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November 07, 2018 - Comments Off on October 2018: Digital Rights Foundation at the Consultation on the rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association in the Digital Space

October 2018: Digital Rights Foundation at the Consultation on the rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association in the Digital Space

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DRF participated in a two-day consultation between the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Voule, and delegates from civil society organizations and NGOs, which was held on 11th and 12th October 2018. DRF’s Executive Director, Ms. Nighat Dad, represented the organization at the event.

The consultation brought together 32 participants from North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East to share experiences and insights on exercising and protecting the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the digital space.

The participants discussed a broad range of topics, including the notions and definitions of the rights as they apply to the digital space: freedom of assembly and association in facilitating the enjoyment of other human rights; the monitoring and surveillance of online activities, jurisdiction and territorial reach of such measures; and the responsibilities of businesses and other parties beyond the primary responsibility of the state.

Ms. Dad not only shared experiences of DRF’s work but also gave recommendations to the UN Special Rapporteur to tackle ways in which the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association are impeded online.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline releases it’s bi-annual report

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline released its bi-annual report for the period December 2016 to May 2018. The report is a compilation of data collected by the Helpline which highlights the nature and extent of the problem of online harassment. The report also contains recommendations for public bodies to improve their institutional response to online harassment. It can be found here.

Nighat Dad at Asma Jahangir Conference

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Nighat Dad moderated a panel titled ‘Cyber Laws and Protection of Human Rights’ at the Asma Jahangir Conference on the 13th of October. The session focused on how online spaces have evolved over the years and so have its impact in offline spaces. The panel discussed the successes and failures of the cyber crime law and also focused on freedom of expression, fundamental human rights and the integration of your online life in offline spaces.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline covered on Voice of America Urdu

Voice of America Urdu featured DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline and the Executive Director, Ms. Nighat Dad, discussed the ways through which cyber crime could be perpetrated especially when pictures of women are uploaded and shared online without their consent. She talked about how the helpline was introduced in 2016 with the aim of providing help to not just women but everyone who face any kind of harassment and encouraged people to come forward with their complaints. Click here to view the video.

DRF at OTF Summit 2018, Taiwan

DRF participated in the OTF Summit 2018 in Taiwan. Around 100 participants were present from various civil society organizations from around the globe. DRF led the discussion on the challenges of digital rights in South Asia.

“Online Safe Spaces for Journalists” at University of Balochistan, Quetta

 DRF held a session at University of Balochistan with the students of Media and Journalism department on October 10, 2018. Around 78 students attended the awareness raising session where they were encouraged to keep themselves secure online.

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Workshop for Lawyers on Digital Rights in Quetta

On 11th October 2018, DRF conducted a workshop which was held for lawyers in Quetta, focussing on creating awareness regarding digital rights and the legal landscape that governs digital platforms. DRF received an overwhelming response in Quetta and around 50 lawyers attended the workshop. The participants were given specifically designed toolkits to guide them on how they can make online spaces safe for themselves, by adopting various tools and resources available to them.

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Two-day workshop on investigative reporting, ethical journalism and digital rights for journalists in Quetta

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DRF organized a two-day workshop for journalists on ‘Investigative Reporting, Ethical Journalism and Digital Rights’. The event was held in Quetta on 12th and 13th October and journalists from all over Balochistan attended the workshop. The workshop held a discussion on whether the existing media ethics are suitable for the evolving digital media landscape or new and different standards are needed. The sessions also focused on actions needed to tackle the spread of fake news and disinformation online, particularly as digital misinformation is extremely potent in Pakistan, owing to a large segment of the population lacking digital literacy. Another session was aimed at creating awareness about the legal landscape that governs digital platforms for freedom of media and journalists. The participants were also given hands-on training and specifically designed toolkits to guide them on how they can make online spaces safe for themselves.

