Archives for September 2022

September 8, 2022 - Comments Off on August 2022 Newsletter: Digital 50.50 Edition on Threats and Harms of Gendered Disinformation

August 2022 Newsletter: Digital 50.50 Edition on Threats and Harms of Gendered Disinformation

Digital Rights Foundation launched its second edition of the feminist e-magazine, Digital 50.50 on the 5th of August 2022. The magazine focused on the threats and harms of gendered disinformation targeted towards women in public life. The magazine had articles, vlogs and illustrations on the said theme. They discussed what gendered disinformation meant as an emerging form of disinformation that relies on sex-based narrratives and like most online gender-based violence is targeted at or about women and girls and other gender minorities. Gendered disinformation impacts women’s access to and participation in public life by silencing and threatening them. Many authoritarian regimes have resorted to targeting women politicians, activists and journalists with organised gendered disinformation campaigns to silence and restrict their participation in public life.

A feature penned by Hira Nadeem talks about the social and emotional consequences of gendered disinformation circulated in the society about transgender individuals. A research-based article by Aiza Nadeem discusses how new and emerging channels and content creators on YouTube manipulate and spin the narrative to sustain viewership using the case study of Aurat March. Khalida Niaz wrote about how women singers and performers have time and again become a target of fake news in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The edition has some amazing illustrations by Bushra Saleem which represent the theme.

Read the edition here.

Online Campaigns

#AtoZofOnlineSafety

DRF did a 21 day campaign on the A to Z of online safety sharing resources and tips on online safety. In the campaign tools that are widely used online were also discussed in detail along with possible privacy concerns associated to them.

Policy Initiatives

Consultation: Challenges and Opportunities for Digital Media in Pakistan

Third consultation held on August 15, 2022

In the month of August DRF conducted a series of three consultations with digital media and non-traditional content creation organizations and individuals in order to map and better understand the digital media landscape in Pakistan. In partnership with UNESCO, these consultations were the first step in developing targeted policy recommendations for the digital media landscape from a policy, legal, gendered and economic lens.

Partnership between DRF and Beti No Misogyny

DRF and Beti No Misogyny have signed an MOU to collaborate together to fight online misogyny, hate & abuse. We hope to create an all inclusive space for everyone through this collaboration.

DRF Condemns the Digital Abuse and Hate Speech against Trans Folks Online

DRF has been monitoring the digital abuse, hate speech & threats that the trans community has been facing in the past few days. As an organization that works on digital safety, we condemn the attacks that prevent the community from feeling safe & engaging in online spaces.

Media Coverage

DRF’s team spoke to Express News on Cyber Harassment

Helpline and legal team spoke to Ms Ayesha Saghir on the prevalent issues related to cyber harassment. The increasing number of cases being reported to the DRF’s Helpline along with the technical and procedural problems encountered by the complainants who register their complaints with the Federal Investigation Agency were discussed within the short interviews. The package was later run on the Express News.

What is Digital 50.50 on FM 100

DRF’s team members conducted a session for the radio station FM 100 on the topic “What is Digital 50 50: Know Your Digital Rights” on August 11, 2022. A recording of the session can be accessed here.

Data Protection and Privacy Radio Program on FM 100

Our Program Manager Zainab Durrani spoke with RJ Haya Khan of FM 100 on the topic of ‘Data Protection and Privacy’ where the two discussed what the current landscape of data privacy looks like in Pakistan today, the overlap of gender and privacy, the gender digital divide in Pakistan and its cultural aspects, the upcoming Personal Data Protection Bill as well as DRF’s latest study on healthcare data privacy that is underway at the moment.

The show was cast live for radio audience and also simultaneously available for viewing on FM 100’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/fm247365/videos/2319933854823963/ )

DRF spoke at Taggeschau

DRF contributed to Taggeschau, a German radio channel report on revenge porn in the context of online dating in Pakistan, the consequences faced by survivors, and what kind of help they can receive.

 
(https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/asien/pakistan-dating-rache-101.html)
NCHR Launches Complaint Cell for Women Journalists Experiencing Harassment

The Friday Times covered the collaboration between DRF, NCHR and CEJ on combatting harassment women journalsits face online.

