reading this post. You can now Leave A Comment (0) or Leave A […]

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  • 2. Speak up on this important issue! / LiveFromPakistan  |  May 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Speak up on this important issue!…

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  • 3. Speak up on this important issue! | Tea Break  |  May 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

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  • 4. farhan  |  May 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Sometimes I am shocked to see parents totally neglecting their childs internet use. They either have no idea what the internet is and what dangers it can pose for their child, or they just don’t care if their child gets into trouble or not. Schools should educate not only the children, but also their parents by organizing small seminars/workshops to tell them about safe internet usage for children. Children in turn should be made to tell their parents what they have been doing on the internet.

    Reply

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