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March 25, 2021 - Comments Off on February 2021 Newsletter: Understanding the Cyber Harassment Landscape during the COVID-19 Pandemic

February 2021 Newsletter: Understanding the Cyber Harassment Landscape during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

#SaferInternetDay: Understanding the Cyber Harassment Landscape

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1359767913637502976?s=20

As part of the Digital Rights Foundation’s “Humara Internet Curriculum” for young adults, to mark #SaferInternetDay the cyber harassment landscape and its various actors were discussed in great length, especially in the context of online violence manifesting into the physical realm targeting women.

Mapping Gender-based violence in Pakistan:

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1360197036507877377?s=20

One of the key initiatives by the Digital Rights Foundation in 2020 was to start mapping violence against women in an open database, to show that violence against women is not a one-off occurrence but a systemic problem in the country. The database can be accessed here: bit.ly/3nW9H1W

Policy Initiatives:

Cyber Harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan

In collaboration with UN Women, the Digital Rights Foundation published a policy brief on “Cyber Harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan”, unpacking the surge in cyber harassment during the pandemic, followed by a series of policy recommendations on how these issues can be dealt with. Read the policy brief here: https://bit.ly/3bzmcMj

Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report (2020)

The Digital Rights Foundation published its Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report, giving an insight into the severity of cyber harassment during the pandemic, and urging users to take ownership of digital spaces, to ensure that these spaces are equal and safe for all. The report highlighted that in 2020, a total of 3298 cases were reported on the helpline, which constitutes a 70% increase from the tally in 2019.

You can read the report here: https://bit.ly/3jX6SNa

 

Self-help Toolkit on Mental Health

This past year has had a horrible impact on all of our mental health, as the COVID 19 pandemic posed a wide array of challenges and pressures. In collaboration with UN Women, the Digital Rights Foundation developed a 'Self Help' Toolkit, which highlighted common stresses people feel, as well as signs that you might be burned out, and how you achieve a healthy work-life balance. Read it here: https://bit.ly/2NAsmDG

DRF issues statement on UN’s commitment to highlight the importance of the right to privacy:

The Digital Rights Foundation issued a statement on the United Nations General Assembly which reemphasizes the UN’s commitment to highlight the importance of the right to privacy. The resolution affirms the right to privacy as mentioned in previous international covenants and conventions. Read our full statement here: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/drf-statement-on-un-resolution-on-right-to-privacy-16-12-20/

Media Coverage:

Nighat Dad shares her thoughts on content moderation and privacy to IFEX:

In a statement to IFEX, Nighat Dad reaffirmed that content moderation is becoming “one of the most important & contentious issues of our times,” noting that the privatisation of decision-making often overlooks the demands and needs of users outside the west.

https://twitter.com/IFEX/status/1364616094993022978?s=20

Nighat Dad on 92 News talking about DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline:

Nighat Dad, the Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation, spoke with 92 News about the Cyber Harassment Helpline, and shared an important message about data and how we need to be careful about sharing it with others. You can read the report here: https://bit.ly/3jX6SNa

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1364523151430873088?s=20

Interview with Geo News about DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline:

Our Cyber Harassment Helpline Manager, Jannat, spoke with Geo News about our helpline reports and talked through some potential reasons for the surge we saw in complaints during COVID 19 lockdowns.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1365247336574763009?s=20

Interview with PTV News on Cyber Harassment Helpline:

The Cyber Harassment Helplines' Project Manager, Jannat, spoke with PTV news about the work she and her team does, as well as going through the types of cases they receive and deal with on a daily basis.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1364167860382130178?s=20

Events and Sessions:

Nighat Dad featured at WINGS Forum 2021, discussing Philanthropy and the Digital Revolution:

Nighat Dad, Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation, was featured at the WINGS Forum 2021 (virtual seminar series), where alongside a diverse group of speakers, she spoke about philanthropy and the digital revolution, and highlighted the importance of upholding privacy and user protection in digital spaces.

https://twitter.com/wings_info/status/1359100892369281030?s=20

Taking Charge of your digital identity: understanding digital rights

DRF collaborated with the Goethe-Institut Pakistan to conduct a virtual session with young students regarding the importance of digital rights, i.e. freedom of expression, privacy, right to information. The session was an interactive one and students got to do activities through real-work examples during the workshop as well.

Tweet Chat: Imagining a Safer Internet

In this Tweet Chat, participants discussed what the framework of a safer digital environment would look like, and the fundamental tenets of what made the internet an equitable space for all in the first place.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1361269212816285697?s=20

Tweet Chat: Privacy in Pakistan, Ghar Sey Kanoon Tak

In this Tweet Chat, DRF team members spoke about all matters pertaining to privacy in Pakistan, from the household level to legal discussions around data and privacy in the country.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1356921417447731201?s=20

COVID-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline:

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms. You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at [email protected] between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday).

Ab Aur Nahin:

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse. www.abaurnahin.pk

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

February 15, 2021 - Comments Off on January 2021 Newsletter: DRF Conducted Advocacy Campaign on WhatApp’s New Privacy Policy

January 2021 Newsletter: DRF Conducted Advocacy Campaign on WhatApp’s New Privacy Policy

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Whatsapp New Policy

1


WhatsApp's new privacy policy has been met with a lot of criticism online, and rightfully so. WhatsApp is essentially forcing users to share their data with Facebook, otherwise they will not be able to use WhatsApp. #WhatsappNewPolicy

#WhyIsDataPrivacyDayImportant

DRF conducted a social media advocacy campaign on this year’s International Data Privacy Day which is observed on the 28th of January. The campaign involved videos covering the basics of what is data and privacy, as well as guest videos from noted rights activists and digital landscape stakeholders such as Anum Malkani of CERP, Usama Khilji of Bolo Bhi and former Senator Farhatullah Babar. The campaign ran for a week and was concluded on the 3rd of February with a Tweetchat with DRF’s Project Managers and Directors having a discussion on how privacy informs their work and what a model data privacy law would look like, from their perspective.

Policy Initiatives

Justice Ayesha Malik passes judgement on the ‘two-finger test’

Justice Ayesha Malik passed a judgement in the Lahore High Court today outlawing the ‘two finger test’ and hymen testing of female victims of sexual violence. This is a monumental judgement in the arena of women’s rights in Pakistan.

 

 

DRF in collaboration with FNF launches the Hamara Internet Young Adults Curriculum on Online Safety

Online Safety of Young Adults Curriculum aims to help students and young people develop a better understanding of how the online world operates, particularly since Coronavirus (COVID19) has restricted us to our homes and shifted most of our work to the digital spaces.

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2020-11-11_DRF-Curriculum-1.pdf

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2281554/digital-rights-foundation-launches-cirriculum-on-online-safety

https://www.phoneworld.com.pk/digital-rights-foundation-introduces-online-safety-curriculum/
Helpline January Stats:

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 257 complaints in the month of January. It shows that there is a trend  in the cases of online violence especially blackmailing through non consensual use of information and images. Another observed trend is of social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud.

Media Coverage

Nighat Dad on Arab News sharing how Signal, Telegram and Wire are more privacy friendly

In an interview with Arab News, Nighat Dad discussed how platforms such as Signal, Telegram and Wire are more “privacy friendly”, while also highlighting the privacy concerns around WhatsApp and its potential implications.

Nighat Dad on 7 News talking about the new Whatsapp Policy

In an interview on 7 News, Nighat Dad discussed the implications of the new WhatsApp privacy policy, what interventions can be made to enhance the privacy of users, and how platforms such as Signal, Telegram and Wire offer more in terms of privacy and security.

Nighat Dad on GNN talking about the new Whatsapp Policy

In an interview on GNN, Nighat Dad provided insights on whether Pakistan can formulate a better legislative framework for privacy and digital security, in addition to discussing the implications of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy and how it could compromise the privacy of its users.

DRF’s Nighat Dad shares her thoughts on Whatsapp’s data policy

In an interview with Samaa News, Nighat Dad discussed how WhatsApp’s clarification on its new data-sharing policy is not convincing enough, and it leaves a lot of questions to be answered on how the platform can protect the digital security and privacy of its users.

WhatsApp clarification on data-sharing unconvincing, says Pakistani digital rights activist

DRF’s Nighat Dad’s thoughts on Whatsapp alternative to be launched

In an interview for Bol News, Nighat Dad discussed the news around an alternative for WhatsApp to be launched specifically in Pakistan, and its potential implications on privacy and digital security in Pakistan.

DRF’s Nighat Dad’s shares her thoughts on Breaking Laws on TikTok

In an article for Vice News, Nighat Dad shared her thoughts on how individuals are sharing legally questionable content on TikTok, especially pertaining to firearms, stating that it is important for the platform to have clear and accessible messaging about safety.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/g5bkb3/we-asked-people-who-film-themselves-breaking-laws-on-tiktok-why

واٹس ایپ پرائیویسی پالیسی پر پاکستان میں تشویش، ڈیٹا پروٹیکشن قانون مسئلے کا حل ہے؟

As quoted by Voice of America Urdu, Nighat Dad articulates the need for a comprehensive data protection policy by the government, to protect the interests of domestic users, especially in light of WhatsApp’s change in privacy policy.

https://dour21.global.ssl.fastly.net/a/whatsapp-privacy-and-reservations-of-pakistani-users-12jan2021/5734308.html

واٹس ایپ کی نئی پالیسی: سگنل اور ٹیلی گرام کے ڈاؤن لوڈز میں تیزی سے اضافہ، واٹس ایپ کے لیے خطرے کی گھنٹی؟

As quoted by BBC Urdu, Nighat Dad gives a comprehensive insight into what WhatsApp’s privacy policy changes entail, and what alternative measures are available to protect the privacy and digital security of users in Pakistan.

https://www.bbc.com/urdu/world-55636664?at_custom4=EE55E7CA-54F4-11EB-8DC3-69004844363C&at_custom1=%5Bpost+type%5D&at_campaign=64&at_custom2=twitter&at_custom3=BBC+Urdu&at_medium=custom7

سائبر سیکیورٹی: دورِ حاضر کی اشد ضرورت

In an interview with Daily Jang, Nighat Dad explains what constitutes digital security, and how in light of WhatsApp's privacy policy changes, Pakistani users can protect their privacy online.

https://jang.com.pk/news/873829

Virginity tests for female rape survivors outlawed by Pakistani court

In an interview with The Guardian, Nighat Dad discussed the recent outlawing of virginity tests for female rape survivors in Pakistan, citing it as the culmination of a history of activism and built on the hard work that the feminist movement has been engaging in for decades.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jan/06/virginity-tests-for-female-survivors-outlawed-by-pakistani-court

Strong data protection law under study

In an interview with Dawn, Nighat Dad discussed the government’s intention to formulate stronger data protection laws in the country, which could be as draconian as the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), which compromises personal data of users.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1600877

Cybercrime peaked during lockdown- will 2021 be any different?

In an article published on Geo News, Nighat Dad discusses the Digital Rights Foundation’s cybercrime statistics during lockdown, and gives an insight into how incidences of online harassment and abuse increased during the pandemic.

https://www.geo.tv/latest/327267-quick-recap-how-was-2020-for-pakistans-cyberspace-and-what-to-expect-from-the-year-ahead

Source Fact Check

In the aftermath of the unfounded allegations pertaining to embezzlement of foreign funds being levied against Nighat Dad, this article renders these allegations to be false and defamatory in nature.

https://www.sochfactcheck.com/interior-ministry-complaint-alleging-nighat-dads-misuse-of-digital-rights-foundation-funds-is-misleading/

Mehwish Batool wins competition with her pitch on combating COVID19: A situation analysis

In an insightful report published by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and written by Mehwish Batool, Pakistan’s response to Covid-19 related fake news is discussed, and what can be done to contain the spread of this era of disinfodemic in the wake of the second wave.

https://www.freiheit.org/consent?dest=%2Fpakistan%2Fcombatting-covid19-disinfodemic-situation-analysis-pakistan

https://twitter.com/FNFPakistan/status/1354743309277790209?s=20

Events and Sessions

Nighat Dad speak on Shaping Empowered Societies at World Economic Forum

In a panel interview at the World Economic Forum, Nighat Dad discussed what policies, practices and partnerships are needed to empower individuals, communities and society to unlock the value of data.

https://www.weforum.org/events/the-davos-agenda-2021/sessions/shaping-empowered-data-societies

Nighat Dad speaks to the German ambassador to Pakistan about women rights and online freedom of expression

In a meeting with Bernard Schlagheck, German Ambassador to Pakistan, Nighat Dad had a detailed discussion on the state of women rights and online freedom of expression in the country, and what barriers prevent these liberties from being extended effectively.

