What do we mean by openness in a digital world? How is it fostered, who benefits, and what happens when it conflicts with privacy, commercial interests, or even state control?
In the first of a series of programmes on openness, Tony Hirst of the Open University joins Gareth Mitchell to discuss these ideas, looking at open source, open data and open standards.
Gareth reports from Sao Paulo in Brazil, home to a mass public event called Campus Party. He speaks to some of the thousands of coders, hackers and gamers who have come here from all over the world to share ideas, knowledge and technology. One of Campus Party's most high-profile guests, Tim Berners-Lee, explains the value of open data to society, while Jon 'Maddog' Hall, executive director of Linux International, reflects on why collaborative events like Campus Party are so important.
On the other side of the world, internet access in Egypt has been almost completely shut down, apparently in response to the huge anti-government protests. We ask how it is possible to do this to an open medium like the internet, and whether there are still ways to get online.