Read the full article here:

https://www.thefridaytimes.com/2022/08/03/nchr-launches-complaint-cell-for-women-journalists-experiencing-harassment/

 

Events

Nighat Dad at Young Global Leaders (YGL) Summit by World Economic Forum (WEF)

 

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at Young Global Leaders (YGL) Summit by World Economic Forum in Geneva. She gave a session on digital safety for world leaders along and spoke about disinformations impact in digital age and how it’s impacting democaracies around the world.

Nighat Dad part of the Commonwealth Observer Group in Kenya

DRF’s Nighat Dad was part of the Commonwealth Observer Group in Kenya for the general elections this year. Nighat was part of an advance team  on the ground to observe preparations ahead of the polls and campaigns. The team after the observation will update the main Group about their meetings with stakeholders and their preliminary findings, which will be pivotal in the observation role and report.

Nighat Dad at Wilton Park on a meeting on Gender based Violence

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad joined Wilton Park from 16th till 19th August focusing on evidence base for tackling gender-based harassment and abuse online. A discussion around better standards and definitions around gender based violence took place along with a need for stronger stakeholder collaboration and engagement.

Training for Prosecutors & Legal Aid Lawyer on women's marriage rights and violence against women laws

Legal Team attended a two (02) day training organized by Musawi in collaboration with the Center for Professional Development of Public Prosecutors,“Training for Prosecutors & Legal Aid Lawyer on women's marriage rights and violence against women laws” on the 29th and 30th August 2022. The session initiated with a brief overlook on the concept of gender sensitization leading to an elaborate discussion on women’s protection laws, laws including but not limited to The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Act 202, Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act 2016 and others. Furthermore, the training touched upon the practical touchstones of the women’s marriage rights in Punjab and endorsed increased dialogue, information sharing about nikkahnama (marriage contract), and advocacy for marriage laws.

Online Training on Digital Safety for South Asia

DRF conducted an online training workshop for over 20 participants from the South Asian region on digital safety on August 10, 2022. Given the complex and unique nature of the South Asian context, this training supported by Meedan went a long way in addressing the specific challenges participants faced.

Panel at LACAS A Levels JT Campus

DRF was invited to speak at a panel on ‘Challenging Youth Exclusion in Digital Safety’. The event was arranged by the students themselves, which showcases the interest that the youth of today have in owning their right to digital safety and access and voicing their concerns regarding relevant laws in the country. They asked questions regarding the role of social media platforms, who should be making the rules regarding data privacy, contributing to the discussion on internet access and safety especially post Covid.

DRF Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 258 complaints in August with 169 of these from women and 5 from trans women throughout the country. If you’re encountering a problem online you can reach out to our helpline on 0800-39393, email us at helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am till 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.

IWF Portal

DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu, and Pashto.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk
StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

Resources for Flood Relief

Climate change has had devastating consequences for the country and with the ongoing flood crisis there has been immense loss to property and life. It’s important to donate in this hour of crisis, however it’s also important to verify who you’re donating to.

The following resources are available for anyone who wants to donate during this crisis.

https://www.floodpk.com/

https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/donate-to-pakistan-flood-relief

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u4EcNZIhKUltDc7ZPiMT3CLrVooFLFd_4AyKM1raEZs/edit#gid=139435833

 

September 7, 2022 - Comments Off on DRF condemns the arbitrary Youtube shutdowns in the country as ‘Unconstitutional’

DRF condemns the arbitrary Youtube shutdowns in the country as ‘Unconstitutional’

7 Sept 2022: Digital Rights Foundation condemns the arbitrary Youtube shutdowns in the country by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and reiterates that these are unconstitutional blocks.

Youtube is a source of income, information, educational tool, and entertainment for many and these blocks are a direct threat to Articles 19 and 19 A of the Constitution. Pakistan already ranks ‘not free’ on the freedom of the net report index according to Freedom House, and these blocks constitute blatant state censorship for citizens of the country.

It is worrying that the PTA has implemented these blocks without any notice nor justification. This lack of transparency and arbitrary procedures should worry every citizen and political party.

The YouTube shutdowns, yesterday (September 6) and on August 21, were targeted at political speeches by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Blocking the streaming of political speech of any party is blatant censorship. If the PTA believes that the content in speeches should not be allowed, it should make its reasons for banning public and subject to judicial review.

We would like to reiterate our stance that section 37 of PECA, which gives power to the PTA to block online content, runs afoul of human rights standards and should be repealed. Nevertheless, even section 37 does not authorize a blanket shutdown of an entire social media platform.