DRF conducts Two Day Training of Punjab Women Protection Authority’s Gender Based Violence Helpline

DRF conducted a two-day training workshop Punjab Women Protection Authority’s Gender Based Violence Helpline in collaboration with Dastak. The training included gender-sensitisation, fostering a human rights approach and victim-centric approach to cases, knowledge about laws dealing with gender-based violence and tackling mental health issues.

Digital Rights Litigation and Advocacy and Nigeria: How we have fared?

The Struggle Against Gender-Based Violence and the way forward

In a panel discussion organised by the University of Central Punjab on Gender Based Violence, Nighat Dad gave an insight into various policy interventions that could be made to protect women being subjected to violence, and to prevent that violence from perpetuating in society.

Digital Security during COVID and Beyond Human Rights

On the 25th and 27th of January, an online session was conducted by the Digital Rights Foundation. This online session specifically focused on human rights defenders, especially those from minority communities, and how they can navigate through online spaces in a safe and effective manner.

Digital safety training

Training on digital safety tools and laws regarding online spaces was conducted with members of minority groups and human rights defenders. It was conducted on 22nd January 2020. The workshop aimed to build the capacity of the participants in knowledge of basic tools, hands-on training of the tools, knowledge and applicability of the laws that apply to the digital spaces and how an individual can continue using digital spaces safely and effectively.

Panel discussion on Digital Rights and Advocacy with University of Karachi

This seminar hosted by University of Karachi explored issues of privacy and digital rights in Pakistan through Facebook Live. The panelists focused on the digital threats journalists, women and activists face in online spaces.

Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board: Soch, Youth Weekend Camp

Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for Central Region (AKYSB) organized a two day camp for students aged 15-17 years. The camp included a session on cyberbullying and digital safety for students to equip them with the technical and soft skills to keep themselves safe while using the virtual platforms.

Goethe-Institut Pakistan Webinar: Taking charge of your online identity

DRF conducted a seminar for children from the age of 14 - 16 year-old students on understanding online threats faced by young students on social media. The students were given information about keeping themselves safe online.

COVID-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms. You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at [email protected] between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday).

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse. www.abaurnahin.pk

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

January 18, 2021 - Comments Off on December 2020 Newsletter: DRF shares statistics around Instances of gender based violence in Pakistan for the #16DaysOfActivism campaign

December 2020 Newsletter: DRF shares statistics around Instances of gender based violence in Pakistan for the #16DaysOfActivism campaign

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

16 Days of Activism


#16DaysOfActivism is an annual, international campaign against gender based violence. This campaign is spearheaded by the UN. This year’s theme revolved about online gender based violence, and DRF’s campaign highlighted the disturbing trend towards online violence in Pakistan, and has also laid out interventions, and solutions to this problem.

 

Instances of gender based violence in Pakistan

During the 16 days of activism campaign DRF also recorded the cases of violence against women, minoors and transgenders in the country. 190 incidents of violence took place in the country since the horrific motorway case.

SahafatAurSachayi

DRF, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) and Freedom Press Unlimited (FPU) launched a mini web series on the infodemic in times of COVID19. The #SahafatAurSachayi series focused on different aspects of fake news in times of the pandemic and what must we do in order to counter misinformation and disinformation online.

The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016

DRF started an online campaign with the hashtag PECA 2016 in which the current state of digital rights in the country were discussed in detail. The campaign highlighted how legislation around digital rights has changed and the ways in which this legislation is giving irrevocable power to state institutions.

Policy Initiatives

Social Media Rules threaten the internet

DRF, in a campaign around the new social media rules, highlighted how these new set of rules will threaten the internet and digital rights in the country. DRF along with other digital rights organisations in the country have been opposing these rules and highlighting their draconian implications if implemented.

 

Digital Detox and Self Care

2020 has been a difficult year for journalists and rights activists due to which DRF published it’s toolkit on digital detox and self care. The toolkit highlights how a digital cleanse is important and and the need to address burnout and fatigue.

Link to digital detox and self care of journalists and rights activists:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Annex-6-Digital-Detox-Self-Care-1.pdf

Wiki Gap challenge results

DRF with a collaboration with the embassy of Sweden, Media matters for democracy and UN women announced the winners of the WIKIGAP challenge in Pakistan. In one month editors from across Pakistan created and translated 400+ articles of Pakistani women.

Media Coverage

Objectionable trends on Twitter, Urdu News:

In an article on Urdu News, Nighat Dad discusses the perpetuation of objectionable Twitter trends, especially those targeting female public figures, and how it has a negative impact on political discourse.

https://www.urdunews.com/node/524006

Too many apps can spoil online learning, The Express Tribune:

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2275239/too-many-apps-can-spoil-online-learning

In an interview with the Associated Press Pakistan and the Express Tribune, Nighat Dad discusses the potential of educational or learning apps for young students, stating that they can prove to be a good accessory to formal learning rather than a total substitute for it.

Has social media regulation increased in Pakistan? - Aaj News

In an interview with Aaj News, Nighat Dad discusses the ramifications of increased social media regulations and monitoring in Pakistan, especially in terms of the right to privacy and expression of the millions of users across the country.

Combatting the COVID19 Disinfodemic: A situation analysis for Pakistan - Mehwish Batool

In this report, written by Mehwish Batool, Pakistan’s response to COVID-19 related fake news and the spread of the disinfodemic were discussed in detail, in addition to making numerous policy interventions to circumvent this problem.

Combatting the COVID19 Disinfodemic: A situation analysis for Pakistan

Nighat Dad Interview with Kiran Butt (Capital TV):

In an exclusive interview with Capital TV, on “What’s the Buzz” with Kiran Butt, Nighat Dad discusses the impact of the new online harm rules and social media regulations on content creators, journalists and influencers.

Events and Sessions

Nighat Dad at Asia21 Summit ‘ Digital Security Issues in South Asia in the era of Pandemic’

In a policy roundtable for the Asia21 Summit, Nighat Dad discusses the state of Pakistan’s online regulations and its potential policy implications for the governance of digital spaces.

Nighat Dad at panel discussion on “End Violence Against Women and Girls” by Oxfam

In a collaborative event for Oxfam, on ‘End Violence Against Women and Girls’, Nighat Dad advocated for the protection of the Freedom of Speech and Media Freedom for journalists, in both online and offline spaces, and the protection of women from violence in all of its manifestations.

Looking Inward: 2020, and the way forward - tweetchat

In a Tweet Chat with the Digital Rights Foundations’ key project managers, innovative and modern solutions to digital rights issues were discussed, under the ambit of the ongoing global pandemic.

Nighat Dad’s Live session on 16 days of activism against gender based violence with the US consulate

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke in a live session on 8th December on account of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence. Nighat focused on online violence and digital safety of individuals and why it's important to keep one's privacy settings strong.

Nighat Dad at NDI’s #ChangingTheFaceOfPolitics podcast series

In a podcast for the National Democratic Forum’s Changing the Face of Politics series, Nighat Dad discussed the opportunities and barriers of the digital space for politically-active women, and her experience as an activist fighting for women’s rights in Pakistan. (https://www.ndi.org/changing-face-politics-podcast)

A lecture on cyber harassment: UCP Law Society

In a lecture on cyber harassment for the UCP Law Society and the UCP ACM Student Chapter, Nighat Dad discusses the importance of identifying instances of cyber harassment, and creating legal safeguards for women and minority communities facing threats of violence in online spaces - and how they can often manifest into threats of violence in the physical world.

Mentoring for Civic Hackathon 2020 hosted by Code for Pakistan

DRF took part in mentoring for Code for Pakistan’s Civic Hackathon in December. Team member Shmyla Khan mentored young students and entrepreneurs on apps dealing with public safety, particularly women’s safety.

Rapid Fire Chat: “Feminist Superstars, Smashing the Patriarchy”

In a panel discussion for the Rapid Fire Chat series, Nighat Dad discusses the role of women in Pakistani society, and how the glass ceiling can be shattered by empowered women and a reversal of predetermined patriarchal gender roles.

Nighat Dad Panel Interview with UN Women on “Online Violence Against Women in Asia - A multi country study”

In a panel discussion with UN Women on “Online Violence Against Women in Asia”, Nighat Dad discussed the implications of a lack of safety for women in online spaces, and its potential ramifications in the offline world.

Nighat Dad Panel Interview with UN Women, DoctHERs: Online Safety for Healthcare Workers

In a panel discussion on the “Online Safety for Healthcare Workers”, Nighat Dad articulated the importance of digital security and online safety, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.

Responsible media is key for responding to violence against women and the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a webinar with GNMI, Nighat Dad discusses the role of ethical and responsible journalism in tackling issues pertaining to violence against women, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic - with a diverse panel including senior journalists, human rights defenders and parliamentarians.

COVID-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms.

You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at [email protected] between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday).
Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse.

www.abaurnahin.pk

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

December 21, 2020 - Comments Off on November 2020 Newsletter: DRF marks the 16 days of activism on violence against women

November 2020 Newsletter: DRF marks the 16 days of activism on violence against women

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Digital 50.50 Gender and Privacy

The fourth edition of the Digital 50.50 was launched in November which focused on gender and privacy in digital spaces. The edition covered different aspects on the intersection of gender and privacy in the digital spaces, including privacy of journalists online, how women are constantly watched and how it impacts their behaviour in online spaces, how discussion have shifted from national security to morality and the spate in banning of apps and content under this pretext. The magazine can be accessed here

 

#Orangetheworld #16days

#16DaysOfActivism is an annual, international campaign against gender based violence. This campaign is spearheaded by the UN. This year’s theme revolved about online gender based violence, and DRF’s campaign highlighted the disturbing trend towards online violence in Pakistan, and has also laid out interventions, and solutions to this problem.

Maru Website and DRF collaboration on 16days

Feminist Movements Go Online: Imagining Feminist Futures Online

Launch of second edition of ezine “Feminist Movements Go Online: Imagining Feminist Futures Online” on November 6th. In this edition the contributors looked at the internet and its role in movements from a critical lens in order to help develop possible futures of women and gender minorities on the internet. The launch was marked with a webinar with all the contributors on Facebook Live that can be accessed here.

The ezine can be assessed here.

#PrivacyIsARight #BeCyberSmart

As part of Digital Safety month, the DRF team developed the ABCs of Cyber Security that was shared during this entire month. The aim was to spread general awareness about digital safety issues as well as how to keep oneself safe from these common threats, and what to do if and when you become a target.

#UnmaskTheTruth #StopSilencingJournalists #stopviolenceagainstwomen

On November 2, to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity Against Journalists, Digital Rights Foundation conducted an online campaign. On the day, at 3 pm, DRF team observed silence for a minute to pay tribute to all the journalists who were killed for reporting the news and bringing accurate information to the masses. Impunity leads to more killings and is a breakdown of law and the judicial system. The campaign material was uploaded with the hashtags #TruthNeverDies, #EndImpunity, #SahafatJurmNahe (Journalism is not a crime). We also reiterated and reminded everyone that we have not forgotten Shaheena's brutal murder. It was a grim reminder that women journalists face innumerable barriers and threats on the basis of their gender. On #EndImpunity Day for crimes against journalists, the NWJDR shared their statement again to reiterate the demands.

#SahafatAurSachayi by FPU and FNF

DRF, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) and Freedom Press Unlimited (FPU) launched a mini web series on the infodemic in times of COVID19. The #SahafatAurSachayi series focused on different aspects of fake news in times of the pandemic and what must we do in order to counter misinformation and disinformation online.

