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Friday, November 13 • 14:00 - 15:30
WS 10 FOSS & a Free, Open Internet: Synergies for Development

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As ICTs permeate lives of people around the world, code is fast emerging as an instrument that can change lives. In many parts of the world, the 4Rs of primary education are Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and pRogramming, indicative of the role that ICTs will play in the future.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is, inter alia, a mechanism whereby code, and consequently the ability to code, is being democratized. In contrast with centralized proprietary models, FOSS allows decentralized creation, distribution and maintenance of code. Such democratization enables grassroots level application of code to solve local problems, leading to more empowered communities. Free flow of code is therefore important to ensure that communities to stay 'plugged in' and current. Code also enables communities to side-step practices such as surveillance, censorship.

A Free, Open, Unfragmented Internet is of critical importance to FOSS--without a free Internet, the FOSS-based peer-production methodologies for code would be infeasible. Interestingly, the Internet also needs the innovations of FOSS to remain free & open, thus forming a positive mutual dependency.

Both FOSS and the Internet are at risk from forces that are seeking increasing control over content and fragmentation, challenging its openness. This would be inimical to the rights of present & future generations to use technology to improve their lives.

The Round-table seeks to highlight perspectives from the participants about the future co-developemnt of FOSS and a free, open Internet; the threats that are emerging; and ways for communities to surmount these.

Friday November 13, 2015 14:00 - 15:30 GMT-03
Workshop Room 7

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