TO INFORM OR TO CONTROL? by Oswald H. & Gladys D. Ganley Ganley

TO INFORM OR TO CONTROL?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A simple, utilitarian overview of electronic computing and telecommunications on the international scene--with a close-up of US-Canadian relations. Oswald Garvey, ex of the State Dept., is affiliated with the Harvard program on Information Resources Policy; Gladys Garvey, we hear, is a writer and ""co-author of many of her husband's publications."" Without much gee-whizzing, they set forth the rapid growth and ""radically falling"" cost of the new technologies; the potential--from microprocessors to satellites; the computing-communications crossover and attendant regulatory problems (without the IBM and AT&T rulings); the unrecognized communications/information component in business-at-large (the off majors' info systems may have averted disaster during the 1973 off crisis); international resistance to dependence on the US (France, Japan) as, also, a source of competition; international standardization--by whose standards (European or American?); the media--for entertainment (American programming si, American culture no) or, now, instant political coverage. In this last regard, the Ganleys note that American isolation from foreign TV programming (and magazines, etc.) ""makes it hard for the United States to understand the reactions of other nations to the constant US media presence."" Moving into ""international problem areas,"" they provide even-handed, occasionally pointed assessments of the North-South confrontation over ""free"" vs. ""objective and balanced"" news (""the developing nations do have very valid grievances""); prospective transborder data flow restrictions (re individual privacy, economic gain, national sovereignty/security); the 1979 allocation of world radio-frequency bands (amicable--but problems remain unresolved); communications satellites--apropos of direct broadcasting (""without the prior consent of the receiving state""?) and remote sensing (""prior consent"" for disseminating information?). More limited or specialized ""problem areas""--communications technologies in developing countries, electronic security and defense systems, international electronic snooping--are blocked in too. The US-Canadian section, based on a larger study by Oswald Ganley, is precise and forthright: Canadian political, economic, and cultural aims in restricting US advertising, etc.; the mixed results so far. The remaining sections--the US vis-à-vis the advanced, developing, and communist nations--chiefly recast earlier material. No fresh concepts or new info, but as good a starter-volume as any for students or out-of-touch adults.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1982
Publisher: McGraw-Hill