#ActivismInPandemic

DRF has launched the #ActivismInPandemic campaign highlighting the important work of human rights defenders and journalists have been doing during COVID19. The campaign aims to share experiences of journalists and HRDs during the pandemic and also highlight the importance of managing work and stress during these testing times.

Policy Initiatives

Legal Analysis - Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules, 2020:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Removal-and-Blocking-of-Unlawful-Online-Content-Procedure-Oversight-and-Safeguards-Rules-2020_-Legal-Analysis.pdf

Digital Rights Foundation is gravely concerned by the the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards), Rules 2020:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-rights-foundation-is-gravely-concerned-by-the-the-removal-and-blocking-of-unlawful-online-content-procedure-oversight-and-safeguards-rules-2020/

DRF published it’s policy brief on the ‘Impact and Legality of Surveillance’:

This policy brief, prepared by the Digital Rights Foundation, discusses the issue of the constitutionality and social impact of surveillance, particularly from a human rights perspective, and its impact on democratic freedoms.

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Impact-and-Legality-of-Surveillance-Final-Document-14.10.2020-1.pdf

Gender-based violence cases in Pakistan

As part of a study by the Digital Rights Foundation, a mapping exercise of gender-based violence cases since the Motorway Incident has revealed that in 64 days 123 cases of rape and gang rape have been reported across Pakistan.

Addressing Online Attacks on Women Journalists in Pakistan

This policy brief aims to discuss the increased incidence of online violence and targeted harassment against female journalists, and its implications on freedom of speech and dissent.

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Policy-1.pdf

Punjab Police Women Safety App

In a policy brief examining the Punjab Police Women Safety App, as an organization working on tech and gender for a number of years, the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) sees the approach and the application both as wholly inadequate for tackling the issue of gender-based violence in the country.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1326510045048287232?s=20

250 recommendations on how to stop infodemics

In collaboration with the Forum on Information and Democracy, and based on more than 100 contributions from international experts, the Digital Rights Foundation offered 250 recommendations on how to rein in a phenomenon that threatens democracies and human rights, including the right to health.

Cyber Harassment Helpline October Statistics

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 235 complaints in the month of October. It shows the trend of online violence especially blackmailing through non consensual use of information and images has sustained. Another observed trend is of social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud. Majority of the complainants were females (68%) belonging to Punjab (Lahore) and other cities without the FIA cybercrime office.

Media Coverage

Wired Article

In an article for ‘Wired UK’, Nighat Dad discusses the state of Internet Freedom in 2020 and beyond, stating that “In 2021 we will have to acknowledge that the internet is not the free space it was originally envisaged to be".

New Cyber Laws in Pakistan- What’s the buzz with Kiran Butt’ on Capital TV

In an exclusive interview with Capital TV, on “What’s the Buzz” with Kiran Butt, Nighat Dad discusses the impact of the new online harm rules and social media regulations on content creators, journalists and influencers.

IFEX Article

In an article for IFEX, Nighat Dad discusses the origins of the Digital Rights Foundation, and her pursuit in establishing safer online spaces for women.

Events and Sessions

UNESCO event on End Impunity Against Journalists in Islamabad

In a collaborative event for UNESCO Islamabad and the Swedish Embassy in Pakistan, marking the ‘End Impunity Day’ for Crimes and Journalists, Nighat Dad advocated for the protection of the Freedom of Speech and Media Freedom for journalists, in both online and offline spaces.

Changing the Face of Politics Podcast

In an interview with Mimoza Kusari-Lila, member of the Kosovo Parliament, for the ‘Changing the Face of Politics Podcast, Nighat Dad discusses the parliamentarian’s journey to political office, and the obstacles she faced on her journey.

Digital Rights Popup Forum

An estimated billion users are coming online for the first time. Yet little is understood about this market, which faces acute privacy, security and access challenges that threaten their ability to equitably connect. In a panel discussion for Internetdagarna Digital Rights Popup Forum, Nighat Dad discusses the “State of Internet Freedom Around the World: Protecting the Next Billion and the Global Soul”.

https://internetdagarna.se/program/digital-rights-popup-forum/

Launch webinar: “Feminist Movements Go Online: Imagining Feminist Futures Online”

DRF conducted a live webinar with some of the contributors of its ezine, Ajwah Nadeem, Sarah Shamim and Umaima Ahmed on Facebook that can be accessed here.

In a panel discussion for Hafiza Merkesi (the Truth Justice Memory Center), Nighat Dad discussed internet freedom and the incidence of cyber harassment against women in online spaces.

Broken Rules? Pakistan’s Online Regulations

In a policy roundtable for Tabadlab, Nighat Dad discusses the state of Pakistan’s online regulations and its potential policy implications.

Rapid Fire Chat Series

Rapid Fire on it’s an infodemic

Arslan Ather along with Laiba and Manal Khan, we discussed the prevalence of misinformation during the pandemic and otherwise too. Our panelists gave great and witty answers to our rapid-fire questions, while also giving us some important insight into how journalists have been working with this ‘infodemic’.

Rapid Fire Chat on #InternationalMensDay

DRF conducted its series of Rapid Fire Chats with digital rights activist Hija Kamran and journalist Fatima Razzaq to talk about masculinity in the digital spaces. The chat can be accessed here.

Gender-based harassment of women journalists 

DRF conducted another one of its Rapid Fire Chats on the 25th of November this year and in honouring the day, which is observed as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, conducted a chat on the same theme with our participants. We were joined by two women who have done commendable work in the field of journalism: Amber Shamsi and Ramsha Jahangir.

The conversation revolved around cyber harassment, it's impact and how these spaces can be navigated and also made safer, especially for women who use them as platforms for their work. The conversation is available on DRF's Facebook page where it was cast live on the date mentioned above..

Achieving Cyberpeace: A Collective Effort in Cyberspace and Beyond | November 30

DRF took part in a panel hosted by the Cyberpeace Institute for its first annual meeting. The panel titled "Achieving CyberPeace: a Collective Effort in Cyberspace and Beyond" will discuss ideas and initiatives to achieve peace in the digital world. The panel was also attended by Sheetal Kumar from Global Partners Digital,  Nicola Staub from Cybera Global, and Kanwaljit Singh from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Find more details here.

Digital Literacy Drive session

DRF conducted its third Digital Literacy Drive session with the students of the Forman Christian College (FCC), Lahore. The session was held on Wednesday the 25th of November, 2020 and was organized with the kind help of Ms. Mehwish Batool.

The topics touched upon included the concept of privacy, the legal state of the right to privacy as well as cyber harassment, gender and privacy. The session was concluded with a section on online safety conducted by our trainers.

Meeting with Canadian High Commissioner
Panel on How do we make our parents understand the internet? How do we reach out to them when we need help?

DRF with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation held a Facebook live session with our 4 youth ambassadors on ‘How do we make our parents understand the internet? How do we reach out to them when we need help’. The session focused on the need to talk to parents more and also make them understand the importance of the internet.

Data Localisation: All you need to know

DRF organized a session on the topic of data localisation in the month of November, given the recent developments in e-governance rules and laws in Pakistan and the overall status quo we felt it was the need of the hour. The excellent panelists who joined us for this session included Shmyla Khan and Arslan Athar of DRF and Alexandrine Corbion from Privacy International. The conversation revolved around the examination of what data localisation is, what it's impact has been so far in the countries where it is practiced and what we can expect from it's implementation in Pakistan. The session is available to be viewed on DRF's Facebook page where it's as cast live.

Digital Rights and Laws in Pakistan

This workshop was conducted by our Director of Legal Affairs and covered the legal landscape in Pakistan in terms of digital rights pertaining to freedom of expression, right to information and right to privacy in online spaces. Furthermore, the workshop also focused on the laws such as the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 in Pakistan and how they impact digital freedoms.

Two Day Residency Training with HRDs and Journalists

DRF held a two day residency training with HRDs and journalists on online safety and digital rights laws in the country. The training was particularly designed keeping in mind the needs of the participants in the training.

Impact Talk Digital Security, Privacy Rights and Fake News Pakistan Perspective

DRF participated in the #ImpactTalk titled ‘Digital Security, Privacy Rights and Fake News’ and DRF’s team participated in it on 13th November. The talk was organized by Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms.

You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at [email protected] between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday).

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse.

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

 

 

November 19, 2020 - Comments Off on October 2020: DRF launches First Edition of E-zine ‘Feminist Movements Go Online in Pakistan’

October 2020: DRF launches First Edition of E-zine ‘Feminist Movements Go Online in Pakistan’

Online Campaigns and Initiatives 

Launch of e-zine

feminist movement

DRF launches e-zine feminist movements go online in Pakistan. The e-zine discusses the onset of feminist movements in the digital age and how social media has become a tool for rallying feminists online. 

Click here to access first version of our e-zine:

https://bit.ly/2FKplwK

 

Podcast: “Do Dost aur Digital pe Kacheri”

In this episode two friends, Simran and Fiha (Communication and Design students at Habib University) talk about the criticality of the digital space. From personal experiences to shared insights, from incidents in their physical surroundings to the ones observed in the digital world, it has it all. This podcast casually unveils the power of the online world as well as the lack of it, taking you on a journey of relatable experiences and hushed conversations.

Listen to the podcast here:

https://soundcloud.com/help-desk-781720443/do-dost-aur-digital-pe-kacheri

#NoHonorInKilling

A recent Supreme Court observation was hailed as an important precedent when it comes to honor killing in Pakistan. Our legal team chose important segments of the observation and posted it on social media to raise awareness about the document. 

#ActivismInPandemic

DRF has launched the #ActivismInPandemic campaign highlighting the important work of human rights defenders and journalists have been doing during COVID19. The campaign aims to share experiences of journalists and HRDs during the pandemic and also highlight the importance of managing work and stress during these testing times. 

#MentalHealthAwareness #MentalHealthDay

Following Mental Health Day, our Helpline team shared positive affirmations and different aspects of the mental health discourses. This was an important campaign to stretch past just ‘Mental Health Day’ and use October as a Mental Health Month, given how Pakistani society sees mental health 

#BeCyberSmart

As part of the digital security month, we designed an A to campaign to go over the basics of digital security as well as how to be safer online. 

#UnMaskTheTruth #StopSilencingJournalists

In collaboration with Free Press Unlimited, Digital Rights Foundation sent face masks with the taglines Unmask the truth and Stop silencing journalists to the members of our Network of Women Journalists to show solidarity with journalists across the globe in our collective support for press freedom and against violence, censorship and persecution. Members shared their photos wearing the masks with a short quote on why they think it is important for journalists to do their work free from violence and threats. 

#InternationalInternetDay

On this year’s International Internet Day, the DRF team did a campaign on internet shutdowns and their costs on the digital economy of Pakistan. 

internet shutdown

Questionnaire on personal data and politics

DRF, along with Media Matters for Democracy, is conducting a survey on the use of personal data by the private sector for purposes of political persuasion.

We would really appreciate it if you can fill out our survey (available in English and Urdu).

Eng: https://forms.gle/dBtNyrGCPELYW6R9A

Urdu: https://forms.gle/G2sarjMDhc5AvcxC6

Policy Initiatives 

Open Data Initiative

mapping gender based

Data, in today’s hyper-digital world, has been monetised and become a site for exploitation. Those who extract, collect and analyse data have acquired immense power, which is often concentrated in the hands of the few.

As a digital rights and feminist organisation, it is our mission to dismantle these structures of power through open data practices. This initiative of mapping online trends through open data principles is a start. We hope this openness and transparency through sharing of knowledge sparks collaborative work that builds on these open data sets to advocate and fight for social justice in both online and offline spaces!

Learn more about our initiative here.

Mapping gender-based violence since the #motorwayincident

This month we tracked incidents of gender-based violence and child abuse since the motorway incident based off reports from English-language newspapers. The dataset can be accessed here.

Disinformation Campaign from Pro-India Accounts

The research team at DRF compiled a list of accounts and tweets disseminating disinformation through extensive Twitter searches online using keywords such as “Karachi”, “Karachi blast”, “civil war” and “FATF” based on an early analysis of sample tweets being identified by fact-checkers in Pakistan. The tweets were catalogued on this spreadsheet which contains 86 tweets originating from a total of 62 accounts.

