21 August, 09:30-12:45
The Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) is multitude of things. It is an arena for IFLA visitors to check the latest trends of freedom and expression. It is also a global network of library activists who think these issues are too important to be left for others.
At the same time FAIFE has no illusions about being a global network or media outlet. It has no broadcasting apparatus or fast action forces to be dispatched to critical flashpoints. But it does have a most important tool to share: the knowledge of its members around the globe.
Foremost, FAIFE is a service unit for IFLA. What it does, it does for IFLA members by keeping them informed and aware.
Last year FAIFE informed you about the expanding global data surveillance network and published a highly esteemed report titled Sleepwalking toward a control society? Ten Must-Know Trends, by Kai Ekholm and Paivikki Karhula.
At our WLIC 2012 session we examined the role of the new (US) National Security Administration center in Bluffdale, Utah and named our first trend as “Free Internet is dead" – which illustrated that the global conditions of control have been established. Reading global media today simply shows we were right and the mainstream media to be unwilling or reluctant to report crucial information.
What has this all to do with libraries and librarians? The infamous GAFA enterprises (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) are defining the digital rules we follow. Media publishers create a stronghold around e-lending that leaves public libraries without any significant role in digital environment. Copyright seems to not serve the majority of readers, or even the copyright holders. FAIFE and libraries have a clear mission: to defend digital citizenship in all forms.
This all needs to be discussed. FAIFE welcomes you all to its session in Singapore.
Join the debate!
Kai Ekholm (Chair of FAIFE)