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November 06, 2019 - Comments Off on September 2019: DRF’s team retreat

September 2019: DRF’s team retreat

All the work that Human Rights Defenders do across the globe does become really overwhelming at one point hence break and balance becomes necessary. Keeping alive its tradition and position of being a feminist organisation which believes in love and care, DRF team decided to go for a 5 day retreat which included team building sessions and exercises other than visit to different spots in Naran, followed by yoga sessions with the help of trained professionals.

Nighat Dad on the frontline of weaving a feminist canvas

By Annick Cojean for Le Monde

Nighat Dad spoke to one of the leading french newspapers about her struggle and experience as a feminist activist who not only is working on the protection of digital rights, against harassment but is also taking an active part in organising the women’s liberation movement in the country.

Nighat Dad spoke on Neo News about internet shutdowns Jammu-Kashmir

Nighat Dad spoke to Neo News on the recent Netblocks and Operations of tech giants in Pakistan with reference to censorship of reports on human rights violations in Jammu-Kashmir.

https://youtu.be/C9O3Au1bR1Y

Nighat Dad talked to the World Association of Newspapers and News
publishers regarding online abuse and harassment

Nighat Dad’s conversation with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers on The war online: Abuse and harassment, and what journalists are doing about it

https://blog.wan-ifra.org/2019/09/13/podcast-the-war-online-abuse-and-harassment-and-what-journalists-are-doing-about-it

Nighat Dad’s comments on How the rumour of a baby killer vaccine caused panic in a Pakistani city for TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/how-the-rumour-of-a-baby-killer-vaccine-caused-panic-in-a-pakistani-city-29501

Meeting on Collaborations for local media development organizations and journalists on 19th September in Islamabad

DRF participated and moderated a meeting with local media development organisations with the aim of mapping emerging issues in the media landscape. The meeting was a step towards working towards coalition-building and partnerships within civil society groups.

DRF collaborates with UNESCO to mark International Day for the Universal Access to Information in Pakistan on 26th September in Lahore

In partnership with UNESCO Islamabad, DRF commemorated the International Day for the Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2019 at ICS, University of Punjab on Thursday, September 26, 2019. The event was organized in partnership with the European Union, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and civil society partner Digital Rights Foundation (DRF). At the event, the Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Ms. Ingrid Johansson,gave the opening remarks  along with the Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Wouter Plomp. Speakers at the event included Mr. Zahid Abdullah, the Federal Information Commissioner; Mr. Mahboob Qadir Shah; the Chief Punjab Information Commissioner; Anoosha Shaigan from Courting the Law; Mr. Nabeel Qadeer and Usama Khilji from Bolo Bhi. UNESCO Representative Pakistan, Ms. Vibeke Jensen gave closing remarks. The Deputy Head of mission at European Union Delegation to Pakistan, Ms. Anne Marchal also attended the event.

Gender & Privacy Session at Kinnaird College for Women

DRF conducted a session with students at Lahore’s Kinnaird College for Women on the 6th of September on the digital right to privacy, its importance and the intersectional relation between gender and privacy.

The audience comprised of a little under 100 gender studies and law students and it made for an interactive session with considerable back and forth on the issues pertaining to young women in the online sphere.

Women Parliamentarians Support Group event by Tabeer & PILDAT

DRF presented its ‘Online Participation of Female Politicians’ study to a working group of women politicians and parliamentarians at an event organized by PILDAT and Tabeer. The study, which was released last year in the aftermath of the Pakistan’s General Elections looked into the experience of female politicians in the online sphere, both in terms of their campaigning and how public perception and trolling affected them.

DRF conducted a session on women’s rights and digital security especially cyber harassment

Jannat Fazal from DRF delivered a session on Women's Rights and Digital Security especially Cyber-Harassment in Lahore on September 5, 2019 organized by Rozan for the Pakistan Forum for Democrating Policing Punjab Chapter.  This session was aimed at building the capacity and to increase awareness regarding digital rights and making the cyber space safer for the forum members.

DRF at NCHR consultation on guidelines to protect human rights defenders

DRF participated in a consultation jointly organized by BLUE VEINS, WISE, PHRDN and NCHR in Lahore on september 3, 2019. The consultation was to discuss the NCHR policy guidelines on the protection of Human Rights Defenders.The policy guidelines advocate for stronger legal recognition and protection of human rights defenders in Pakistan recognizing their important work and role in society.

Climate March: DRF also joined the digital #globalclimatestrike from 20th to 27th September

DRF’s website went on a digital climate strike this year on account of the Global #ClimateStrike. With the ever changing problem of climate change it is important for us to recycle and conserve our planet. DRF shut it’s website off for a day this year as a reminder for everyone to do more and contribute in saving our planet.

DRF at round-table on Protection against harassment of women at workplace act (2010)

Our Legal Officer, Barrister Jannat Ali Kalyar attended a Round-table discussion for the review of Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace act (2010), organized by the National Commission on the Status of Women on the 26th of September. There she raised concerns over the implementation of the Act, the challenges that the complainants face in filing their complaint and the way forward.

DRF at Digital Youth Summit (DYS)


Our Legal Officer, Barrister Jannat Ali Kalyar attended the Digital Youth Summit (DYS) that took place in Peshawar from the 28th to the 29th of September where she spoke on Digital Privacy, Cyber Security and the Future of Citizenship in Pakistan. She also stressed on the need to exercise our right to information to hold private and public bodies in control of our data accountable.

October 04, 2019 - Comments Off on 66 women’s rights, human rights, digital rights and feminists groups endorse statement on internet blackout in Kashmir

66 women’s rights, human rights, digital rights and feminists groups endorse statement on internet blackout in Kashmir

66 women's rights, human rights, digital rights and feminists groups in Pakistan have endorsed a statement condemning the internet and communications blackout in Kashmir. The statement condemns the blatant violation of the right to freedom of expression, access to information, movement and peaceful assembly by the Indian government through a blanket network and internet shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir since the evening of August 4, 2019. The nature and scope of this shutdown is particularly alarming, however it is part of larger pattern of regular shutdowns in the disputed region; in 2019 alone 51 internet shutdowns have been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. The right to access communication networks is an important prerequisite to the exercise to other democratic and fundamental rights, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been systematically denied these rights.