A report from the data was published and can be found here.

Report: “Availability and responsiveness of gender-based violence helplines in Pakistan” by Digital Rights Foundation and Chayn

Chayn and Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) have collaborated to conduct a comprehensive study of the helplines and resources available to support survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Pakistan.

This study was conducted between May and June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was conducted at a time when infection rates were rising across the country as the state gradually eased several lockdown restrictions. Over this period, reports of GBV, both online and offline, increased around the country.

You can access the report here: https://bit.ly/2IRPknh.

Fact Checking and Source Verification Manual in times of COVID19

DRF launched it’s fact checking and source verification manual in times of COVID19 for journalists and information practitioners with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The manual has been developed keeping in mind this disinfordemic age in times of COVID19. 

You can access the manual here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Fake-News.pdf

Cyber Harassment Helpline September Statistics 

helpline

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 473 complaints in the month of September. In comparison to the previous month of August, this number has slightly increased. It shows that there was a spike in the cases of online violence especially blackmailing through non consensual use of information and images.The number of male complainants calling on behalf of their female friends or family members has also increased. Another observed trend is of social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud. 

Data Privacy Booklet in English and Urdu

DRF with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) released the data privacy booklet in urdu and english highlighting important privacy aspects for young adults. The booklet is specifically designed for young adults and the privacy issues they face online. 

You can access the booklet here in Urdu:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Data-Privacy-Booklet-Urdu.pdf

You can access the booklet here in English:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Data-Privacy-Booklet-English.pdf

Media Coverage 

What is emotional regulation and why is it so important?

Kashfa Zafar wrote on what is emotional regulation and why is it so important? 

Read the full blog here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/what-is-emotional-regulation-and-why-is-it-so-important/

Silent Battles: How Pakistani Women Counter Harassment in Cyberspace

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline provides resources to victims of harassment online especially women who have no place to go. 

Read about the challenges that women face in online spaces here:

https://thediplomat.com/2020/10/silent-battles-how-pakistani-women-counter-harassment-in-cyberspace/

Events and Sessions 

Changing the Face of Politics Podcast

podcast

DRF’s Nighat Dad took part in a podcast on changing the face of politics with Michelle Bachelet. Nighat Dad highlighted the importance of digital rights and gender equality in a democracy with the former president of Chile Michelle. 

You can listen to the full podcast here:

https://t.co/SteeqxlBzt?amp=1

 

Ezine Launch: Feminist Movements Go Online in Pakistan
Date: October 20, Tuesday
Facebook live

Digital Rights Foundation launched its two-part e-magazine titled “Feminist Movements Go Online in Pakistan” to talk about the role online spaces have had in the feminist movement in the country. Some of the authors from the first edition of e-zine came together to discuss the themes they explored in their submissions and the importance of online spaces in creating feminist collectives, communities, and consciousness!

Link to discussion: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=395487908280527

Report Launch: Availability and responsiveness of gender-based violence helplines in Pakistan
Date: October 7
Facebook live

Shmyla from DRF was in conversation with Hera Hussain from Chyan to talk about the launch of our report on helplines working on gender-based violence in Pakistan. The report was done in collaboration with Chayn (you can follow them on Twitter: @ChaynHQ and check out their own on their website: https://chayn.co/). 

You can watch the conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/150002775140293/videos/365983301194907/

Refresher on digital safety tools (for journalists, bloggers, researchers and content creators) - 13th and 14th october

A two-day refresher on basic digital safety tools and techniques was conducted by DRF’s Digital Security Expert to reiterate the importance of integrating these practices in their work, especially in times of Covid-19. Each training was attended by around 10 people each.  

Meeting on creating synergies regarding COVID19 and the human rights situation in Pakistan - NHRF

DRF participated in a meeting on creating synergies regarding COVID19 and the human rights situation in Pakistan by the Norwegian Human Rights Fund. In the meeting DRF’s Nighat Dad highlighted the importance of civil society collaborating and working together in these testing times. 

Rapid Fire Chat

         

Digital Rights Foundation, held its fourth and fifth RapidFire Chat on 23rd and 29th October. The fourth chat invited two panelists, Sabin Agha and Mehar Khursheed, to discuss the spike in bans and censorship and was moderated by Seerat Khan from DRF. The next chat which was held on the World Internet Day talked about the misogyny of the internet with Saba Bano Malik and Atiya Abbas and was hosted by Huma Umer from DRF. The chats were interactive and fun conversations on otherwise loaded and heavy topics and were meant to have a light conversation during the pandemic when the digital spaces are already laden with workshops, webinars and much more. 

Twitter Chat: Home based workers in digital space

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in a twitter chat by UN Women on home based workers in the digital space. The digital gender divide was highlighted by Nighat Dad along with the added labor that women have to do now due to the pandemic. There was a special emphasis laid on how women need to be empowered more and online spaces need to be made safe for them. 

Girls Education during and beyond COVID19- A live webinar series

Science Fuse conducted it’s 4th webinar on girls education during and beyond COVID19. The webinar focused on creating safes for girls both in online and offline spaces. Nighat Dad of DRF participated in the webinar and shed light on how important it is for women to stand together and make online spaces safe just like offline spaces. 

Do you think internet access is a human right?

         

DRF conducted a panel discussion on Facebook live on ‘Do you think internet access is a human right’ with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation on the 28th of October. The panel included DRF’s youth ambassadors Tia Aftab, Zahra Jadoon, Usama Khilji of Bolo Bhi and Nighat Dad executive director of DRF. The discussion focused on what is the internet and why internet access is important. 

You can access the Facebook Live discussion here:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalRightsFoundation/videos/944003699422471/

Cyber Harassment and Offline harassment on campus? What should institutions do?

         

DRF conducted a panel discussion on ‘cyber harassment and offline harassment on campus? What should institutions do?’ with Friedrich Naumann Foundation on the 29th October. The panel discussion included DRF’s youth ambassadors Kenizeh Khan, Eshal Siddiqui, Barrister Jannat Ali Kalyar and Dania Mukhtar of DRF. The discussion highlighted the responsibility of institutions to protects its student body and the need to believe victims when they share their experiences of online and offline harassment. 

You can access the Facebook live discussion here:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalRightsFoundation/videos/1295949887464040/

Legal Clinic Video with Hope

DRF in collaboration with Hope recorded a legal clinic video with Nighat Dad. DRF’s Nighat Dad highlighted the laws one can use to protect themselves online. 

You can access the video here:

https://t.co/RrqM6X80ge?amp=1

Combating Insecurity in the Age of Digital Media Transformations

On 5th and 6th October, DRF organized a workshop for journalists and bloggers on ‘’Combating Insecurity in the Age of Digital Media Transformations’’ in Lahore with Daily Times Newspaper.

 

 

The workshop aimed to discourse if the existing media and journalism ethics are suitable for the evolving digital media landscape or new and diverse standards are required to tackle issues of not only advanced digital security (such as malware attacks directed at journalists and media practitioners) but also misinformation and report on online trends. The session also aimed to highlight digital rights and create awareness about the legal landscape that governs digital platforms for the freedom of media and journalists, how to secure their professional and personal data and avoid perilous practices online as many journalists actively use the digital media as part of their jobs but are still unaware of these tools.

How to Tackle Sexual Harassment:

DRF was invited by the Mirror to deliver a virtual talk session on “How to Tackle Sexual Harassment" on 3 October 2020.

Digital Literacy Drive

DRF conducted it's first session from the Digital Literacy Drive series on the 22nd of October, 2020. The session was headed by Zainab Durrani and Danish Umar who discussed the themes of consent, privacy, the legal protections afforded to the Pakistani digital landscape and the impact of gender disparity on the women and gender minorities.

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms.

You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on [email protected] between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday).

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse. 

www.abaurnahin.pk

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

October 21, 2020 - Comments Off on September 2020: Digital 50.50, third edition released

September 2020: Digital 50.50, third edition released

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Digital 50.50 Third Edition

digital 50.50Third Edition of DRF’s feminist e-magazine was launched in September. It covered articles on how individuals and organisations have been navigating the digital spaces during the global pandemic. A very interesting article discussed the transition of civil society organisations and people from other professions to working in the digital. Another article used Taylor Swift’s songs from her new album, Folklore, to talk about dating apps during the lockdown period and is a must read. The magazine can be accessed here.

UN Women A to Z of Cyber Harassment

DRF with the support of UN Women conducted an awareness raising campaign on online violence through social media posts for three months which also included dissecting cyber harassment and its myths through A to Z of cyber harassment. The posts are available on DRF’s Facebook page and Twitter.

#NoHonourInKilling

While hearing a jail petition for leave to appeal in the case titled 'Muhammad Abbas vs The State', the Supreme Court of Pakistan made observations regarding honour killings in the country. DRF’s campaign ‘#NoHonourInKilling’ aims to shine a light on this and highlight some of the most powerful sections of the order.

honor killing

#PrivacyIsARight: A Digital Campaign for VPNs

DRF conducted an awareness raising campaign through social media on the right to privacy in Pakistan’s context. This included a week-long series of posts discussing encryption, VPNs and details of international treaties with privacy implications that Pakistan is signatory to, as well as a panel discussion titled ‘Understanding VPNs: A Deep Dive into Privacy in Pakistan’. This was cast live via DRF’s Facebook page and is available for viewing there.

#ActivismInPandemic

DRF has launched the #ActivismInPandemic campaign highlighting the important work human rights defenders and journalists have been doing during COVID19. The campaign aims to share experiences of journalists and HRDs during the pandemic and also highlight the importance of managing work and stress during these testing times.

DRF launched the Digital Rapid Fire Chat

DRF launched a new initiative, Digital RapidFire Chat, to discuss issues around online freedom of expression and press freedom in the country. The Digital RapidFire was based on the idea that with the lockdown and the digital space being loaded with talk shows, workshops and webinars, DRF wanted to create a space where panelists could discuss serious, and heavy-loaded issues in a fun, interactive way and through some 'burning questions' that also reduces the cognitive load of the audiences. The first Chat was scheduled for 11th September, for which the decided format could not be implemented as the Motorway rape incident happened so the topic was changed to “Ab Aur Nahin: Ending violence against women's bodies”. For the second Chat, we asked questions from our panelists on  “How feminists in Pakistan deal with online hate?”. A hamper from our team was sent to the panelist who answered more questions, and unmasked the truth behind these issues in a non-triggering and humorous way.

Policy initiatives

DRF part of coalition with International Media Foundation

DRF has joined the coalition with International Media Foundation which focuses on working on journalist safety online and offline. The coalition and DRF has been raising a voice and condemning against online harassment and attacks on journalists during COVID19.

The Adal Aur Sehat Project and DRF collaborate for a session on Cyber Crime Laws, Prevention and Remedies

 

DRF collaborates with the Adal Aur Sehat Project in a session focusing on Cyber Crime Laws, Prevention and Remedies for the masses. DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke to Adal aur Sehar on the topic and highlighted the legal remedies available to people to counter cyber crime in the country.

Helpline August Stats

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 309 complaints in the month of August. In comparison to the previous months during lockdown, this number has decreased. It shows that there was a spike in the cases of online violence especially blackmailing through non consensual use of information and images during lockdown which has now decreased a little. Another observed trend is of social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud.

Statement on Shaheena Shaheen’s brutal murder

Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights issued a statement to strongly condemn the murder of Shaheena Shaheen and demands that there should be adequate follow-up by the state to ensure that the accused is prosecuted and a possible settlement does not impact the prosecution. The statement was signed by around 60 journalists and three women journalists’ coalitions. It can be accessed here.

Media Coverage

Step by Step Guide on How to Report Cyber Harassment in Pakistan

Technology Times covered the step by step guide to report cyber harassment in Pakistan. DRF’s Nighat Dad explained the forms of cyber harassment in online spaces and how to report them to law enforcement agencies.

Read the full article here:

New Controls on the Internet in Pakistan

DRF’s Nighat Dad Dad spoke to NayaDaur on New Controls on the Internet in Pakistan. Raza Rumi moderated the session and Nighat Dad highlighted the recent controls on the internet and how social media companies and the government need to be held accountable for these controls on the internet.

