March 25, 2017 - Comments Off on We’re Coming to RightsCon2017 and It’s Going To Be Big!

We’re Coming to RightsCon2017 and It’s Going To Be Big!

Every year, Access Now brings together digital rights activists from around the world in the world's leading event for the future of the internet - RightsCon Summit. And Digital Rights Foundation is thrilled to announce that just like the past few years, we'll be hosting a series of sessions at the conference this year and they'll be the reflection of what the team of DRF has been busy with in 2016.

First, here's a little background. The past year, we’ve been busy analysing the data protection and privacy situation in Pakistan and advocating for data protection laws and safe access to the internet. We concluded our year-long project “Hamara Internet” (Urdu for “Our Internet”) that trained over 2000 women from around the country on digital security and tools to counter cyber harassment, which ultimately led to the launch of Pakistan’s first Cyber Harassment Helpline in December 2016. We also launched two research studies -Telecoms Privacy and Data Protection Policies in Pakistan, and Surveillance of Female Journalists in Pakistan, along with a lot of other activities that had our attention throughout.

RightsCon Invite Website

Digital Rights Foundation’s sessions at RightsCon will be the reflection of all these activities, along with the discussion on some new challenges that are necessary to be addressed at the earliest. With this being said, here are the sessions that we’re hosting at the conference and hope for your participation if you're in Belgium, and support if you're in other parts of the world:

TAKING MATTERS INTO OUR HANDS: ADDRESSING ONLINE HARASSMENT THROUGH [TOOLS]

When: March 29, 2017 - 4 PM to 5 PM
Where: Clarity, 8th Floor - Le Crowne Plaza, Brussels, Belgium

This panel will discuss the different tools and strategies developed in different contexts to address online harassment. The discussion will be action and policy-oriented, looking to discuss solutions. The panel will have speakers from different geographic locations and organisations who will talk about the situation of cyber harassment in their respective regions and also the tools that they’ve applied (or intend to apply) to counter the said harassment.

The speakers line-up for this panel so far is:

Moderator:
Nighat Dad - Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan

Speakers:

  • Elsa Saade - Gulf Center for Human Rights, Lebanon
  • Wafa Ben Hassine - Access Now

NET NEUTRALITY AND ITS SCOPE IN DEVELOPING WORLD

When: March 30, 2017 - 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM
Where: Harmony, First Floor - Le Crowne Plaza, Brussels, Belgium

This panel aims at discussing the highly-debated principles of Net Neutrality and Zero Rating and their situation in the developing world, in contrast with that in the developed countries. The session intends to address the problems and discuss the best laws and practices around Net Neutrality and how it affects the open and fair access to the internet, user experiences of the internet, user data privacy and protection protocols, and also the future of the internet in reference to Net Neutrality and paid-prioritisation of content online.

The confirmed speakers for this panel so far are:

Moderator: Raman Jit Singh Chima - Access Now

Speakers:

  • Hija Kamran - Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
  • Apar Gupta and Kiran Jonnalagadda - Internet Freedom Festival, India
  • Agustin Reyna - BEUC, Belgium
  • Gbenga Sesan - Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Nigeria

SURVEILLANCE AND PRIVACY FROM THE MARGINS

When: March 30, 2017 - 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM
Where: Klimt, Ground Floor - Le Crowne Plaza, Brussels, Belgium

The panel hopes to discuss the different kinds of surveillance and the gendered nature of surveillance all over the world. The conversation will also be focused on how data protection and privacy laws need to be strengthened and how a breach of privacy can have dire consequences for individuals.

The confirmed speakers for this session so far are:

Moderator: Nighat Dad - Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan

Speakers:

  • David Kaye - UNSR Freedom of Expression
  • Chinmayi Arun - National Law University, India
  • Carolina Botero - Karisma Foundation, Colombia
  • Courtney Radsch - Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

HARASSMENT GOES DEADLY: THE GLOBAL NORTH VS GLOBAL SOUTH

When: March 31, 2017 - 4 PM to 5 PM
Where: Innovation, First Floor - Le Crowne Plaza, Brussels, Belgium

This panel aims at discussing online violence that is usually seen as a problem for the so-called “backward societies” around the world. The narrative goes that women and vulnerable communities in the third world are particularly susceptible to honour and gender-based crimes. High profile cases of online harassment leading to violence in offline spaces is seen as a reflection of an entire culture in the Global South, whereas it is couched in less cultural and societal terms in the North. The fact of the matter is that online violence against women is a global and universal problem.

There needs to be an open and honest debate of this culture-based critique mounted at the global south. Speakers from both side of the divide will come together on this panel to discuss the similarities and overlap between online violence around the world.

The confirmed speakers for this panel so far are:

Moderator: Hija Kamran - Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan

Speakers:

  • Nanjira Sambuli - World Wide Web Foundation, Kenya
  • Bishakha Datta - Point of View, India
  • Japleen Pasricha - Feminism in India, India
  • Hera Hussain - Chayn Labs

After the consultation with the experts at these sessions and with your valuable participation, we hope to take the conversations forward and move towards taking necessary steps to preserve digital rights and making the internet safe and accessible for everyone.

See you at RightsCon!

Written by Hija Kamran

Published by: DRF in Blog

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