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This book is aimed at presenting the major questions and challenges facing most societies in today's world. While we have endeavoured to present the themes at a level that is widely accessible, we hope that the high level of expertise makes this publication a useful contribution to people from all fields of specialization wishing to gain better insights into the benefits, challenges and risks of our information societies today and in the future.
The spectacular development of information and communication technologies (ICT) has radically affected the way in which humans work, dialogue with each other, and go about their daily lives. It has transformed the global economy, heralding a new and dynamic "information society". But what are the real implications of the transformation? Greater security risks? Access to information for everyone, everywhere? This publication, consisting of a book containing expert analyses of different areas and a CD-ROM containing extensive background resources, electronic versions of studies and web references, provides a global reflection on the information society. The authors are renowned experts in their respective fields, and include leading academics and consultants of international repute. The major themes covered are: the perspectives of industrialized and developing countries; network security; ICTs for education; and rights management.