 Hamara Internet: Multi stakeholder Consultation on Data Projection and Privacy

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Digital Rights Foundation hosted the Hamara Internet: multi stakeholder Consultation on Data Protection and Privacy in collaboration with our partners Fur Die Freiheit (FNF) with lawyer, journalists and civil society members on the 5th of October. The consultation focused on the Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 and advocated for privacy rights in Pakistan. Participants were enthusiastic to give recommendations regarding the the bill and also emphasized on similar consultations happening in other cities.

 

Visit to Violence Against Women Center (VAWC) in Multan

 Members of the DRF team visited the Violence Against Women Centre (VAWC) in Multan on 8th October, and were given a thorough tour by the Prosecutor. The Center contains a mediation and rehabilitation center, services of a trained psychologist and psychiatrist, medical facilities and doctors, investigation rooms and designated area for holding perpetrators of violence against women. The VAWC has been thoughtfully planned and caters to women at every stage of their struggles, from collecting medical evidence and gaining medical assistance, to taking legal action and dealing with the aftermath of the same. DRF was alerted to the fact that due to the change in government, there is a severe lack of funding hampering the VAWC’s operations. DRF hopes that by raising awareness of these impeccable facilities, which sadly remain non operational at this time, the new government will take ownership of the same and emulate this model in its efforts in other cities.

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DRF attends Two-Day Advocacy Training by TDEA

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Employees of DRF travelled to Islamabad to attend a two-day training organized by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA) on the 30th and 31st of October. The training was focused on equipping members of the Coalition for Inclusive Pakistan of which DRF is a member, with tips and strategies on how to effectively pursue advocacy of a charter of demands that each individual group had devised.

 

Training of Lawyers on Digital Rights and Cybercrime Laws in Lahore

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On 13th October 2018, DRF arranged a training in Lahore for lawyers on digital rights and cybercrime laws in Pakistan. The workshop was arranged in collaboration with UN Women. The aim of this workshop was create to awareness regarding laws governing digital spaces, an under litigated area in Pakistani law. The workshop was attended by over 20 lawyers from several parts of Pakistan..

 

Training of Lawyers on Digital Rights and Cybercrime Laws in Islamabad

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It was busy month for lawyers, as DRF followed up its Lahore training with a similar one in Islamabad on October 20th. In collaboration with UN Women and our trainer Haider Imtiaz, the one day workshop covered constitutional law, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, the FIA Act and electronic evidence. Digital freedoms in Pakistan were discussed at length and the participants were encouraged to take up cases regarding digital spaces.

Hamara Internet ‘Our Right to Safe Online Spaces’ SZABIST University, Karachi

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Digital Rights Foundation hosted the Hamara Internet session ‘Our Right to Safe Online Spaces’ with the help of our partners Fur Die Freiheit (FNF) for students and faculty of SZABIST University on the 29h of October 2018 in, Karachi. The session was attended by 79 students and a much needed debate around data protection, privacy and cyber harassment took place.

Members of Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to pen articles and blogs

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Members of DRF's Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to share articles and blogs on digital rights issues which can be found on the Hamara Internet website here. The Network advocates for women and other minority groups to have safe access to online platforms, where they can exercise their constitutional right of free speech without facing constant threats. The Network members pen articles to document these threats, bring forward issues in the implementation of legislation to prevent and protect women journalists from gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment both online and offline, and also advocate their access to effective remedies.

 

October 03, 2018 - Comments Off on September 2018- Digital Rights Foundation at the UN General Assembly

September 2018- Digital Rights Foundation at the UN General Assembly

 

DRF's cyber harassment helpline is selected as one of the innovative solutions addressing SDGs. We were invited to present cyber harassment helpline as one of their Top Ten Entrepreneur contenders.

The Summit, which was held during UN General Assembly meeting at the UN's SDG Media Zone on the 25th of September, provided Ms. Dad with the opportunity to highlight the need for protection of individuals, particularly women, against cyberbullying, discrimination, and intimidation. She also went on to say that "Online human rights must be recognized and upheld like offline human rights”. For the full speech, click here.

