Thursday, 30 September 2010

3rd International Conference on e-Democracy

"Next Generation Society: Technological and Legal Issues"

23 - 25 September 2009, Athens, Greece

Recent developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have paved a world of advanced communication, intelligent information processing, and ubiquitous access to information and services. The ability to work, communicate, interact, conduct business, and enjoy digital entertainment virtually anywhere, is rapidly becoming common place due to a multitude of small devices, ranging from mobile phones and PDAs to RFID tags and wearable computers. The increasing number of connected devices and the proliferation of networks, provide no indication of a slowdown in this tendency. On the negative side, misuse of this same technology entails serious risks in various aspects, such as privacy violations, advanced electronic crime, cyber terrorism, and even enlargement of the digital divide. In extreme cases it may even threaten basic principles and human rights.

The aforementioned issues raise an important question: Is our society ready to adopt the technological advances in ubiquitous networking, next generation Internet, and pervasive computing?To what extent will it manage to evolve promptly and efficiently to a Next Generation Society, adopting the forthcoming ICT challenges?

The e-Democracy 2009 conference is dedicated to this issue. Through a comprehensive list of thematic areas under the title "Next Generation Society: Technological and Legal issues", the 2009 conference will try to stimulate discussions, create awareness, and provide information on the technological, ethical, legal, and political challenges ahead of us. The list of topics that will be addressed is as follows:

The conference is interested in contributions related to identity management systems focused on persons as the entities being identified in order to access various resources, such as services, benefits, health cards, and financial records. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, User-centric identity management, Federated identity management, Identity risk management, Identity information protection, Open source identity solutions, and e-Government identity management.

Suggested topics in this area include, but are not limited to, Privacy preserving or enhancing technologies, Integrity of personal data, Information resilience and survivability, Trust models, Trust evaluation and trust management, Trust and reputation models, Trust and authentication, Context awareness and privacy, security and trust, Privacy, security and trust in ubiquitous/pervasive computing, Privacy-friendly user interfaces and Dependable electronic services.

The international character of cyber crime provides the possibility of cooperation between different criminal groups in many countries. This fact offers the basis for the operation of activities of organized crime namely the continuation of business by criminal matters. The session will examine the synergy between cyber crime and organized crime, will present some of its phenomena (e.g. credit cards fraud, child pornography, spam, money laundry) and will develop strategies that enable the combat against this form of criminality.

Digital surveillance has long been an indispensable component of security systems, mainly in the form of surveillance cameras or intrusion detection sensors. With the advent of powerful sensors at miniature scale, geographic location systems, and RFID technology, a wide set of opportunities arises. Observation of the elderly to promptly detect emergency conditions, surveillance of inmates during their rehabilitation, and automated tracking of products throughout the entire production chain are just a few examples. The conference is interested in contributions that explore the latest developments in digital surveillance, suggest novel applications, introduce innovative new possibilities, or report on the experiences of real world deployments. Position papers on the possibilities, limitations, and dangers associated with this technology will also be considered.

The new standards in social networking and information that have emerged out of the domination of personal logs have changed dramatically the way information is reaching the citizens. The ability of putting the readers into the position of reporters has not only created new possibilities for independent and censorship free information, but has also introduced the risk of misinforming and, in some cases, maliciously spreading false information in order to harm individuals or groups. The discussion about these new potentials and risks is the topic of this session.

The conference is interested in contributions related to the way education and training for the next generations are transformed through the prism of new technologies and paradigms, such as technology-enhanced learning and open education movements. Particular focus will be given to the way technology can bridge the digital, economical, and societal divides around the world.

The conference is interested in contributions addressing the issues of a new generation of threats to communications, as these have emerged out of the need to protect next generation mobile networking, user authentication through biometrics and personal device oriented authentication, as well as new forms of DoS, service aware attacks.

The increasing trend towards the use of tiny - sometimes barely visible - devices acting as a catalyst for the convergence of wireless technologies and the Internet, has created a corresponding trend towards ubiquitous and pervasive computing. This session will host contributions related to context-aware computing, novel and innovative pervasive computing applications, wearable computers, low power and green mobile computing, and corresponding enabling technologies for personal communications.

The overwhelming majority of a government's transactions with citizens and businesses take place at local level. In this light, this session aims at addressing the current obstacles, prospects, and challenges for local government, by referring to case studies, best practice methods, implementation strategies, citizen involvement and empowerment, transformation and innovation issues, local democracy, and community impact. Furthermore, the use of internet and web tools for supporting participatory actions in legislative processes, political or societal decision-making in governmental or communities' context, but also user friendly electronic government services is becoming a common practice, described by the general term e-Participation. Taking into account the current research trends in e-Participation, that focuses more and more on users' benefits and values, this session will deal, therefore, with all relevant activities and projects, technological developments, and legal issues that arise when ICTs are deployed to facilitate e-Government, e-Governance, and e-Voting. Core issues, such as how to organize delivered services from the user's perspective, state-of-the-art ICT tools, privacy and trust shall be addressed.

The issue of the digital divide may nowadays sound a dated theme, but it has a direct impact on society and democracy, as these are perceived by citizens and as they evolve through an information overload via the internet. The aspects that are of particular interest to this conference include: opportunities and risks for people with special needs, increase of the generation gap, proliferation of virtual worlds, unreliable, inaccurate and sometimes harmful information in social networking, and an increasing education gap due to increasingly disparate financial status across society affecting learners' ability to access the electronic media.

Web-mobile ethics deals with issues that arise especially from the wireless use of the Internet. This session will define which ethical problems provoke this technological development and will present some methods and instruments (e.g., standards of professional practice, codes of conduct, public policy, corporate ethics) that can solve them.

The use of Internet influences in a dramatic way the international economy. The offer of new services, the global virtual business, the cancellation of the roles Consumer-Producer (see e.g. the editing of Wikipedia, sellers and buyers in internet auctions) leads to the result that we see the emergence of a new structure of economy. The session will present some of these forms of the global economy, which is based on internet, its opportunities and dangers and how cyber-economics assist the participation of the individual in the development of economy.

Across the developed world, in increasing numbers, people now commonly spend large portions of their work and social lives online engaging in virtual communities.From discussing popular culture in web-based forums to building virtual utopias and dystopias in 3D virtual worlds; from using email and web technologies to plan inter-galactic corporate warfare in 'EVE Online' to supporting workplace communities of practice with content management systems and social networking applications, internet users today now often find themselves members of multiple, overlapping, virtual communities. For many, virtual communities are as much - or more - a part of the fabric of their daily lives as are their physical neighbours and local communities.In this session we welcome contributions to our understanding of virtual communities, their workings and impact on individuals and on local, national and international societies.