Who will be most empowered by greater transparency and citizen access to public sector data – politicians, citizens or corporations?

Mobile technologies are connecting people, with resulting impacts on communication, online participation and social engagement. 

In hyper-connected societies more opportunities for collective action are being realised – enabling the rise of new voices and promoting the growth of single-issue movements at the expense of traditional political parties. Open government initiatives and access to public sector data are leading to more transparency and citizen-focused public services.

The convergence of mobile technology, online access and global media has empowered new Internet movements, reflected in successful campaigns against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US, and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the EU as well as the rise of the Arab Spring. At the same time, government surveillance and censorship of online communications is becoming more and more frequent, encompassing the communications of fringe movements, grass roots activists and revolutions as well as those planning criminal activities. Libraries have long been vocal opponents of censorship in print - has library opposition to online censorship been adequate? This question and more are asked in the Trend Report Insights Document, Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide: Insights from the IFLA Trend Report.

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Last page update: 13 August 2013