E-petition on digital inclusion launched, 19th November 2000
Craigmillar Community Information Service, Edinburgh’s award winning internet service and training provider, has teamed up with Napier University’s International Teledemocracy Centre to launch a special ‘E-petition’ in cyberspace, calling on the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive to support actions to bridge the so called digital divide. This is the first petition accessible to sign on-line highlighting the importance of digital inclusion.
The petition goes ‘live’ on the internet on 19th November at www.e-petitioner.org.uk. To show your support for it log on to the site and enter your name and address.
Designed by the International Teledemocracy Centre, in partnership with BT Scotland, the e-petition invites signatories to call on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Executive to support the work of CCIS by :
- working in partnership with the private, educational and community sectors;
- tackling the divisions established by the digital divide, thus creating a national digital divide coalition;
- working to provide universal service and access to ICTs;
- working to enshrine the notion of 'cyber rights' as an adjunct to social, political and civil rights within the context of the 'social contract';
- working to establish a safety net or minimum right of access to ICTs;
- working to create widespread interconnectivity; and
- working to facilitate techno transfer between IT 'haves' and 'have nots'.
The online petition is an extension of the ‘CCIS Digital Inclusion Charter of the 100’ which was launched in the summer and saw 100 leading politicians, officials, IT practitioners and celebrities sign up to it. The petition will now extend the Charter’s ideas to the mass populace, giving the public at large the opportunity to sign up to its ideals.
The International Teledemocracy Centre was established by Napier University, in a joint venture with BT Scotland, in August 1999. Its remit is to research and apply advanced information and communication technologies to enhance and support the democratic decision-making process.
The ITC has already gained a formal agreement with the Scottish Parliament. In May the Parliament agreed to accept petitions submitted to it electronically via the ITC's e-petitioner system for a trial period of one year.
Dr Andrew McDonald, CCIS Manager said,
"The petition urges the government to renew their commitment to tackle the problem of digital exclusion and make sure those that lack the finances or skills to benefit from new technologies are not left behind and so further excluded from mainstream society as the so called information age and knowledge economy take root. The issues raised in the petition are timely, topical and thought provoking."
Ann Macintosh, Director of ITC said,
"We want to work with government to develop e-democracy to enable more open, democratic and effective government. In developing these systems it is important to take into account the disadvantaged. This is an important aspect of our e-democracy research."
Brendan Dick BT Scotland, said,
"BT Scotland is committed to working with our partners and government to tackle the issues of digital exclusion. The use of e-democracy in the modern political age is central to widening participation in the political process and the application of the technology to this project will facilitate a broader understanding of the issues."
- e-Petitioning for the Scottish Parliament
- e-Petitioning the Scottish Parliament 1999
- Rowntree Charitable Trust Assessment of Electronic Petitions