Watch the full discussion here:

Events and Sessions

#MediaFreedom

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke with Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon on how important it is to strengthen free media and tackle intimidation of female journalists.

Data Privacy and Public Health – All Fair in Love and War?

DRF took part in a webinar in collaboration with the Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture (SIUT). The webinar sought to focus on the use of private health data during public health emergencies raises ethical concerns, especially in Pakistan where oversight and regulation of such processes is questionable. The webinar explored the following questions: 1) Do healthcare establishments (private and public) understand what is at stake when private health information is being shared/ monitored? 2) Does the public fully understand it? 3) Are public health officials and government departments cognisant of the consequences of these technologies?

Link to discussion: https://www.facebook.com/cbec.siut/videos/684879222129298.

Post COVID Futures: Can technology build architecture for democratic governance?'

DRF participated in a policy roundtable on the role of technologies in a post-Covid future on September 29th, exploring issues of access and the role technology plays in democratic governance. The roundtable included experts from the tech and media industry as well as members of civil society.

DRF takes part in the IAF seminar, “Making Magic Seminar 2020”

DRF team member, Arslan Athar, took part in an IAF Seminar, “Making Magic”, which was an intensive training about digital facilitation and online campaigns. The seminar was a week long, with participants from all over the world, and experts from the field of event and campaign management coming in to speak to the cohort.

DRF takes part in an online program organized by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF)

The FNF organized a visiting program on "Propaganda, Automation and Digital Politics" which was conducted digitally from the 7th to 10th September 2020.

“Has The PTA Swiped Left On Love?”

DRF spoke to Atiya Abbas, who wrote for our feminist e-magazine, Digital 50.50, about her experiences speaking to people to Tinder for research. Following the ban on Tinder and other dating apps in Pakistan, we asked Atiya about the effects of the ban on Pakistani society and what Tinder really meant to a lot of people, who used it for networking, rather than just dating.

DRF Cyber Harassment Helpline Webinar Series

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline conducted a series of webinars ‘Deconstructing Cyber Harassment’ with the support of UN women to discuss digital safety practices, legal remedies and psychological impact of online violence. Our DRF team of expert guest speakers each contributed their unique experiences and expertise; focusing on strategies for listeners to better protect themselves to reduce risk and vulnerability in the backdrop of increased harassment and violence offline and online.

Jinnah Institute Policy Roundtable Post COVID Fututes: Technology and Social Integration in South Asia

DRF participated in the Jinnah Institute Policy Roundtable on Post COVID Futures: Technology and Social Integration in South Asia. DRF’s Nighat Dad focused on how technology has enabled positive governance and participation in politics and also highlighted the integration of technology in South Asia.

Facts Not Filters - FPU

DRF is collaborating with Free Press Unlimited on a project  - Facts Not Filters - in which international students of Royal Dutch Arts Academy will be exploring the different geographical contexts, including Pakistan, in which journalists work. DRF’s Program Manager, Maryam Saeed, and two journalists from the Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights, Sabin Agha and Umaima Ahmed, explained the context of Pakistan and the challenges that women journalists face because of their profession and gender.

#KeepItOn Webinar

DRF participated in the webinar Fighting against Internet Shutdowns in 2020 through strategic advocacy. Nighat Dad of DRF spoke with a panel of experts about internet shutdowns in 2020 and how these shutdowns are becoming frequent. They highlighted how these shutdowns are unconstitutional and must be put to a stop.

Workplace Safety- Creating Safer and Inclusive Work Cultures

DRF participated in the Workplace Safety Creating Safer and Inclusive Work Cultures. Nighat Dad shed light on the workplace harassment act and highlighted that implementation of the law is important along with the importance of reform within the legislation.

Digital Detox and Self Care

An online training was conducted by Saba Sabir from DRF with female digital journalists from our Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights on digital detox and self-care. The training focused on identifying digital burnout and implementing strategies for well-being in the digital space. Through the training, DRF intended to empower journalists to create more mindful, meaningful, well-rounded lives both online and off while not letting their profession be affected.

 

Virginity Tests and Assessment of Victim’s Character in Rape and Sexual Assault Cases: Legal Perspectives

This panel discussion was arranged by the LUMS Law Alumni Association in collaboration with the LUMS Law Journal. Our team member moderated the group discussion. Video is available on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8AGwN5s9eA

Understanding VPNS #PrivacyIsARight

DRF conducted a session on Understanding VPNs on the 7th of September, 2020 with three esteemed panelists. We had Usama Khilji of Bolo Bhi, Hera Hussain, CEO of CHAYN Organization and Mubariz Siddiqi, General Counsel for Sarmayacar with Zainab Durrani (Project Manager, DRF) moderating the panel.

The discussion revolved around the workings of VPN, myths and lies associated with it, usage and its types, the call for registration of VPNs by PTA and the impact of regulating VPNs, from a human rights and business perspective.

Tackling Misinformation during times of COVID19

DRF conducted two sessions on Tackling Misinformation during times of COVID19 on the 23rd and 25th of September. The session was conducted with journalists and other relevant stakeholders where a much needed conversation took place around how misinformation has increased during the pandemic. The session was possible with the help and support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF).

Hamara Internet Online Safety of Young Adults Sessions

DRF conducted a series of sessions under the Hamara Internet program on Online Safety of Young Adults in Pakistan.The sessions took place with young adults in which different themes on online safety and violence were highlighted. The sessions were conducted by DRF’s youth ambassadors who discussed different themes like online harassment, data protection, privacy, cyber bullying, online safety and fake news in detail. The youth ambassadors were divided into two groups and a total of 8 sessions took place for the participants who were from across Pakistan. The sessions were possible with the help and support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF).

Training on Online Safety training with ASR

DRF conducted the three day residency training on Online Safety with team ASR focusing on how the organization should keep their data safe and how they should protect themselves online.

Online Session Cyber Security Fatima Jinnah University Session

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke in an online session with Fatima Jinnah University on Cyber Security. She presented the DRF helpline as a resource to cyber harassment and also focused on keeping privacy settings strong on social media. The session was attended by 170 students from Fatima Jinnah University.

Online Safety Training with HRD’s in Sindh

 

 

DRF’s Nighat Dad conducted an Online Safety session with human rights defenders in Sindh highlighting the importance of privacy online and also introducing the cyber harassment helpline as a resource to counter violence online.

 

 

 

Lincoln’s Corner Session - Janat

On September 23, Jannat Fazal program manager cyber harassment helpline moderated a session on why i didn't report at Lincoln's corner sindh. The session focused on the reasons that prevent assault victims from coming forward with their complaints. It also focused on the systemic oppression  of the authorities that dissuades victims.

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms. Because of the observed increase in cyber harassment complaints during COVID 19 lockdown, DRF had made its cyber harassment helpline operational 24/7 for three months and now that the lockdown is lifted and a decrease in complaints has been observed, the helpline is back to functioning as per usual.

Contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on [email protected] between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday). You can also reach out to us on our social media channels.

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse.

www.abaurnahin.pk

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

September 17, 2020 - Comments Off on August 2020: DRF launches the Digital Detox Campaign

August 2020: DRF launches the Digital Detox Campaign

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

#HamaraInternet #MehfoozInternet

Under the Cyber Harassment Helpline advocacy campaigns, a comic strip with impactful graphics was released online which focused on victim blaming of cyber harassment. The comic strip highlighted how victim blaming decreases the likelihood that survivors will share their traumatic experience and seek support. It called on the audiences to take action against this attitude and shift the blame from the victim to the perpetrator.

In order to combat cyber bullying, which ruins people’s online experiences, we need to understand why people do this so that we are able to design our strategies accordingly. DRF released an infographic to shed light on some of these reasons.

DRF also launched another campaign called 'A to Z of Cyber Harassment', in which we unpack everything that makes up cyber harassment and what we need to know to protect ourselves online.

DRF’s Digital Detox Campaign

As part of DRF’s ongoing advocacy around raising awareness on cyber harassment, it shared and encouraged its audience online to participate in Bingos on various digital rights issues. One of the bingos, ‘how many of these steps do you take for your digital detox?’ had the highest number of interactions and retweets. It was also well-received on Instagram with many followers self-reflecting and pledging to do a better digital detox for their well-being. Another bingo focused on what entails cyber bullying behavior as a first step to understand what people need to do to make online spaces safe for all.

       

#ActivismInPandemic

     

DRF has launched the #ActivismInPandemic campaign highlighting the important work human rights defenders and journalists have been doing during COVID19. The campaign aims to share experiences of journalists and HRDs during the pandemic and also highlight the importance of managing work and stress during these testing times.

Policy initiatives

Cyber Harassment Helpline July Statistics

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 697 complaints in the month of July. In comparison to the previous months prior lockdown , this is a huge number. It shows a spike in the cases of online violence especially blackmailing through non consensual use of information and images. Another observed trend is of social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud.

   

Media Coverage

Pakistani journalists stand up against online harassment

Ramsha Jahangir, our member of the Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights highlighted how online spaces have been weaponized recently. In DRF’s study ‘Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan’ it was found that women in journalism and activism were subjected to online harassment and abuse.

Read the full article here around harassment that women journalists have been facing:
https://ipi.media/pakistani-journalists-stand-up-against-online-harassment/

Pakistan tells Youtube to block ‘objectionable’ content’

DRF’s Nighat Dad shared her thoughts around Pakistan’s statement to Youtube regarding objectionable content on the platforms.

Read the full article here:
https://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-tells-youtube-block-objectionable-102002066.html

DRF on Coffee Table with Mina Malik Hussain on domestic violence

29 August 2020: A discussion on domestic violence

DRF’s Dania Mukhtar participated on Indus News on the show Coffee Table with Mina Malik Hussain with Kanwal Ahmed (Founder of Soul Sisters) around domestic violence. Dania highlighted the cases the cyber harassment helpline has received around domestic violence and also mentioned Ab Aur Nahin as a resource to victims of domestic violence.

Link to show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofKQe-cOe0g&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0fJAYu4G3YSGr9eBTZja5QhBfodwg-l8XLq0LfGF4F6bnm6CS4KsSk42g

Events and Sessions

DRF on International Youth Day on webinar on Breaking Barriers for Meaningful Youth Engagement

DRF’s Nighat Dad shared her thoughts on International Youth Day on ‘Breaking Barriers for Meaningful Youth Engagement’. Nighat highlighted on the digital dividend to engage youth across the country and globally. She also highlighted the struggle it takes for women to reclaim spaces.

DRF on NHRF’s discussion on protection of HRDs and their work

DRF participated in a discussion hosted by the Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF) around protection of HRDs and their work. Nighat Dad participated in the discussion and shed light on the online safety trainings the organization has conducted due to NHRF’s help and support.

DRF at Right To Information: Need, Use and Status on 14th August

DRF participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Senior Journalists Forum on ‘Right to Information: Need, Use and Status’. The webinar took place on 14th August and highlighted the importance of right to information and its current use and status within the country.

DRF at “Digital Pakistan – The Future of Politics: Lessons and Opportunities” on 21st August

DRF participated in the webinar ‘Digital Pakistan- The Future of Politics: Lessons and Opportunities’ on 21st August. The session was organized by the Senior Journalists Forum and focused on the use of digital technologies for politics and mobilization.

DRF hosted a tweetchat on ‘How Activism has changed post COVID19’

DRF organized a tweetchat on 26th August 2020, around how activism has changed post COVID19. The participants in the tweetchat were Nighat Dad (lawyer, human rights activist and Facebook oversight board member), Imaan Mazari (lawyer and human rights activist), Moneeza Ahmed (feminist, humanistic therapist and an activist focusing on community development) and Sabin Muzaffar (founder and executive director of Ananke- a digital platform empowering women through awareness, advocacy and education). The tweetchat was an extension of DRF’s online campaign on #ActivismInPandemic and highlighted the key issues activists have been facing during COVID19 and what social media companies can do in order to protect them.