 

 

DRF at RSF’s launch on groundbreaking Global Information and Democracy Commission

DRF’s Executive Director, Ms. Nighat Dad became a part of Information & Democracy Commission launched by Reporters Without Borders, along with Nobel Peace prize laureates, Shirin Ebadi, Amartya Sen & 22 global leaders. Commission had its first meeting in Paris, along with the French President. This initiative is important to preserve a free and pluralistic public space, which is essential for democracies around the world.

Ms. Dad was honoured to be a part of this prestigious Committee and focused on talking about digital rights and human rights in online spaces. She highlighted the spike in fake news and the pivotal role played by social media companies and governments when dealing with fake news. Ms. Dad noted that, “I hope to represent a South Asian perspective that is both part of a global, multi-stakeholder initiative and speak to the particularities of experience and identities of all. Through this platform I hope to focus on the digital rights discourse across the globe and right the to free speech and expression for all. ”
To read more click here.

DRF gets featured on Forbes Top 10 Entrepreneurs at UN General Assembly

The article featured in Forbes had the following to say about the Summit:
'Last week, while countless world leaders made empty speeches to the UN General Assembly, a group of real change makers were nearby pitching their innovative technologies and programs, and challenging the world to scale actual solutions to our greatest challenges.'
Click here for the full article.

 

Privacy International’s SIDA Partner Meeting 11th – 12th September

DRF attended Privacy International’s annual SIDA Project Partner Meeting in London on 11th and 12th September. In total, 6 organisations, from Pakistan, Argentina, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya and the Philippines presented on their work on digital security and privacy. Sana Farrukh, Research Associate DRF presented DRF’s report on the Safe Cities Project while participating in a session on ID and Biometrics. Additionally, DRF benefitted from guidance and trainings on risk assessment, data privacy practices, counter-terrorism and data security, artificial intelligence, data protection and human rights, and campaigning and advocacy.

 

Gender and Privacy: Countering the Patriarchal Gaze 13th – 14th September

DRF attended Privacy International’s Workshop on Gender and Privacy in London on the 13th and 14th of September.  This meeting connected partners from the Privacy International Network as well as external experts from around the world. Nighat Dad, Executive Director DRF, served on a panel titled ‘Staying safe in the era of techno-patriarchy 2.0.’, with Sana Farrukh, Research Associate DRF, assisting from a litigator’s standpoint. Other sessions included ‘Rethinking consent in the digital age’ and ‘Testimonies of abuse: documenting the targeting of communities at risk.’

DRF at Pakistan School of Internet Governance, Karachi

Nighat Dad has been associated as a faculty member with Pakistan School of Internet Governance since its inauguration in 2015. On September 5th 2018, Ms. Dad spoke to the Karachi class 2018 about internet law and policies and the gendered lens of the internet at the event.  

“Online Safe Spaces for Journalists” at Karakoram International University, Gilgit

DRF held a session at Karakoram International University with the students of Media and Communication department on September 3rd 2018. Around 97 students attended the awareness raising session where they were encouraged to keep themselves secure online. In the second half of the session they were given digital security training and were also provided with CDs, which included security toolkits and a guidebook on digital security.

 

Workshop for Lawyers on Digital Rights in Gilgit

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On September 4th 2018, DRF conducted a workshop which was held for Lawyers in Gilgit, focusing on creating awareness regarding digital rights and the legal landscape that governs digital platforms. Around 25 lawyers participated in the session. The participants were also given specifically designed toolkits, to guide them on how they can make online spaces safe for themselves by adopting various tools and resources available to them.

 

Workshop on investigative reporting, ethical journalism and digital rights for journalists in Gilgit

On September 5th 2018, DRF conducted a workshop for journalists from across the Gilgit Baltistan area. This workshop held a discussion on whether the existing media ethics are suitable for the evolving digital media landscape or new and different standards are needed. The sessions also focused on actions needed to tackle the spread of fake news and disinformation online, particularly as digital misinformation is extremely potent in Pakistan, owing to a large segment of the population lacking digital literacy. Another session was aimed at creating awareness about the legal landscape that governs digital platforms for freedom of media and journalists. The participants were also given hands-on training and specifically designed toolkits to guide them on how they can make online spaces safe for themselves by adopting various tools and resources available to them.