The statement also condemns the uneven application of community guidelines and content regulation by social media companies such as Twitter to silence users critiquing the official narrative of the Indian government and amplifying the voices of Kashmiris on the ground. Access to communication networks during times of conflict and political turmoil is particularly important to prevent further human rights violations and arbitrary measures. The statement has been endorsed by human rights organisations such as Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell (AGHS), Digital Rights Foundation as well as collectives such as Aurat March (Lahore and Karachi) and Women’s Action Forum (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Hyderabad). International organisations such as Freedom Forum Nepal NetBlocks, Internet Sans Frontières and Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) have also endorsed the statement.

Women Journalists’ Residency Retreat

DRF, with FPU’s support, hosted a three-day residency retreat in Nathia Gali for women journalists from across Pakistan. The retreat focused on fun team building exercises, gender sensitisation and expert support in multiple areas such as mindfulness and stress management. Journalism as a field has the reputation of involving high-pressure and stressful work and can cause work-related stress, depression and anxiety but these are not treated with the same seriousness as more tangible risks. The retreat allowed the participants to share their experiences and the challenges they face in the field of journalism in de-stressed environment away from their day-to-day work lives. The sessions on stress management included relaxation activities such as yoga and trust circles. The retreat also aimed at strengthening the network as a support mechanism for the members. 

Consultation: “Due Diligence Project: Online Violence against Women"

DRF, in collaboration with the Due Diligence project, conducted a focus group discussion with women’s rights organisations within Lahore to discuss online harassment and the mechanisms associated with addressing harassment in digital spaces. The participants included members from AGHS, ASR, HRCP, WISE, UN Women and the Women’s Development Department. DRF will continue its collaboration with the Due Diligence project through assistance with undertaking the 5 country research in Asia Pacific on online violence against women.

Workshop on Online Harassment at Fatima Memorial

DRF conducted a workshop at the NUR Student Leadership Program with young students on the subject of online harassment and digital freedoms. The audience consisted of young students who engage with online spaces on a daily basis.

Participation in HRCP’s focus group discussion on social citizenship

DRF participated in Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)’s focus group discussion on the intersection of human rights and social citizenship within a Pakistani context. DRF raised issues of online spaces as sites of political participation and exclusion.

Meeting with Member of National Assembly, Maiza Hameed

A delegation from DRF met with member of the national assembly Maiza Hameed who is part of the Committee on Information Technology. Maiza was briefed on matters of data protection and performance of the NR3C, FIA. The MNA expressed her intention to ensure that protections for privacy were strengthened in the form of a personal data protection law.

TDEA Advocacy Workshop

DRF participated in advance advocacy workshop which was organised by TDEA at Islamabad. The two day workshop was focused on the collaboration of the gender and other minorities to work along for the advocacy of recommendations of the electoral rights in Pakistan. 

The three groups that were primarily focused on was transgenders, person with disabilities and women.The participants of the workshop were transgender rights activists, person with disabilities rights activists and women rights activists who were invited from all over Pakistan.

August 05, 2019 - Comments Off on July 2019: DRF team and CFWIJ met with Minister of Human Rights regarding online harassment of journalists

July 2019: DRF team and CFWIJ met with Minister of Human Rights regarding online harassment of journalists

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The DRF team, along with the Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) met with the Minister of Human Rights, Shireen Mizari, to discuss online harassment and disinformation campaigns against journalists in Pakistan on July 11, 2019. The Minister was briefed on threats faced by journalists in online spaces and urged the Minister to take concrete steps to tackle them. The honourable Minister assured the delegation that steps will be taken soon, particularly in the form of a journalist safety bill. Click here to read more details about the meeting.

Tech Camp at Lincoln's Corner

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DRF conducted a one day workshop at Tech Camp in collaboration with Lincoln’s Corner with 25 students on 9th July. The training covered various topics like cyber harassment, fake news, gender and privacy, digital security and online safety. The fruitful session engaged with participants of the tech camp and also resolved their queries in how they view the current cybercrime legislation and the need for a data protection law in the country. Team DRF really enjoyed delivering the session with such an enthusiastic audience.

Hamara Internet Workshop with lawyers in Quetta, Peshawar and Islamabad
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Workshop in Islamabad

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Workshop in Peshawar

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DRF team and participants at the end of the workshop in Quetta

DRF in collaboration with our partners FNF conducted the Hamara Internet workshop ‘Our Right to Safe Online Spaces’ in Quetta, Peshawar and Islamabad. The session in Quetta took place on the 3rd of July with journalists and lawyers focusing on the current cyber crime legislation, fake news and online safety. The session in Peshawar took place on 22nd July and in Islamabad on 24th July with lawyers focusing on the current cyber crime legislation, data protection, cyber harassment and online safety.

Internal office training on digital safety

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DRF conducted an internal training on digital safety in the office. The session was a refresher for the team about the existing safety practices one should adopt on devices and on social media. The training also focused on the existing IT policy and how the policy can be improved ahead. The team expressed interest in conducting similar refresher training in the future.

Nighat Dad spoke on Aaj News regarding fake news

Nighat Dad spoke on Aaj News discussing the impact of fake news on individuals and how it can lead to possible defamation. Ms. Dad mentioned that if someone has been a victim of fake news, they can report it to the Federal Investigation Agency Cybercrime Wing, established in various cities across Pakistan, under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. She also shed light on the fact that while there is a law, the majority of the people do not have any awareness regarding it or how to use the law in their favor. Click here to view the video.