DRF at ‘Implementing SDG 16.10.1 (Protection of Women Journalist and Media Workers) for ensuring gender response media environment in Pakistan on 28th August

DRF participated in the Sustainable Development Goal 16.10.1 which focused on  protection of women journalists and media workers on the 28th of August. DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke about the threats female journalists are facing in the cyber world and also highlighted the importance of a gender responsive media environment in the session.

DRF in Provincial Consultation on Gender Bases Violence- Strengthening the Response

DRF participated in an ‘Provincial Consultation on Gender Based Violence – Strengthening the Response’ under the Awaz II program organized by Peace & Justice Network (PJN) held on 26 August 2020. The purpose of the consultation was to identify specific advocacy points to prevent and address gender-based violence in Punjab. In addition to assessing the legislative and institutional frameworks, the consultation also examined how prevalent social norms can be changed by both improving women’s access to legal processes regarding the registration and prosecution of crimes as well as addressing public shame. The deliberations of the consultation would be used to inform the advocacy agenda for the Aawaz Provincial Forum.

Digital Safety Conference by LACAS and DRF

August 7  - August 8

DRF and LACAS, in collaboration, hosted the "Digital Safety Conference"  to create a better understanding of how the digital world works and its impact on students. Moreover, bring students, teachers and parents on the same page of how to deal with the pressing issues related to the digital world. The event was held virtually and included representatives from a social media company, legal specialists, mental health counselors and student speakers. The two panels in the conference included “Cyberbullying, its Impact and being a Responsible Netizens” and “Parenting in the age of the internet”.

Facebook Live Session: Will banning the internet fix the mental health pandemic?

Our mental health expert, Saba Sabir, conducted an informative live session on the link between online spaces and mental health. We explored the possibility that while online spaces can result in tangible mental health harms, it is also a space for connection and expression particularly at a time where we are socially distancing. The session can be accessed here.

DRF conducted a session with Dastak on Online Safety

DRF conducted a semi-advanced online safety session with the team members of Dastak Charitable Organization on the 7th of August, 2020.

The session covered apps and tools that can be used to increase safety in the digital space.

DRF organized a session with AWAM on Online Safety

DRF organized a second session with the Faislabad-based organization AWAM as a part of its interaction with civil society organizations on the 25th of August, 2020.

The session covered apps and tools that can be used to increase safety in the digital space.

DRF’s session with WISE on Cyber Harassment and Online Safety

DRF collaborated with WISE on the 7th of August and hosted a session around the internet and online safety. The session was attended by female students, teachers and community activists. The session focused on cyber harassment and introduced the cyber harassment helpline as a resource to the participants along with other intitiaves like Ab aur nahin (providing legal pro bono service to domestic abuse and harassment victims)  and IWF portal (to report child sexual abuse online).

Privacy Laws in Pakistan

Zainab Durrani from DRF participated in a session of PCL Talks hosted by Pakistan College of Law and LEAP Pakistan that covered privacy laws in Pakistan. The discussion centered around privacy as a concept in general, as a right and now a digital necessity. Zainab discussed the cultural connotations of privacy and DRF’s position on the current Personal Data Protection Bill.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=691556761717106&ref=watch_permalink

Gender sensitization session with journalists

DRF conducted a two-day online workshop on 9th-10th August 2020 on gender-sensitive reporting for women journalists and content creators. The workshop was attended by 14 participants. It also had a dedicated session on covering covid-19 from a gender-sensitive perspective. The training included a practical component after completion that required all participants to submit a short story covered from a gender-sensitive perspective.

Data Privacy in Asia

Our Project Manager Zainab Durrani participated in a tweet chat organized by Undatify Me that looked into the current privacy laws and regulations in Asia. The chat covered any issues with these laws, campaigns and movements that converged on the overall theme of privacy and the existing resources for people who want to learn more about these themes and the need for more such resources and reliable literature to be developed around it.

DRF with the support of FNF hosted two sessions of the Hamara Internet Online Safety Program

DRF hosted two sessions with the support of FNF with young adults in the Hamara Internet Online Safety Program. The sessions were conducted by DRF’s five youth ambassadors who focused on privacy and data protection of young adults in the country. The youth ambassadors were divided into teams and Team A conducted the session on 21st August with their group whereas Team B conducted their session on 22nd August with their respective group.

Sessions with Anew and FNF

Our partner FNF provided our team members with the wonderful opportunity to attend a 4-part training course with the team at Anew where they learnt about and discussed meaningful and impactful engagement, especially given the myriad of restrictions with conducting sessions and interacting with stakeholders and audience. These sessions took place in the last two weeks of August and were just the need of the hour for our trainers.

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Because of the observed increase in cyber harassment complaints during COVID 19 lockdown,  DRF made its cyber harassment helpline operational 24/7 for three months. The cyber harassment helpline is offering the services free of cost for anyone who calls in or reaches out to us via social media or email. These include legal aid, the digital help desk, and mental health counseling. During these three months, our toll-free number is  accessible every day of the week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, our mental health counselors are working from 10 AM to 9 PM each day as well. Our mental health counselors are trained professionals providing free of cost counseling to women and marginalized communities. During all other hours of the day, our team is attending to complaints and queries through online platforms.

Contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on [email protected]. You can also reach out to us on our social media channels.

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all-time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse.

www.abaurnahin.pk

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 amterial in three different languaged- English, Urdu and Pashto. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

August 12, 2020 - Comments Off on July 2020: Digital 50.50, second edition released

July 2020: Digital 50.50, second edition released

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Digital 50.50 Second Edition

Digital Rights Foundation released the second edition of its e-magazine, Digital 50.50. This edition focused on the mental health impact and coping strategies during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the topics covered included, a feature on how children are making sense of the coronavirus lockdown, a narrative on digital healing and connectedness during the lockdown and listicle on strategies to do an effective digital detox for mental health and well-being. The reception received by the magazine has so far been amazing and we hope to continue supporting writers and content creators in creating visually strong and intersectional-feminist stories. Do give it a read here or skim through, we have filled it with love for our readers.

Hamara Internet and #MahfoozInternet Campaign

DRF has been taking forward the Hamara Internet campaign on #MahfoozInternet on Twitter highlighting the different aspects of digital rights in Pakistan. The campaign has been focusing on repelling section 20 of PECA 2016, regularly changing passwords to keep devices safe and secure and how social media companies track browser history of individuals.

DRF’s 5 Youth Ambassadors for the Hamara Internet Online Safety Program

DRF launched the Hamara Internet Youth Ambassador Program online and picked 5 youth ambassadors from across Pakistan on a vigorous application process online. The five youth ambassadors will be implementing the Hamara Internet Online Safety curriculum with young adults aged 14 till 18 years old.

Policy initiatives

DRF comments and Objections on the Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020

DRF released its comments and objections on the Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020. DRF reiterated their statement again that the rules are an attack on the fundamental rights of citizens in the country and shed light on why advocacy groups are boycotting consultation on the matter.

Read the full comments below:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/comments-on-the-consultation-objections-to-the-rules/

Statement against the ban of Bigo live and warning issued to TikTok:

DRF released a statement regarding the ban on the app Bigo live and the warning issued to TikTok recently by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). In the statement it was highlighted how banning both these apps is an attack on the constitutional right of freedom of expression of citizens in the country.

Read the full statement here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-rights-foundation-expresses-concern-regarding-banning-of-popular-social-media-applications-tiktok-and-bigo-live/

Joint Statement on The Digital Gap during COVID 19 focusing on online classes

Students across Pakistan have been protesting against the shift to online classrooms, rightly pointing out that as students from less urban centers move back home, they either lack access to high-speed internet or no internet at all. DRF released a statement on the digital gap during COVID19 highlighting the problems people are facing with this transition to online spaces. #Internet4GilgitBaltistan #OnlineClasses

Read the full statement here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/joint-statement-by-digital-rights-foundation-and-bolobhi-the-digital-gap-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-exasperating-inequalities/

Cyber Harassment Helpline June Statistics

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 413 complaints in the month of June only. In comparison to the previous months, this is a huge number. It shows a spike in the cases of online violence especially social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud.

 

Read about our findings in the following articles:

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/cyber-harassment-on-the-rise-in-pakistan-report-says-1.72354581

https://www.technologytimes.pk/2020/07/02/cyber-harassment-on-the-rise-in-pakistan-report-says/

Media Coverage

DRF on GEO News focusing on how to prevent trolling on social media

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad spoke on Geo News highlighting trolling and how to prevent it in online spaces. She highlighted what measures people can take to avoid trolling and how cyberbullying is a problem in online spaces which should be focused on more.

Nighat Dad spoke on VOA about #unbanPUBG

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad spoke to Voice of America (VOA) about the PUBG ban and how this will have repercussions on our digital economy. She focused on why it is important to #unbanPUBG.

Watch the full interview here:

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CDCCXmIjPdJ/?igshid=11mk74l783mpa

Nighat Dad highlights in the News on ‘Any unwarranted restriction by animal market on digital media poses a threat to the nascent industry’

DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad spoke to the News about restrictions being posed on vloggers and bloggers online. She also highlighted how the restriction of speech of influencers and people online is a direct threat to their freedom of expression and a violation of the constitution.

Read the full article here:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/689312-any-unwarranted-restriction-on-digital-media-poses-a-threat-to-the-nascent-industry?_ga=2.128972876.1732215066.1595183554-673778655.1584952470

Digital Exclusion Cripples life in the pandemic

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad shared how digital exclusion silences democratic voices in the country. She talked about how internet connectivity is a serious issue in Pakistan and how it has suffered over the years.

Read the full article here:

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/pakistan-s-digital-exclusion-cripples-life-in-the-pandemic-38503

پاکستانی تعلیمی اداروں میں جنسی ہراس کتنا سنگین مسئلہ ہے؟

DRF’s ED gave comments about how harassment in educational institutions is a growing problem and how institutions need to do more to address these problems.

Read the full article here:

https://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan-53566551

Dawn’s Editorial highlights in its editorial about banning online apps

Dawn’s editorial highlighted about banning apps online and retreated DRF’s point on how the justification of such bans to ‘protect’ children is akin to banning highways to prevent road accidents.

Read the full editorial here:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1570991

Events and Sessions

DRF at the School of Tomorrow discussing ‘Freedom & privacy in information societies’ #SOT2020

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at Beaconhouse's School of Tomorrow conference on ‘Freedom and Privacy in Information Societies’. She shed light on how every individual is vulnerable online and how one must deal with issues of hacking and privacy breach. She also highlighted why it is important to be aware of your digital footprint.

Watch the full conversation here:

https://twitter.com/memoonashahid/status/1281539835887603714?s=20

Nighat Dad on Digital Rights Digital Divides and the new normal? (A talk by Nighat Dad)

Nighat Dad gave a talk on Digital Rights Digital Divide and the new normal on 21st July. She discussed online spaces post pandemic and particularly highlighted how the online landscape in Pakistan has changed and evolved post pandemic.

DRF at the webinar ‘The critical challenges of tackling hate speech, xenophobia, rhetoric, and incitement to hatred against minorities’

DRF participated in a webinar series on debating challenges for minority protection and spoke on the ‘Critical challenges of tackling hate speech, xenophobia rhetoric and incitement to hatred against minorities’. Nighat Dad spoke at the event on July 2nd and 9th.

DRF conducted a virtual session with Lincoln Corner ‘Digital Rights & Reporting Cyber Bullying’

DRF conducted a virtual session with Lincoln’s corner on ‘Digital Rights & Reporting Cyber Bullying’. Nighat Dad spoke in detail on how protecting one’s individual identity online is important and what one must do to respond to cyber harassment. She also highlighted the cyber harassment helpline and other intitriaves of DRF to tackle cyber harassment and cyberbullying online.

Consultation on VPN registration

DRF held a virtual consultation on the issue of VPN registration by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) with civil society actors, lawyers and industry stakeholders. The consultation was an opportunity to understand the impact of regulating VPNs on not only digital rights indicators, but also the viability of the digital economy in Pakistan.

Meeting with FIA

DRF’s cyber harassment helpline held a meeting with the Cyber Crime Wing of the FIA on July 6, 2020 to discuss the ways in which the work of our law enforcement agencies can be improved to make the internet safer for women and gender minorities.