 

DRF at Connected Communities event, Glasgow

Nighat Dad spoke at an event titled ‘Connecting or Excluding? New Technologies and Connected Communities’. She explored how digital technologies can enable new forms of co-creation and co-research with communities and can help in building new communities of learning, shared knowledge and creativity. It was a two-day event that took place on 26th and 27th September 2018, which included a range of activities including talks, presentations, workshops, performances, networking and exhibition elements.

 

Hamara Internet ‘Our Right To Safe Online Spaces’ Session in Peshawar

DRF with the help of our partners Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF), conducted the session Hamara Internet ‘Our Right to Safe Online Spaces’ focusing on data protection and privacy in Peshawar. The session was attended by students and professors of Islamia University and a much needed debate around privacy laws in Pakistan and gendered privacy took place.

 

Hamara Internet ‘Our Right To Safe Online Spaces’ Session in Bahria University, Islamabad

DRF, along with our partner's support FNF, conducted a session with students from Bahria University on data protection and privacy. Law students from Bahria University enthusiastically participated in the session and shared how vital it is for cyber crime to be differentiated from data protection in Pakistan. A much needed debate around the need for a data protection law in Pakistan and cyber harassment also took place.

Panel discussion at “Conference on Violence Against Women”

DRF participated in a panel discussion titled “Existing Protection Mechanisms – Role of Private and State-Run Institutes + Role of Technological Advancement in Supplementing Access to Justice” at the Conference on Violence Against Women organised by LEARN on September 15. The panel was moderated by Angbeen Mirza and attended by representatives from PSCW, Courting the Law, Dastak and the SMU initiative.

 

DRF at IPDC Talks 2018 organized by UNESCO Islamabad

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Jannat Fazal from DRF attended UNESCO Islamabad’s International Day for Universal Access to Information celebration as a guest speaker on 27th September, 2018. The program included IPDC talks where speakers from civil society, government and media delivered talks, followed by panel discussions. She highlighted the role of duty- bearers in promoting the right of access to information. She focused on Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the windows of opportunity to improve effectiveness of access to information initiatives.

 

DRF Train-the-Trainer Training in Islamabad

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DRF’s team conducted a train-the-trainer training in collaboration with Facebook on the 13th of September, 2018 where Facebook’s safety modules were discussed with and communicated to  50 Computer Science teachers from federal schools and colleges in order to enable them to deliver online safety and security sessions to their students.

 

DRF at #EmpoderaxlosODS in Malaga, Spain

On September 28th 2018, Nighat Dad spoke at the #EmpoderaxlosODS In Malaga, Spain about women reclaiming online spaces and how they can use the internet to express and empower themselves. The talk focused on DRF’s journey from the beginning and how women are more vulnerable over the internet and how they need to take extra precautions to protect themselves. Ms. Dad talked about the Cyber Harassment Helpline and three main services it provides with legal aid, psychological help and digital security assistance.

 

Workplace Harassment Conviction

The DRFs Helpline team assisted the progress of a case that fell under the Workplace Harassment Act, which was filed by a woman facing serious harassment and intimidation at the hands of a colleague in her hometown of Chakwal. The case was filed with the Provincial Ombudsperson’s Office in Lahore under s. 2 (h) of the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010 and the decision was read out on the 4th of September, 2018 which held that the accused was guilty of causing harassment to the complainant under the relevant section of the Act and was awarded the penalty of compulsory retirement under s. 4(4)(ii)(b)

 

Members of Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to pen articles and blogs

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Members of DRF's Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to share articles and blogs on digital rights issues which can be found on the Hamara Internet website here. The Network advocates for women and other minority groups to have safe access to online platforms, where they can exercise their constitutional right of free speech without facing constant threats. The Network members pen articles to document these threats, bring forward issues in the implementation of legislation to prevent and protect women journalists from gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment both online and offline, and also advocate their access to effective remedies.