Nighat Dad spoke about FaceApp on Samaa News

Nighat Dad spoke on Samaa News and expressed her concern over people using FaceApp, a Russia-based app which went viral in 2017 but this time it is catching on because of a filter that makes users look older or younger. She said that facial recognition is used by companies and governments across the world for different reasons and it is worrisome to see that the data of millions of users is being collected through an application, with no reference to where the data is collected and how it is being used. Click here to watch the video.

One-day digital safety training in collaboration with DCHD in Lahore

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DRF in collaboration with Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD) organized a one-day digital security training for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) on 12th July 2019 in Lahore. DRF was responsible for preparing and conducting the training according to the needs of the HRDs. The workshop was host to 24 HRDs and Child Rights Activists, who have been associated with DCHD through the Pakistan Human Rights Defender Network, Child Rights Education Program and other Human Rights Security trainings and programs.

One-day digital safety training in collaboration with Sindh Human Rights Defender Network

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SoonDRF conducted a one-day digital safety training in Karachi with Sindh Human Rights Defender Network. The training was held on 15th July and the participants consisted of lawyers, journalists, HRDs etc. The aim of the training was to make the participants understand why and how they should protect themselves in the online world, since they use devices for their work even more now. The training was also intended to make participants capable of protecting their devices and their valuable data from any malicious activity offline or online.

Members of Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to pen 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.

 

July 24, 2019 - Comments Off on DRF at the conference on “Standing Up against Online Harassment of Women Journalists – What works?” at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

DRF at the conference on “Standing Up against Online Harassment of Women Journalists – What works?” at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

Digital Rights Foundation’s (DRF) Executive Director, Ms. Nighat Dad, attended the conference “Standing up against online harassment of women journalists - What works?”, organized by members of the Group of Friends for the Safety of Journalists in cooperation with the UNESCO Communication and Information Sector on 18th June. The event followed decisions by UNESCO’s 39th General Conference and the 206th Executive Board that called upon UNESCO to reinforce and prioritize activities aimed at addressing the specific threats to the safety of women journalists, both online and offline. Online harassment is a growing and ubiquitous problem faced by women journalists around the world. Several studies have demonstrated the psychological distress and impact of threats, violence and abuse to women journalists’ work and health, which affects gender equality but also freedom of expression and diversity in the media. 

The event brought together over 200 member state representatives, journalists and legal professionals to explore new ways to reinforce the safety of women journalists. Ms. Dad, while talking about the practical and legal measures to tackle online harassment of women journalists, pressed the need for more accountability from social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, where abuse against women journalists is rampant.

DRF at RightsCon 2019 


DRF team attended RightsCon 2019, a leading summit on human rights in the digital age, from 11th to 14th June 2019, in Tunis. DRF team was part of interesting debates around fake news, surveillance, data protection, gender and privacy. Nighat Dad, the Executive Director of DRF, spoke on various panels and discussions highlighting the state of digital rights in global south especially Pakistan. She also  discussed the shrinking civil spaces online and offline, the explosion of data and decline of privacy in the region, and spurring challenges due to the emergence of new tools and technologies in Pakistan. She emphasized on social media companies to formulate such policies that grant security to citizens and their data in online spaces.

DRF laid special emphasis on mental health and the stressors involved with it in this field. DRF’s Program Manager, Jannat Fazal, hosted a session titled, ‘Where there is burnout there is no innovation: Managing stressors for a better physical and mental health’.  The session focused on burnout and the factors of our work and culture reinforcing them. Ways to overcome systemic dispositions in activist community as well as in organizations were charted out to help participants in managing their stressors.

DRF at Privacy International Annual Meeting, London

DRF was represented by Executive Director Nighat Dad and Zainab Durrani at Privacy International’s Partners’ Meeting held in London between the 25th and 27th of June, 2019. This annual event consisted of a two-day workshop entitled ‘Building a sustainable Global Network’ with organizations from 15+ countries joining in.

The third day of the event was dedicated to the SIDA partner meeting wherein work being done by the partners on issues pertaining to gender, health and privacy were discussed, giving us the chance to learn from the varying trajectories of the other organizations involved and also allowing us to showcase and reflect on the themes and projects DRF engages in and strives to achieve.

DRF organized a five-day residency in collaboration with Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network

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To support a safer and healthier digital society in Pakistan, the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) in collaboration with Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) held a five-day master class in residence, “Creating Leaders for a Better Digital Society” in Lahore from 17th June to 21st June. This in-depth training program provided 36 alumni of U.S. government exchange programs from across Pakistan with the necessary tools and skills in digital literacy and citizenship to become leaders in creating a better digital society.

 U.S. Consul General Colleen Crenwelge, who spoke with the participants on the last day of the workshop stated, “The U.S. government is delighted to support the Digital Rights Foundation’s efforts to inform the public about online rights and responsibilities.”

Click here to read the press release.

Nighat Dad talks about online hate speech on TRT World

 

Ms. Dad talked about online hate speech and whether tech companies can be trusted in the program, Roundtable, on TRT World. A conservative commentator who published a series of racist and homophobic attacks on YouTube, has been allowed to keep his platform. It is raised new questions about whether technology companies are sticking to their own rules on hate speech.

Ms. Dad talked about how hate speech in Pakistan is different as compared to hate speech in other parts of the world and that it is important to make tech companies realize this. She mentioned that hate speech in Pakistan, unfortunately, can have real life repercussions for people like activists and journalists who only have online spaces where they can exercise their right to speak, as offline spaces is already shrinking. Hence tech companies need to be vigilant and have better content regulation policies.

Session on Cyber Harassment at Fatima Memorial Hospital (FMH) College of Medicine & Dentistry

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DRF conducted a session on cyber harassment on 27th June at FMH College of Medicine & Dentistry. There were 40 to 50 students present at the session and the discussion revolved around the types of harassment that exists online and how people can protect themselves from trolling and harassment online. A healthy debate on memes also took place and the students were sensitized about the detrimental consequences of making memes about someone.

