Report from the IT and Empowerment conference, India
Numerous online initiatives around the world - in countries like Iceland,
Italy, Spain and Sweden -- are empowering citizens with access to basic
information about health, social amenities, and government policymaking.
On the flip side, e-surveillance by private and government agencies is also
increasing, Liang cautioned.
Legislation like the IT Act 2000 and the upcoming Convergence Bill are
geared more towards e-commerce activities, and not towards social movements
or citizens rights.
"The IT Act 2000 requires a huge bureaucracy to support features like
digital certificates and digital signatures," Liang added.
Other notable South Asian NGO resources online include BytesForAll.org,
But in many NGOs, there are people resistant to the introduction and
adoption of IT. "NGOs should remain dedicated to the issue of empowerment
by multiple means, and not act as new middlemen who deny their
constituencies the potential benefits of IT," cautioned Munira Sen of
NGOs must work towards giving people an informed choice with respect to new
media, she concluded.