Information and communications technology (ICT) is transformative economically, socially,
and politically. Evidence of this transformation can be seen in the dramatic spread of ICT
globally and near universal usage in both developing and developed countries. Indeed, ICT is everywhere, with its widest manifestations including computer, multimedia, and Internet
technologies as well as audiovisual technologies such as television, film and video, radio and sound recording.
ICT is also recognized as a key dimension of globalization and as such its role is fraught with challenges and opportunities. While the “digital divide” is a reality and the “poorest of the poor” remain “unconnected,” research shows that that they – like others – value communication highly for its social, economic and other benefits.
Indigenous peoples, as both stakeholders and rights holders, are an increasing focus of the ongoing discussions surrounding the positive and negative aspects of ICT as well as the possibilities of information and communications‐based transformations. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has twice noted officially that, “In the evolution of the information society, particular attention must be given to the special situation of indigenous peoples, as well as the preservation of their heritage and cultural legacy.”