DRF at the conference on ‘Is Propaganda Protected Speech?’, Netherlands 

A conference took place in Hague, Netherlands on 28th June where it was discussed if state-sponsored disinformation is a protected form of free speech or not and the available recourse when it harms people and institutions. Ms. Nighat Dad attended the conference and spoke on a panel, “Digital and Civic Solutions”. The panel took an in-depth look at the phenomena of state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, how they shape the contemporary information space, the use of social media platforms, the impact of false accounts and bots that have become prevalent and served as amplifiers for state-run media storylines. Ms. Dad also shared her experience of operating on this new digital-media battlefield and discussed the impact of inauthentic digital content.

Members of Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to pen 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.

Joint Statement on the Internet Shutdown in Rakhine and Chin States by DRF and Other Civil Society Organizations

Internet shutdown was imposed in conflict-affected areas of Rakhine and Chin States on 21st June 2019 by the Myanmar authorities. The shutdown had created an information black hole in those areas and DRF, in collaboration with other civil society organizations, released a joint statement condemning this act without prior notice. The statement also read “The UN Human Rights Council has repeatedly adopted resolutions, most recently in 2018, identifying uninterrupted internet access as a fundamental enabler for the enjoyment of human rights”. Click here to read the full statement.

June 03, 2019 - Comments Off on May 2019: DRF celebrated World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May 2019

May 2019: DRF celebrated World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May 2019

 

DRF organized a press conference to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May 2019

DRF organised a press conference with women journalists from its network, including Sabahat Zakariya, Mehmal Sarfraz, Umaima Ahmed and our Executive Director, Nighat Dad. The participants discussed the present state of press freedom and its impact on democracy.

Tweet chat to commemorate World Press Freedom Day

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On 2nd May, members of DRF’s Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights participated in a tweet chat to discuss gender dimensions of free expression on digital platforms and how they cope with the trolling and harassment.

“Online Child Sexual Abuse in Pakistan: Solutions and Call to Action”, Islamabad


DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) hosted a roundtable titled, ‘Online Child Sexual Abuse in Pakistan: Solutions and Call to Action’ on 3rd May with various stakeholders. The roundtable focused on the laws governing online child sexual abuse and pornography as well as the online trends that are apparent in Pakistan. DRF shared its experiences of dealing with cases of minors facing online abuse and harassment. Valentina Picco, the International Development Manager at IWF spoke extensively about the mechanisms available at the national and international level for tackling online child abuse and the work that IWF is doing in the field. The event also marked the soft launch of IWF’s online child sexual abuse portal in Pakistan to report and remove online content pertaining to child sexual abuse.

DRF at Global Safety Summit 2019

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Facebook hosted the third annual Global Safety and Well-Being Summit, where over 100 organizations from 40 countries took part. A wide range of issues including suicide prevention, raising children in the digital era and protecting the most vulnerable people online were discussed in the Summit. Nighat Dad was part of the panel on combating harassment of women where she discussed coping mechanisms and digital tools to keep themselves safe in the online spaces.

Consultation Meeting on "Gender and Disability Audit of Election Act 2017"

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DRF attended the ‘Gender and Disability Audit of Election Act 2017’ in Islamabad on the 14th May to discuss the general elections 2018 and the lapses identified by the Long term Observers (LTO) in the election process. A detailed discussion took place with Coalition of Inclusive Pakistan (CIP) partners around gender and disability and recommendations were put forward to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on how to make the elections ahead more inclusive and fair for all.

DRF at Human Rights, Big Data and Technology (HRBDT) meeting in Colchester

The Human Rights, Big Data and Technology project, which is housed at the University of Essex in Colchester, called an experts’ meeting to discuss several pressing questions relating to consent. DRF was a part of the equation and introduced the Global South perspective which diversified the conversation and brought in the need to recognize the vastly differing standpoints from which the issues at hand needed to be analyzed and ways forward, worked on.

Apart from considering alternatives to the standard definition of consent and whether it needed changing, the various segments of the meeting also looked into the human rights impact on the situation and whether looking at it from this humane perspective would affect the way the consent model operated.

DRF was represented by Zainab Durrani who believes it was a great opportunity to contribute to a global debate and to gain insight into the academic dialogue surrounding the digital data regime and its significance.

Pakistan Forum for Democratic Policing (PFDP) - Punjab chapter

DRF attended the second quarterly meeting of the PFDP - Punjab chapter followed by an interactive capacity building Session on ‘Governance and Networking’ organized by Rozan on May 2 in Lahore.

DRF at Stockholm Internet Festival 2019

DRF was part of the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) 2019 hosted by Sida from May 15 to May 17, 2019. SIF is a platform for advancing a free, open, and secure internet as a driver of development. DRF was part of a panel discussion on 2019 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index where we discussed corporate responsibility and accountability for tech companies both in the Global North and the South.

IMS Digital Security Training in Lahore

The last of the digital security trainings under umbrella of DRF’s collaborative project with the International Media Support (IMS) titled ‘Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan’ took place of Friday, the 3rd of May, 2019 in Lahore. The participants, as was the case for the entire effort, were women hailing from the information practice industry, including journalists, civil activists and human rights defenders who were interested in increasing their knowledge regarding cybersecurity and how to keep their gadgets in good shape.

Consultative Session on Implementation Framework of Punjab Women Development Policy, 2018

DRF participated in a consultative session on May 30, in Hospitality Inn hotel organized by UN Women in collaboration with WDD Punjab, to develop an implementation framework for Punjab Women Development Policy, 2018.

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

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.

May 27, 2019 - Comments Off on April 2019: DRF releases Annual Report 2018

April 2019: DRF releases Annual Report 2018

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DRF is extremely proud to announce the launch of its annual report for the year 2018 in which we've captured the work we've done throughout the year, with our partners and beneficiaries. The report highlights our achievements throughout the year 2018 and what we plan to achieve in the years to come. The report also gives us a comprehensive overview of our beneficiaries and the themes we cover with them through our work.

