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Information Society Trends - Overview of 1996

A special issue of "Information Society Trends", the magazine published by the European Commission's Information Society Project Office (ISPO) contains an overview of the main trends and key events of 1996 in the continuing development of the Information Society.

The main foc...
A special issue of "Information Society Trends", the magazine published by the European Commission's Information Society Project Office (ISPO) contains an overview of the main trends and key events of 1996 in the continuing development of the Information Society.

The main focus in 1996 was on the Internet, with considerable attention devoted to the development of regulation, particularly to prevent the dissemination of harmful and illegal content, as use of the Internet continues to grow at high speed. The economic importance of the Internet has also increased, with commercial rivalry and global networks competing to provide access and software/hardware to users. Developments in secure electronic payment have brought widespread electronic commerce closer. In addition, the concepts of Intranets and network computers have grown as developers have harnessed the new opportunities offered by communications systems.

The review of 1996 covers developments around the world in areas such as:

- Legislation and policies, particularly progress towards the liberalization of markets;
- Development of information infrastructures;
- Markets and companies, including alliance-building by companies in preparation for liberalized global markets;
- Continuing development of a range of multimedia applications and products;
- Social and cultural issues, such as an increasing focus on developing the educational uses of the new technologies.
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