RightsCon Panels

Digital rights solidarities in South Asia
July 31, 2020

DRF hosted its community lab session on the state of digital rights in South Asia with participants from India, Bangladesh and Nepal to understand the common trends in digital rights and state policies in the region. The aim of this session was also to forge solidarities and partnerships in the region based on our shared histories and challenges.

Between regulation and rights: empowering the citizen through media and information literacy in the context of misinformation and offline violence
July 30, 2020

DRF took part in Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)’s session at RightsCon 2020. The session (available here) brought a diversity of perspectives of media and information literacy practitioners from the Global North and South to tease out the nuances of the operation of the phenomenon in different socio-political contexts, the government responses, and the role of civil society in mainstreaming media and information literacy within the communities they work with.

Technology-facilitated hate speech and digital activism
July 31, 2020

DRF also took part in BoloBhi’s panel on online hate speech with Arzu Geybullayeva from Azerbaijan and Alex Warofka from Facebook. The session delved into an in-depth discussion about technology facilitated hate speech on social media platforms with special focus on hate received by digital activism. The session analyzed the impact this hate speech has on the movements and their actors, and seeks to explore ways to deal with it.

DRF Attends Uproar Training on 3rd July

Members of  DRF attended an online training on using the uproar tools, which are quite useful for improving research and advocacy skills with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Curbing Cyber Harassment in rapidly digitalizing world

On 23rd July, DRF took part in a facebook live session to address cyber harassment in a digitalized world. Muhammad Usman represented DRF at this session which was hosted by Peace and Justice Network Pakistan. Usman spoke on the offenses under PECA and on the reporting mechanisms and procedures of cybercrimes in Pakistan.

DRF at UNESCO webinar on ‘Advanced ICTs & Artificial Intelligence: Human Rights & Development Intersection

Nighat Dad spoke on UNESCO’s webinar on ‘Advanced ICTs & Artificial Intelligence: Human rights & Development Intersection’. She highlighted our growing reliance on ICT’s and technology and also highlighted how digital rights are important and need to be implemented in online spaces.

DRF at webinar on ‘Safer and Equal Online Space for Women’

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1668862656610192&ref=watch_permalink

DRF spoke at the webinar ‘Safer and Equal Online Space for Women’. She highlighted how the internet and technology need to be accessible to women for it to move ahead. She also emphasized how these spaces aren’t safe for women and gendered minorities and the responsibility of social media channels to make these spaces safe for all.

A talk on domestic violence in Pakistan

DRF’s Dania Mukhtar spoke on a talk on domestic abuse in Pakistan. She highlighted how domestic abuse has been on the rise in times of COVID19 and what the law says in terms of domestic abuse cases in Pakistan

Watch the full video here:

https://web.facebook.com/sujagvideos/videos/716058139215895

Meeting with Women Action Forum (Lahore) dated 14 July 2020

DRF presented its comments to the amendments proposed by UN Women to the ‘The Punjab Protection against Harassment of Women at the WorkplaceAct, 2010’. After the meeting, the teams of DRF and WAF decided to form a committee to propose amendments to this law as well as the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act, 2016.

Session with AWAM

DRF conducted an online safety session with team members of

Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) Organization of Faislabad on the 29th of July, 2020.

The session covered a basic understanding of how to keep oneself secure and protected from risks while working and operating digitally and was well-received by our participants.

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In the wake of COVID 19 lockdown when cyber harassment cases have increased  DRF has made its cyber harassment helpline operational 24/7 for three months. The cyber harassment helpline is offering the services free of cost for anyone who calls in or reaches out to us via social media or email. These include legal aid, the digital help desk, and mental health counseling. During these three months, our toll-free number is  accessible every day of the week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, our mental health counselors are working from 10 AM to 9 PM each day as well. Our mental health counselors are trained professionals providing free of cost counseling to women and marginalized communities. During all other hours of the day, our team is attending to complaints and queries through online platforms.

Contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on [email protected]. You can also reach out to us on our social media channels.

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all-time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment.

www.abaurnahin.pk

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. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

https://report.iwf.org.uk/pk

July 13, 2020 - Comments Off on June 2020: DRF launches Digital 50.50 e-magazine

June 2020: DRF launches Digital 50.50 e-magazine

1: Online campaigns and initiatives

Digital 50.50

Digital Rights Foundation launched its newest initiative, a feminist e-magazine called the Digital 50.50, a monthly e-magazine that aims to create an open space for ideas, opinions, art, and discourse on a wide array of topics in the digital rights arena from an intersectional feminist lens. The idea behind launching Digital 50.50 is rooted in our organization’s goal to make online spaces safer and equal for womxn journalists and support them in providing reliable information to the public. To ensure gender-sensitive reporting and amplify women’s voices, Digital 50.50 believes that the inclusion of women is a must in all roles - from content creators and editors to experts, sources, and subjects of stories and art. The theme for the first issue was ‘Impact of Covid-19 on women and girls in online and offline spaces’ and it covered a diverse range of features on how the coronavirus pandemic has transformed the work that journalists do, the rise in incels online, increasing cases of domestic abuse and the economic issues faced by women workers and laborers.

Statement by DRF to save OTF

The US government has recently announced to push money and funding to closed source tools which considerably has adverse effects on the Open Tech Foundation (OTF). OTF’s work is under threat and OTF has been supporting countless journalists, human rights defenders, and organizations working on human rights. DRF condemns this move against open source technology and OTF.

Read our full statement here: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/drf-condemns-move-against-open-source-technology-and-otf/

Campaign on Digital Laws Asia

DRF, in partnership with APC, did a day-long campaign highlighting the legal landscape of Pakistan with regards to its Digital Laws. This campaign was held across South Asia on the same day and was meant to show a cross-comparison of countries in this region. DRF particularly highlighted the Citizen’s Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 which restrict freedom of expression and privacy online of citizens. DRF and other organizations have also given out a statement on no consultation on the rules without withdrawal.

Click to read our statement on the rules: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/drf-condemns-citizens-protection-against-online-harm-rules-2020-as-an-affront-on-online-freedoms/

No Consultation Without Withdrawl of Rules:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pvTqMRF3_fWaH5gQg6DNa9G2ldpAdY_3/view

COVID19 contact tracing

DRF analyzed the COVID19 contact tracing app and raised its concerns regarding possible surveillance through the app and the safety of the user’s data.

Read our full analysis here: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/covid-19-gov-pk-the-tech-to-battle-coronavirus/

Campaign on together for reliable information

In collaboration with the Free Press Unlimited, Digital Rights Foundation participated in a campaign to highlight the work done by DRF and its Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights to bring accurate and reliable information to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign included a series of videos from DRF’s team on our role in bringing reliable information on digital rights to our beneficiaries and the general public and the launch of a toolkit for journalists and content creators on how to keep themselves safe considering the new set of risks and threats being posed in the online spaces. It also brought to the public, a series of visual stories from the journalistic frontline of Covid-19.

DRF internship program

DRF is proud to launch our internship program for this year and also introduce our brilliant batch of interns in the past who worked tirelessly to help us in what we do. To know more about our work and the different projects our interns worked on click on the link below:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/internship-program/

2: Policy Initiatives

Cyber Harassment Helpline Report 2019

DRF released Cyber Harassment Helpline’s annual report of 2019 on 24th June. The report highlights complaint trends observed in the previous year as well as the policy recommendations for all the stakeholders. Concerning trends observed were the increase of attacks on mobile wallets/ e-wallets like EasyPaisa and phishing attacks where people were targeted through WhatsApp or text messaging. The Helpline saw a total of 2023 cases being reported, with a daily average of 146 calls per month in 2019. When compared to the overall complaints the Helpline had received over three years, the calls from 2019 account for 45% of all complaints. This showed an alarming increase in the number of cases over time and a disturbing upward trend in cyber-harassment cases.

Link to report:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DRF-Helpline-Report-2019-3.pdf

Forum on Information and Democracy working group to combat infodemic and information chaos

The forum on information and democracy launched their first working group to combat infodemic and information chaos and making a policy framework to tackle this crisis. Our ED Nighat Dad is a part of this forum where the mission is to assist with the regulation and self-regulation of the online information and communication domain and to implement the goals of the International Partnership for Information and Democracy that was launched during the UN General Assembly in September 2019 and has now been signed by 37 countries.

Read about the working group here:

https://informationdemocracy.org/2020/06/24/forum-launches-working-group-to-combat-infodemic-information-chaos/

Blog on Internet shutdown in Quetta

DRF observed with great concern the internet shutdown in the provincial capital of Quetta earlier last month that affected the lives of the Baloch residents. The effects of cutting off an essential resource extend not only to the difficulties in the work of journalists who are covering the news in the midst of a pandemic but also to the safety of all those who have to venture out to work and have limited access to their families as well as the access of information to all citizens in the affected area.

Link to the blog post:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/quetta-internet-shutdown/

Blog on countries wanting to regulate and control VPNs and their access

DRF’s intern Areeba Jibril pens down her thoughts around countries regulating and controlling VPNs and how that might be a direct threat to an individual’s privacy, free speech, and elections. She tweets at @AreebaJibril

Link to blog:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/virtual-private-networks-no-longer-private-as-pta-requires-registration/

3: Media Engagement

189% increase in cyber-harassment cases during COVID19 (Policy brief)

Cyber Harassment Helpline released a policy brief on 3rd June delineating the number of cases and complaint trends observed during the lockdown. An increase in the number of complaints during lockdown was observed. The helpline received a combined 136 complaints in March and April during the lockdown compared to 47 complaints, an increase of 189 percent, before the lockdown in January and February. The majority of cases received at the cyber harassment helpline during the lockdown months pertained to blackmailing through non-consensual sharing of information, intimate pictures, and videos. Complaints of hate speech, phishing, fake profiles, and defamation were also reported. These complaints were only received through online mediums (Emails, social media platforms) as Cyber harassment helpline’s toll-free number was inactive. The policy brief also suggested measures for the government to tackle this issue of increased cyber harassment.

Link to policy brief:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Covid-19.pdf

Press coverage of brief:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1561065

https://ibcurdu.com/news/111316/

DRF on morning show ‘Aaj Pakistan with Sidra Iqbal’

Nighat Dad spoke on the morning show ‘Aaj Pakistan with Sidra Iqbal’ highlighting how social media and our personal lives are interlinked. She also highlighted how everyone is vulnerable on social media and it is important to aware of what you’re sharing online.

Link to show:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtKHNL7HkVU

Inside Pakistan’s COVID19 Contact Tracing app

DRF spoke to The Diplomat around Pakistan’s COVID19 Contact Tracing App and how boundaries need to be established by the state when they’re introducing such an app. It was highlighted how the privacy of users should also be considered when the app is introduced.

Read the full article here:

https://thediplomat.com/2020/07/inside-pakistans-covid-19-contact-tracing/

4: Events and Sessions

Human Rights in the Digital era: Business respect for civil and political rights in times of emergency

Nighat Dad participated in the United Nations Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights 2020. She spoke on a panel on ‘Human Rights in the Digital Era: Business Respect for Civil and Political Rights in times of emergence’. She particularly highlighted the human rights implications of business tackling during COVID 19.

Link to details of the session:

https://rbhr2020.heysummit.com/talks/human-rights-in-the-digital-era-business-respect-for-civil-and-political-rights-in-times-of-emergency/#

APAC Insight 2- True Lies: Misinformation, Censorship and the Open Internet

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad spoke in the webcast ‘True Lies: Misinformation, Censorship and the Open Internet’ hosted by Internet Society Asia Pacific (ISOC) on 30th June. Nighat emphasized on the disinformation campaigns around Pakistan recently and how that is a direct threat to activists to the country.

Link to webcast:

https://isoc.live/12355/

DRF in webinar on How to reduce the digital gender divide in post-pandemic Pakistan

On 16th June DRF in collaboration with the Swedish embassy did a webinar on ‘How to reduce the digital gender divide in post-pandemic Pakistan’. The webinar started with a keynote address from the Swedish ambassador, Ingrid Johansson and later had a presentation by Camila Wagner and Nighat Dad. Camila Wagner, an awarded journalist specializing in societal challenges. She presently runs Klara K, consultants in public affairs, crisis management and leadership. Camila explained the digital gender divide across the globe and in Sweden while DRF’s Nighat Dad drew stark differences between Pakistan and Sweden, and how still much needed to be done in the country.