Click here to read the full report.

Release of "Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan - combating gender specific threats to women's activism online" Report

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In collaboration with International Media Support, DRF undertook a project entitled ‘Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan- Combating Gender Specific Threats to Women's Activism Online’ which focused on women journalists and information practitioners’s experience of existing in the online sphere and a study was put together highlighting the chasm between the permeation of online spaces by men and by women.

This Report was disseminated at the digital security workshops conducted by DRF in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Islamabad and will be further distributed amongst the necessary stakeholders. Click here to read the report.

Hamara Internet Session in Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

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DRF conducted a seminar on "Our Right to Safe Online and Offline Spaces" at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi on April 24th, 2019 where discussed the vulnerabilities of young men and women were face in online spaces and focusing on the current legislation regarding offline and online harassment to have a much needed debate around safe spaces on campus.

DRF held Digital Safety Trainings across Pakistan
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Training held in Karachi

 

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Training held in Islamabad

 

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Training held in Peshawar

Under the head of Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan project, a series of customised digital safety trainings were conducted in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Islamabad for women journalists, online civic activists and human rights defenders to cater to their concerns which were heard out via a series of seminars that were previously conducted in the same vein.

The trainings were aimed at improving the participants understanding of online threats and risks and equipping them with tools to keep themselves secure and vigilant against such possibilities which could corrupt their data or gadgets.

DRF at Capacity Building Workshop of Policy Makers and Duty Bearers by NCHR and UNESCO

DRF attended a capacity building workshop of Policy Makers and Duty Bearers on 19th April, on Sustainable Goal Target 16.10.1 by NCHR and UNESCO. The consultation focused on freedom of expression and safety of journalists.

Hamara Internet in Beaconhouse National University, Lahore

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Digital Rights Foundation conducted the seminar "Our Right to Sage Online and Offline Spaces" at Beaconhouse National University (BNU) on Monday, April 29th, 2019 where we discussed the vulnerabilities young men and women face in online spaces and focusing on the current legislation regarding offline and online harassment to have a much needed debate around safe spaces on campus.

Thirteenth Humanities and Social Sciences Conference at LUMS on April 11, 2019

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DRF presented its research on the roundtable “Sexual Harassment and #MeToo” as part of the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference. Zainab and Shmyla presented regarding online harassment law and the risks that inhere in these spaces. The roundtable was followed by a question and answer session that explored the future of the #MeToo movement in Pakistan.

LUMS Amnesty International Panel on “Human Rights and #MeToo” on April 19, 2019

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Shmyla represented DRF in Amnesty International’s Human Rights conference at LUMS. The Panel on the human rights implications of #MeToo with Sabahat Zakariya delved into the law around harassment and the efficacy of call-out culture.

DRF released the third episode of e-Baithak podcast

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DRF released the third episode of e-Baithak podcast, “Where we discover #GirlsinICT Day and TikTok”, marking Girls in ICT Day by having an in-depth discussion about women’s participation in tech fields and the issue of access to ICTs for women and young girls. DRF also discussed the phenomenon that is TikTok in our lighter segment.

Listen to the podcast here.

Nighat Dad spoke on surveillance capitalism in Naomi Klein’s class in Rutgers University

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Seminar on Online Harassment in Punjab University on April 2, 2019

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Zainab and Shmyla conducted a seminar on sexual harassment online and the need for online safe spaces Punjab University. The seminar explored questions of consent and the legal definition of harassment, both on campus and off it.

Panel discussion by HRCP on media freedoms

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Shmyla Khan represented DRF at a panel discussion titled “Speaking truth to power’: Attacks on the journalist community” at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on April 7, 2019. The panel was attended by senior journalists such as Najam Sethi, Marvi Memon, Munize Jahangir and Mehmal Sarfraz. There was an in depth discussion about censorship in the media and the insecurity faced by journalists in Pakistan.

National Feminist Convening on April 6 - 7th organised by Shirkat Gah

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DRF participated in Shirkat Gah’s annual National Feminist Convening, which focused on the future of the feminist movement and the majar themes of the women’s rights movement.

Members of Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to pen 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.

April 24, 2019 - Comments Off on DRF released its report on ‘Female journalists in new media: experiences, challenges and a gendered approach’

DRF released its report on ‘Female journalists in new media: experiences, challenges and a gendered approach’

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Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) has launched its report on the gendered, online harassment that female journalists face in the media and how this resonates in their offline spaces in the report titled, ‘Female Journalists in new media: Experiences, challenges and a gendered approach’. The report aims to generate a much needed debate around the problems that women journalists face in the new media and how they often have to take a step back from the media due to their vulnerable position in the field.
The report records the experiences of female journalists in a qualitative manner in order to understand the kind of harassment and intimidation women face in the digital platforms due to their work. It also explains how online violence of female journalists translates into offline violence. The report talks about how there are numerous issues that women face in their field like trivialization of gendered issues by their male counterparts and limited support from media houses and institutions.
Highlighting the findings of the report, DRF’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad, notes that “It is extremely hard for women in the media to move ahead in their careers due to the gendered harassment that they face both in the online and offline spheres. Women are often the subject of criticism in the field and they are usually judged on their looks and clothing as compared to the work they do.” She adds that, “The first step towards trying to eradicate this problem of online harassment of female journalists is acknowledging that due to the emergence and more usage of digital platforms for journalism, women are subjected to gendered harassment online, as opposed to their male counterparts”.

