Example of Corporate Internet Authoritarianism - Amazon does not allow Pakistan to download Kindle Software for PC's
*Access Denied to Pakistan by Amazon.com! I would like to share an example of how Corporate Internet Authoritarianism may affect us from the developing world that I recently encountered. The case presented is that Amazon.com's Kindle, an e-book reader device available for - Amazon does not allow Pakistan to download Kindle Software for PC's. The IGF in Sharam El-Sheikh was a very fascinating event. Apart from the many issues and arguments that arose this year, the participants displayed use of some fascinating devices for recording or following through the proceedings that many of us developing world people have neither seen nor have access to. The major fascination for me was from small FLIP HD Camcorders and various types of E-book Readers. During the IGF or while flying over to the event, I saw many kinds of wireless e-book readers like Amazon.com's Kindle and some other European models in the hands of people from the developed world. Upon asking them the price of their devices they were all US$300 and above. Click here for the link to Amazon.com's Kindle. Bringing my fascination of Wireless E-Book Readers back to Pakistan, I have been trying to figure out how do various e-books and reports appear on an e-book reader and whether some special format is required to view books on such readers. I attempted to access the report "Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age (Kindle Edition) by The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy" through Amazon.com Kindle version. In order to read such a report on a Kindle device without a Kindle, one has to have the Kindle E-Book Reader software installed on their PCs. The following is the message that was displayed on the link given below in a test attempt to download the Kindle Software for my PC in order to read the Kindle version of the report "Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age (Kindle Edition) by The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy":
Resulting Message on Amazon.com Kindle Software Download Page: "We're sorry. Kindle for PC is not currently available in Pakistan. Are you traveling outside your country? Sign in to see if Kindle for PC is available for download in your country. ›Continue shopping the Kindle store" The print screen of this message is given below. Would this mean that if I actually had a Kindle, I would not get support for it or would not be allowed to have a PC version of the Kindle software program? Interestingly Amazon.com allows you to continue shopping but doesn't allow Pakistani's to download the Kindle Software. Isn't that a wonderfully incredible approach from the one of the world's e-commerce giants that continue to contribute to increasing the digital divide over software offerings that they give in the developed world for free but we from the developing world cannot access it!