Online Violence against women during COVID19 at #WOWGlobal24- British council

Nighat Dad spoke about online violence against women during COVID19 ad #WOWGlobal24 by British Council. She shared statistics from the helpline in which we saw an increase in online violence complaints on the helpline by 180% in the month of March when the lockdown was imposed as opposed to January and February of 2020.

 

Click here to read about what she said:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1565792/wow-festival-begins-online

Roundtable on cybercrime and harassment

Nighat Dad spoke on the roundtable on ‘Cyber Harassment Under the Shadow of Corona: Incidence, Control and Punishment’ hosted by the National Initiative against Organized Crime Pakistan. She highlighted how cyber harassment has increased during these times and how cyber harassment helpline is a resource for people facing harassment online.

 

 

 

Emerging stories: Journalism in times of isolation FPU

DRF’s ED participated in Freedom Press Unlimited’s Emerging stories focusing on journalism in times of isolation. She highlighted the work DRF has done with journalists and the challenges journalists are facing on the ground here due to the pandemic.

 

Link to the panel:

https://dezwijger.nl/programma/journalism-in-times-of-isolation-10

 

Courting the Law’s discussion on ‘Rights in the Digital Age’

DRF participated in Candid with Pasha on a live discussion on the ‘Personal Data Protection Bill 2020- How will it impact individuals and corporate?’ on 8th June. She highlighted the discrepancies in the bill and how more work needs to be done around it.

Link to discussion:

Candid with P@SHA - Ep-4 - The Personal Data Protection Bill

In the Next Episode of Candid with P@SHA, we have a Live Panel Discussion on "The Personal Data Protection Bill 2020 - How will it impact Individuals and Corporate?"Our panelists are:- Syed Junaid Imam - Member IT, Ministry of IT&T- Saifullah Khan - Managing Partner, S.U.Khan Associates Corporate & Legal Consultants and Member of P@SHA Legal Committee- Nighat Dad - Founder at Digital Rights Foundation- Badar Khushnood - Co-Founder Bramerz (Pvt.) Ltd.This session will be moderated by Mujeeb Zahur - MD, S&P Global & VC P@SHACatch us LIVE this Monday (June 8th, 2020) at 04:00 PM on P@SHA's Facebook Page for an in-depth analysis!From the event page linked below, you can add a reminder to your calendar:https://www.pasha.org.pk/events/candid-with-pasha-ep-4/Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/899226477246360/#CandidWithPASHA #COVID19 #LIVEDiscussion #DataProtectionBill

Posted by Pakistan Software Houses Association on Monday, June 8, 2020

 

Increased cyber harassment during COVID19 on FM101

DRF spoke on FM 101 around how harassment during COVID19 has increased and also shared startling figures from the helpline around this.

DRF at the public hearing at Budenstag highlighting ‘Human Rights and Freedom of Association in the Digital Age’

DRF’s ED spoke at Budenstag public hearing focusing on human rights and freedom of association in the digital age. She highlighted how lawmakers need to be more thoughtful and aware of the interventions they propose and how it can have international repercussions for all. She also highlighted the responsibilities of the Facebook oversight board and how women and other marginalized groups are vulnerable on the internet.

Aaahung panel: Impact of Online Harassment on Pakistani Youth

DRF participated in the webinar on the ways in which the youth is using online spaces and the efforts we can take to make it a safer place for them.

A recording of the panel can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=321965452134965&ref=watch_permalink.

UN Women panel: Cyber Security & data privacy during COVID19

This webinar focused on the challenges women were facing regarding online violence and remedies available to them in Pakistan. It was a vibrant discussion about the shortcoming of current reporting mechanisms and the steps that can be taken to improve them.

Session on online safety with Dastak Organization

DRF conducted an online session with the team at Dastak Charitable Organization, who work as a refuge for women who have faced physical violence and also operate a crisis helpline for them. The session, which was held on the 29th of June, 2020, proved to be informative and interactive and generated positive feedback.

5: Covid19 Updates

24/7 Cyber Harassment Helpline

On 13th June, given the rise of cyber harassment cases following the COVID 19 lockdown DRF made its cyber harassment helpline operational 24/7 for three months. The cyber harassment helpline is offering our services free of cost for anyone who calls in or reaches out to us via social media or email. These include legal aid, the digital help desk, and mental health counseling. During these three months, our toll-free number will be accessible every day of the week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, our mental health counselors will work from 10 AM to 9 PM each day as well. Our mental health counselors are trained professionals and are providing free of cost counseling to women and those from marginalized communities. During all other hours of the day, our team is attending to complaints and queries through online platforms.

Contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on [email protected]. You can also reach out to us on our social media channels.

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all-time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment.

www.abaurnahin.pk

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. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

https://report.iwf.org.uk/pk

 

June 3, 2020 - Comments Off on May 2020: DRF celebrates World Press Freedom Day

May 2020: DRF celebrates World Press Freedom Day

Online campaigns and initiatives

World Press Freedom Day

Digital Rights Foundation conducted a three-day campaign to raise awareness on World Press Freedom Day, 3rd May 2020, on how the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent surge in misinformation impacting press freedom. The campaign included three facebook live sessions hosted by our Executive Director Nighat Dad and other team members with amazing journalists including, Amber Rahim Shamsi, Maham Javaid and Najia Asher. The themes of discussion revolved around coronavirus and journalism: disinfodemic and its impact on independent journalism; journalistic frontline, transforming newsrooms and increased stress; and surveillance structure and press freedom. DRF also shared resources and tools by other organisations that can help journalists in fact-checking information around COVID-19. Five infographics on the theme were also developed and shared on DRF’s socials for awareness raising.

Together for Reliable Information Campaign

DRF participated in Free Press Unlimited’s Campaign to highlight the work that our organisation and its Network of Women Journalists’ members are doing to provide people with reliable information. The campaign included five short video interviews from our team and women journalists working at the frontline to report covid-19 related news from the field. DRF developed a digital hygiene toolkit for journalists and the wider community of content creators and bloggers, which will be launched in June 2020. Ten picture stories covering the journalistic frontline of covid-19 were also included in the campaign.

DRF Annual Report

DRF launched it’s Annual report for 2019 highlighting all the important work that we’ve done so far. Through this report we would like to celebrate our team and its effort over the last year. We aim to keep striving towards having a safe and equal digital experience for all.

See our annual report here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Annual-Reort-2019..pdf

Policy Initiatives

Personal Data Protection Bill Recommendations

DRF submitted a thorough legal analysis of the ‘Personal Data Protection Bill 2020’. Within the bill recommendations were given to the government on how to further strengthen the bill. DRF also developed a video series around the bill to explain key terms and concerns within the bill.

Read the entire analysis here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/PDPB-2020_-Final-Analysis_05.05.2020-1.pdf

Statement on accountability in Waziristan honour killings

Two women were killed in the name of honor in Waziristan when a man leaked a short video of the two on social media. The video was leaked without the girls consent and contained private imagery. DRF released a statement expressing its outrage over this and demands that justice be served in this case.

Read the full statement here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-rights-foundation-urges-for-accountability-in-waziristan-honour-killings/

Statement on Violations of Privacy & Condemns Moral Policing in Uzma Khan case:

DRF released a statement expressing its concerns around the privacy violations and moral policing of actress Uzma Khan. Uzma Khan’s video of being bullied in her own home was leaked without her consent and is a clear violation of her privacy. The video let to her character assassination and slut-shaming that is common in cases where women assert their bodily autonomy outside the bounds of marriage.

Read the full statement here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-rights-foundation-is-gravely-concerned-with-the-violations-of-privacy-condemns-moral-policing-in-uzma-khan-case/

Media Engagement

Digital rights activist Nighat Dad part of Facebook's 'supreme court' for content

DRF is proud to announce that our ED Nighat Dad is now a part of Facebook’s newly announced oversight board to oversee decisions regarding content published on the social media network and Instagram. Nighat is one of 20 board members across the globe promoting women rights, human rights and freedom of expression on the board.

Read the full article here:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1555236/digital-rights-activist-nighat-dad-part-of-facebooks-supreme-court-for-content

Pakistan's 'honor killings' show women need digital skills, says Facebook oversight board member

Nighat Dad spoke to Thomson Reuters Foundation news about the honour killings of two girls in Waziristan over a leaked video online. She highlighted how the internet can be used against women and this is especially true in a patriarchal society like Pakistan.

Read the full article here:

https://news.trust.org/item/20200521151630-xewbx

Article on privacy concerns with tech to tackle Covid-19

DRF’s Shmyla Khan and Zainab Khan Durrani wrote about the framework of the data protection bill and why this may be a cause of concern for citizens. The two also talked about the emergence of invasive technology to tackle the virus and why it is important for citizens to be vigilant.

Read the full article here:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/659111-pandemic-tech-and-privacy-concerns

Events and Sessions

Coronavirus and Children Series

DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad spoke on UNICEF’s webinar on ‘Coronavirus & Children Series’ highlighting how access to ICTs is a fundamental right for everyone. She also spoke about the prevalent inequalities in online spaces in Pakistan and how girls in Pakistan are under more scrutiny online as compared to boys.

Drawing lessons from COVID 19

DRF spoke at a webinar of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on drawing lessons from COVID19 on account of world press freedom day. DRF’s ED Nighat highlighted the unequal access of information between the urban and rural and how this in itself has created a hierarchy amongst citizens. She also highlighted the rise of misinformation in times of COVID in Pakistan and how this can be a problem during the pandemic.

Fireside Chat with Nighat Dad

The NEST I/O startup pulse hosted a fireside chat with DRF’s Nighat Dad with Jehan Ara. The two discussed the workings of the data protection bill and cyber crime laws in Pakistan. There was also a discussion around online hate speech and how to curb it in times of COVID.

Inequalities: Bridging the Divide

Nighat Dad spoke at the #UN75 dialogue on ‘Inequalities: Bridging the Divide’ with 200 students, faculty and participants of NUST university from across the globe. Nighat spoke about the inequalities across the internet along with the legal and gender based inequalities in Pakistan. She also shed light on the inequalities on freedom of expression in the country.

Read more about the session here:

https://nation.com.pk/29-May-2020/nust-hosts-un75-dialogue

Pandemic Contact Tracing, privacy and data protection

DRF participated in the virtual #ImpactTalk that focused on issues with contact tracing applications from the perspective of data protection and civil rights. It was pointed out by the speakers that while it is important to address the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a balance needs to be struck with civil liberties both in the short and long term. This is particularly important in the South Asian context where there is a dearth of data protection regulations and privacy rights.

TWEETCHAT: Feminist Responses to the “Bois Locker Room”

DRF participated in a Tweetchat on May 27, 2020 organised by “End Cyber Abuse” which focused on the issue of masculinities and their manifestation in online spaces, particularly in light of the “Bois Locker Room” incident in India.

Giving Tuesday ChaynHQ

Chayn raised funds for its friends and partners on a great initiative called ‘Giving Tuesday’. Chayn raised money for the cyber harassment helpline which provides three basic services to its callers which is digital security, legal aid and psychological counselling.

DRF Collaborated With Accountability Labs 

We worked with Accountability Labs on one of their issues of their ‘Pakistan Coronavirus CivAct  Campaign’ Newsletter. This particular issue was about digital safety and security during this pandemic. This newsletter went through the types of attacks that people were facing through the lockdown and what they can do both in a preventative manner and in a defensive manner.

COVID Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber harassment helpline is working virtually and has started taking calls from Monday till Friday 9 am till 5 pm. The helpline number is 0800-39393 and the helpline provides three basic services which are legal help, psychological assistance and digital security assistance.

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go to. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for survivors of harassment.

Contact us now:

https://abaurnahin.pk/

IWF Portal:

Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) in collaboration with the 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. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

The portal can be access on:

https://report.iwf.org.uk/pk