DRF celebrates International Women’s Day

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On this International Women’s Day, March 8th, DRF joined Free Press Unlimited and media professionals around the world to take part in Move4Women; a global movement to show solidarity and take action in support of women in the media. To celebrate the women in the media and highlight the importance of gender equality in the media, DRF’s friends and members of the Network of Women Journalists took pictures holding posters that had captions supporting the cause. The pictures were compiled in a video and were uploaded on DRF’s social media accounts. Today and every day, DRF and its friends strive for equality of women in the media. Click here to see the video.
Also, on International Women’s Day, some of the employees of DRF also took part in the Aurat March Lahore on an individual level. Hundreds of women, including members of DRF, took to the streets in Lahore to reclaim public spaces, celebrate the struggle and movement of Pakistani women and fight for their fundamental human rights.
Among other things, the women pushed for economic justice, implementation of labour rights, access to a fair justice system, reproductive justice, rights of religious minorities, promotion of an anti-war agenda and gender equality in political participation. The March was followed by overpowering performances by talented women.

DRF acknowledged by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, which is celebrated every year on 8th March, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan released a message acknowledging the efforts of women in Pakistan from all walks of life. The message states that despite the social and economic challenges, women of this country have carved destinies and have shaped the future of the globe and this very nation. Nighat Dad, the Executive Director of DRF, was also appreciated for her contributions to the society through her work at DRF.  Click here to read the full message.

Nighat Dad features on The Tempest’s list of ‘40 Women to Watch 2019’

DRF’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad, was featured in The Tempest’s list of ‘40 Women to Watch 2019’, which highlights extraordinary women and femmes making waves in their industries or passions of choice. Click here to view the article and have a look at other amazing women in the list.

DRF at Asia Liberty Forum 2019, Sri Lanka

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A two-day conference, Asia Liberty Forum (ALF) 2019, was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 28th Feb and 1st March. The Forum brought together friends of the freedom movement across Asia to discuss challenges faced by the region and to learn from one another how to most effectively advance free-market reforms. Nighat Dad attended the conference and was part of the panel discussion called ‘Challenges to Privacy in the Digital World’, where the panelists gave an overview of the legal and policy frameworks and discussed the challenges facing privacy advocacy.

Nighat Dad at Pakistan in the Digital Age conference, London

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On March 2nd, Nighat Dad spoke at a conference held by University College London on Pakistan in the Digital Age. A very interesting discussion took place in the context of women in the digital age, governance & policy and the economic challenges and opportunities. Ms. Dad talked about her work as an activist and the challenges she faces in this field. She also explained how she started working on issues relating to digital rights and the formation of the Digital Rights Foundation. She mentioned that when she was practicing law, she started looking into policies and legislations and found that there was nothing addressing the issues of online violence and harassment, especially for marginalized groups. That is how she started advocating for rights of people online. Geo News covered the conference. Click here to view the video.

The Role of Social Media in Journalism - a discussion on policy & regulatory context

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Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) and DAI-Tabeer partnered to organize a roundtable discussion on the role of regulation and policy-making in digital, titled “The Role of Social Media in Journalism”. The event was held on March 20, 2019 in Islamabad. The roundtable was attended by new social media platforms as well as traditional media platforms, along with civil society groups and members of academia. Policymakers, including representatives from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), national Senate and political parties also attended the session. The aim was to foster a multi-stakeholder dialogue and generate policy-driven discussions around issues of online content regulation, media law and data protection.

Focus Group Discussion at Kinnaird College

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In collaboration with Google, DRF held a focus group discussion with students of Kinnaird College, on the gendered aspect of online hate speech and aggression and the effects that moral policing and cyber stalking have on the female presence online.

Session at Bahria University

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Digital Rights Foundation in partnership with UN women, conducted a session at Bahria University Islamabad. 95 undergraduate law students were in attendance. The discussion, which was kept as an interactive session, focused on harassment in general then streamlined into cyber harassment in specific, and a discussion of the prevalent laws and case laws.
The session was conducted by two trainers, one of whom was a lawyer and the other a clinical psychologist.

Session at Pakistan College of Law

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Our Executive Director, Nighat Dad, conducted a session at Pakistan College of Law. The presentation included an introduction to cybercrimes and digital rights in Pakistan, as well as a comprehensive discussion on the various issues faced by victims of cybercrimes seeking justice. Since the session was designed for law students, the focus was primarily on the legal and procedural aspects of the existing laws, and prospective amendments in the area of cyber regulation. The session was attended by at least 90 students and remained an interactive discussion throughout.

DRF at Lahore Grammar School, Phase 1 DHA

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On March 22, DRF conducted a session at Lahore Grammar School, Phase 1 DHA branch on cyberbullying and digital rights. Representative of DRF, Ms. Jannat Fazal, talked about the rising cases of cyber harassment due to more usage of social media. She explained the students about digital rights and how they can take various measures to protect themselves in the online spaces.

Members of Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights continued to pen 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.

March 07, 2019 - Comments Off on February 2019: DRF launches Ab Aur Nahin – a legal portal for survivors of harassment and abuse

February 2019: DRF launches Ab Aur Nahin – a legal portal for survivors of harassment and abuse

DRF is proud to launch it's latest venture Ab Aur Nahin which is a legal portal for survivors of harassment and abuse. The portal aims to help individuals stand up against abuse and help bring us closer to achieving our goal for creating safe spaces everywhere. The portal has a network of lawyers from across Pakistan who will be providing legal assistance to victims of abuse and harassment. The portal comes in light of current #MeToo movement in Pakistan and the growing number of cases of harassment that DRF has been receiving. Click here to read the details about the portal.

DRF releases a Policy Brief on Online Harassment in Pakistan

Policy Brief

In view of the increasing problem impacting all users especially women online, DRF has prepared a policy brief regarding online harassment through a gendered lens. The policy brief significantly expands the discussion on legal remedies available to the victims of online harassment and the lack of awareness regarding Information and communication technologies amongst masses. Click here to view the policy brief.  

