Next Generation Society Technological and Legal Issues: Third International Conference, e-Democracy 2009, Athens, Greece, September 23-25, 2009, Revised Selected Papers

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Recent developments in information and communication technology (ICT) have paved the way for a world of advanced communication, intelligent information processing and ubiquitous access to information and services. The ability to work, communicate, interact, conduct business, and enjoy digital entertainment virtually anywhere is r- idly becoming commonplace due to a multitude of small devices, ranging from mobile phones and PDAs to RFID tags and wearable computers. The increasing number of connected devices and the proliferation of networks provide no indication of a sl- down in this tendency. On the negative side, misuse of this same technology entails serious risks in various aspects, such as privacy violations, advanced electronic crime, cyber terrorism, and even enlargement of the digital divide. In extreme cases it may even threaten basic principles and human rights. The aforementioned issues raise an important question: Is our society ready to adopt the technological advances in ubiq- tous networking, next-generation Internet, and pervasive computing? To what extent will it manage to evolve promptly and efficiently to a next-generation society, ado- ing the forthcoming ICT challenges? The Third International ICST Conference on e-Democracy held in Athens, Greece during September 23-25, 2009 focused on the above issues. Through a compreh- sive list of thematic areas under the title Next-Generation Society: Technological and Legal issues, the 2009 conference provided comprehensive reports and stimulated discussions on the technological, ethical, legal, and political challenges ahead of us.