Nighat Dad at ‘The Conversation’ held at IBA, Karachi

IBA, Karachi hosted an event for the BBC titled, ‘The Conversation’ where Nighat Dad also took part as a panelist. The panel also consisted of Pakistan’s football captain Hajra Khan, actress Mahira Khan and a comedian Faiza Saleem. The panel discussion was moderated by Kim Chakanetsa where the panelists probed into the challenges, frustrations and joys of being a woman in Pakistan. Ms. Dad, talking about DRF’s cyber harassment helpline, discussed that around 60 percent of the people that call for help comprise of women facing blackmail and dealing with sexual assault issues. She addressed the audience and highlighted the necessity of speaking up about mental health issues and cautioned them about the safe usage of social media and the internet. Click here to listen to the whole session.

DRF at ‘Imagine a Feminist Internet South Asia’, Sri Lanka

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Jannat Fazal represented DRF at ‘Imagine a Feminist Internet South Asia’ held in Negombo, Sri Lanka on 21st and 22nd February. The two-day regional conference brought together researchers, practitioners and policymakers from across South Asia for critical conversations seeking to answer the question: What opportunities does technology provide to question and, ultimately, start changing gender norms? The event focused on sharing research and findings around making a feminist internet.

DRF conducted series of seminars on “Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan: Combating Gender-Specific Threats to Women's Activism Online”

The DRF team conducted a series of advocacy seminars entitled “Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan: Combating Gender-Specific Threats to Women's Activism Online” in collaboration with International Media Support (IMS).

The Seminars took place in the four provincial capitals and Islamabad in the third and fourth weeks of February and will be followed by in-depth digital security trainings under the same head.

The envisioned aim of the seminars was to discuss the findings of the pilot study, and the recommendations drawn from the study and to glean insight and input from the participants regarding their experience of existing in the online sphere as women information practitioners in Pakistan.

 

Seminar held in Lahore

Seminar held in in Karachi

Seminar held in Islamabad

DRF at Social Media Festival

Shmyla Khan and Nighat Dad from Digital Rights Foundation participated in the second Social Media Festival 2019 at the University of Lahore on 22nd Feb. Nighat was the Keynote speaker for the session “Concept of Cyber Security and Modern Threats”. Shmyla represented DRF at the panel titled “Women in Technology Inclusion: Global and Local Perspectives” along with Nayab Gohar Jan, Fouzia Bhatti and Baela Raza Jamil.

Submission to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Speech and Expression: Surveillance Industry and Human Rights

DRF made a submission to the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on call for submissions on the surveillance industry and human rights on February 15, 2019. In the report DRF calls for effective and human rights compliant national legislation on digital privacy and data protection that provides for robust safeguards against intrusion from surveillance technologies as well as international commitments from nation states for transparency around sale and transfer of surveillance technology. The submission can be accessed here.

Nighat Dad on Aaj News, Dawn and Geo News

Nighat Dad appeared on Aaj News, Dawn and Geo News to give her opinion on the recent social media crackdown happening in Pakistan. Earlier the Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry, announced the federal government’s plans to initiate a comprehensive crackdown on “hate speech” on social media in Pakistan. She talked about how the crackdown would lead to further curb on freedom of expression and it has not been defined what constitutes as hate speech and what falls under free speech, making this crackdown even more problematic.

DRF at the roundtable consultation by UNESCO

DRF took part in a roundtable consultation on “Mapping emerging challenges for independent journalism and exploring solutions under the Sustainable Development Goals Framework” in Islamabad. The event served as a platform for sharing best practices, recommendations and to develop synergies between stakeholders to strengthen monitoring and reporting mechanisms to promote safety of journalists. Representatives of DRF urged that freedom of expression in online spaces should not be curbed and independent journalists and bloggers should also be able to exercise their fundamental rights.

Students from Beaconhouse School System Bahria Town Branch at DRF

Students from Beaconhouse School System Bahria Town Branch visited DRF's office to discuss violence against women for their project. The girls asked our team questions regarding the threats that women face in online and offline spaces and how it is each individual's responsibility to challenge the patriarchal norms that have been set in the society and preach of equality and due justice by adopting more feministic approaches in life. While they visited they talked about how they'd like to be part of the Aurat March.

Seminar on Cyber Harassment at Gender Studies Department, Punjab University

Nighat Dad conducted a session at Punjab University with students of the Gender Studies Department. The discussion involved an overview of the laws relating to online harassment and other Cyber Crimes, as well as basic issues relating to online privacy. It was an interactive discussion in which the students actively engaged with the topics in focus.

DRF at the launch of Pakistan Forum for Democratic Policing - Punjab Chapter\

DRF participated in Rozan’s launch and first meeting of Pakistan Forum for Democratic Policing (PFDP) -  Punjab Chapter on February 28. The event focused on the need and importance of police reforms, progress and commitment of the current government towards improving the situation of gender-based violence and the role of civil society in promoting gender-sensitive society and police.

DRF at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

DRF conducted a seminar entitled “Our right to safe online spaces” in collaboration with UN Women in Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi on February 14. The aim of this seminar was to mainstream digital rights in public discourse and to discuss the gravity of cyber harassment and its implications in cultural context.

DRF participated at the Rapid Response Network for Women Human Rights Defenders

DRF participated as a key stakeholder in the meeting arranged by Shirkat Gah - Women’s Resource Centre (SG) and Punjab Commission on the Status of Women’s (PCSW) Rapid Response Network (RRN) in Lahore on February 4th, 2019. The objective of this network is to secure and provide immediate relief to human rights defenders across Pakistan working on freedom and empowerment of women.

February 22, 2019 - Comments Off on January 2019: DRF releases research on “Ride-Sharing Apps and Privacy in Pakistan: A detailed study on the practices of Uber and Careem”

January 2019: DRF releases research on “Ride-Sharing Apps and Privacy in Pakistan: A detailed study on the practices of Uber and Careem”

Ride sharing

Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) launched its report on the use of ride-share applications in Pakistan, which highlights the privacy concerns in utilising these services and particularly the issues faced by their female customers. The report, which can be found here, titled “Ride-Sharing Apps and Privacy in Pakistan: A detailed study on the practices of Uber and Careem”, aims to generate a conversation regarding the use of technologies in urban commute.

DRF’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad, noted that “according to our survey 82% of customers indicated that they were not comfortable with Uber / Careem sharing their data with third parties. However, we know that both these companies are able to do so as per their business models”. She added that “while they provide a much needed service, companies must make more of an effort to take into account foundational principles of transparency, data privacy, and gender sensitivity.”

According to DRF’s findings, both the government and the companies themselves need to ensure the protection of users’ data, the physical security of drivers and customers, and the creation and maintenance of inclusive and safe spaces for females using the applications in either capacity.

Launch of research report: “Online Participation of Female Politicians In Pakistan's General Election 2018”

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DRF released its report on “Online Participation of Female Politicians In Pakistan's General Election 2018” which looks at the role of female politicians in online spaces and the gendered challenges that they face.

The report, amongst other things, mapped the difference and impact of social media on the General Elections that took place last year as opposed to the term five years ago in 2013.

The social media activism of different parties along with the usage of their female candidates was noted as well as the surge that mobile internet brought in, in terms of sheer numbers of  traffic various social media platforms attracted.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) implemented the use of RTS (Result Transmission System) these Elections which aimed to enable presiding officers at polling stations to transmit results to returning officers and the ECP in real-time, the efficacy of which the report analyses.

Nighat on GNN news

Nighat Dad spoke on GNN regarding the menace that is online harassment and our Cyber Harassment Helpline Two Year Report. Ms. Dad talked about how harassment is not only limited to offline spaces anymore but has extended to online spaces, due to more usage of the internet and technology. She talked about the Cyber Harassment Helpline Two Year Report and the growing number of online harassment cases in Pakistan. She added that the Report states that they received more than 2300 complaints since the launch of the helpline in 2016. She also talked about measures one can take if someone faces harassment online. For the complete interview, click here.

Training of Paralegals at Asma Jahangir’s law firm - AGHS Legal Aid Cell

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The team from DRF, consisting of Shmyla Khan and Zainab Durrani, delivered a training session on digital rights and security at AGHS Legal Aid Cell on January 18th and 19th. The training consisted of in-depth discussion of the legal regime governing online spaces and reporting mechanisms for online harassment.

Equality Festival at Ali Auditorium

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DRF set up a booth at the equality festival held on 23rd January 2019. The team, consisting of Zainab Durrani, Aqsa Laraib and Areeba Ahmed, was present at the booth and welcomed hundreds of people who were in attendance. Visitors inquired about the Cyber Harassment Helpline and how DRF aimed at helping victims of online harassment from various social and economic backgrounds.

DRF launches “e-Baithak” Podcast series

Baithak

DRF launched its first ever podcast series called e-Baithak as part of the 16 days of activism campaign. The aim of the series is to discuss forms of online violence, data privacy and technology in today’s day and age. The first episode was released on 1st December 2018, the inaugural episode “Consent and Pleasure Online” discusses how the internet can be a site of pleasure. We delved into the different aspects of consent and pleasure online. The second episode was released on 23rd January, titled “Can We Trust Social Media Companies?” where we unravel the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the importance of privacy rights.

DRF at the workshop on “Understanding legal & institutional framework to end gender based violence”

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Nighat Dad conducted a session on online harassment and the strategies women can take to prevent such incidents from taking place. The two-day workshop, “Understanding legal & institutional framework to end gender based violence”, was held on 23rd and 24th January in Lahore organized by Search or Justice. The workshop included women lecturers from different public sector educational institutions. Ms. Dad shed light on the growing number of online harassment cases and the importance of making sure that the users know how they can protect themselves. The session was followed by tips to protect themselves in the online space.

DRF at Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) conference 2019

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Nighat Dad was part of a panel - “Islamic Legal Conceptions of Privacy” at the CPDP conference 2019 held at Brussels, Belgium. Since many countries with either a large majority Muslim population or an explicitly Islamic Legal system have or are considering the adoption of Data protection legislation, the panel came together to talk about the principles of Islamic legal theory, that laws should implement. Ms. Dad talked about how Pakistani culture is heavily influenced by Islam. She said that often the laws, which protect the right to privacy, are not spoken of in terms that religion attributes to those rights, which leads to this area of law to remain underdeveloped, for example the lack of personal data protection legislation in Pakistan. Ms. Dad said that there is a lot of opportunity and guidance in Islam that ought to be utilised in protecting the privacy of citizens of Islamic countries and it can be done by encouraging and utilising Islamic scholarship and research. Click here to view the full session.

DRF’s session on Cyber Harassment in University of Central Punjab

UCP

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Nighat Dad was invited as a Guest Speaker at University of Central Punjab to conduct a session on Cyber Harassment. The event was held on 29th January and the media students were enlightened about the topic. Ms. Dad talked about the rising cases of cyber harassment due to more usage of social media. She talked about how individuals can protect themselves in the online spaces and urged them to learn about the reporting mechanisms in case of any incident.

Nighat on Aaj News

Nighat Dad spoke on Aaj News where she discussed awareness on digital rights and the laws regarding cyber bullying. She discussed the problem of online trolling and harassment in detail and urged the users to become aware of the mechanisms that exist, in order to prevent or report harassment. She also talked about Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and how the law caters to violence online. For the complete interview, click here.

Nighat on 92 News

Nighat Dad spoke on 92 News condemning the leaked pictures of some citizens and their car number plates by Safe City cameras. Ms. Dad pointed out that this is a breach of people’s privacy but unfortunately people who have been affected by this cannot take any legal action. She urged the authorities to develop Standard Operating Procedures for the Safe City Project, which should be made public. She said that the citizens have a right to know how their data is being protected, where it is being used and if the data is leaked how can a victim report this. For the complete interview, click here.

 

 

 

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.