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January 21, 2022 - Comments Off on December 2021 Newsletter | 16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

December 2021 Newsletter | 16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

Policy Initiatives

16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

For 16-days of Activism against Gender-based violence. The theme for 2021 was “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!” DRF was honoured to collaborate with esteemed government body, Ministry of Human Rights to launch a joint campaign tackling the subject of gender-based violence, and the intersection between violence in online and offline spaces.

DRF designed and spearheaded the campaign with posts almost everyday, touching on a variety of important issues related to 16-days. From November 25th, 2021 to December 10th, 2021, DRF and MoHR posted a series of posts which were informational, focused on raising awareness and finding solutions to the pervasive issues of harassment and cyber harassment which women deal with on a daily basis. This 16-day period was concluded on International Human Rights Day.

DRF was thrilled to be partnering with the prestigious Ministry, currently lead by Shireen Mazari, to come up with a campaign that had significant reach and impact during this period.

#16daysofactivism #Endviolenceagainstwomennow

Cyber-Harassment Helpline Turns 5!

On December 5th, 2021 the Cyber-Harassment Helpline celebrated 5 years of providing services to survivors of cyber harassment, domestic abuse and overall violence. Over the last 5 years, the Helpline has catered to 11,300 complaints by providing professional guidance, mental health assistance and legal advice.

We are proud of the efforts of our Helpline team, and hope to continue the work we are doing to deal with the rampant cyber-harassment that exists in this country, and beyond its borders, too.

Hamara Internet Second Issue Highlights the work of Women Journalists

DRF’s Hamara Internet initiative, which aims to create a space online where women can reclaim the internet through sharing blogs, vlogs and articles based around their life experiences, released its second issue. This issue focused on the trials, tribulations and experiences faced by women journalists in Pakistan as they navigate through the hate and abuse they receive online by virtue of pursuing their careers in the media.

Head over to the link to check out the revamped Hamara Internet website: https://hamarainternet.org

Human Rights Day Shed Light on Journalists and Amendments to Journalist Protection Bill

DRF concluded its 16-days of activism campaign by speaking to women journalists about the struggles they are confronted with as a result of pursuing journalism in Pakistan. This was a fitting end to the campaign and discussed the human rights violations present in the country with regard to journalism, and the progress and steps taken by the Ministry of Human Rights to provide increased protections to journalists.

Journalists we spoke with also talked about the significance of campaigns like #16Days in raising awareness about violence against women.

DRF calls on EU to Impose Sanctions on NSO Group over Pegasus Surveillance Tech

DRF was among the 86 organisations that have called on the EU to impose sanctions on the NSO group that distributes Israeli company Pegasus' surveillance tech.

Pegasus is spyware developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group that can be unknowingly installed on mobile phones operating on iOS and Android. The 2021 Pegasus software was exposed for its true purpose in the later half of 2021and its effects continued to spill over till the end of 2021, with more Rights organizations urging for calls to action.

Read the article by the Guardian here:https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/dec/03/rights-groups-urge-eu-to-ban-nso-over-clients-use-of-pegasus-spyware

DRF sets up Online Portal with IWF to report Images of Child Sexual Abuse Online

DRF has partnered with IWF to create a portal for the purpose of reporting child sexual abuse online. Child sexual abuse online through the uploading of images/videos of children is a crime and a human rights violation.

DRF has partnered with IWF to create a portal for the purpose of reporting child sexual abuse online.

Report here on our website: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/services/

@IWFhotline

Nighat Dad lobbies for “Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill” Amendments

Digital Rights Activist and Executive Director at DRF@nighatdad briefed the Senate Standing Committee on the relevant Human rights regarding the “Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2021”.

Training Sessions

DRF and Ministry of Human Rights Collaborate through Training

As part of the 16-days of activism campaign with MoHR, DRF’S Cyber Harassment Helpline team conducted a training session on 8th December, 2021  in Islamabad. Helpline Officers from MoHR’s Toll-free Helpline were told how DRF differentiates between cyber harassment and other forms of harassment. PECA and its use and implementation was also discussed along with a fruitful discussion around possible collaborations in the future.

Both teams shared their experiences and knowledge gained through providing services to victims of violence, whether online or offline.

Virtual Gender Sensitization Training with Journalists

DRF conducted a gender sensitization training with journalists online from across Pakistan during the 16-days of activism campaign. The session focused on how to report on gender based violence and the role and responsibility of the media while reporting such cases. The session took place on 8th December, 2021.

DRF holds Mentorship session with Saher Ghazi on Digital Media

Digital Rights Foundation conducted a mentorship session with digital media strategist and trainer Saher Ghazi on Pitching stories for Digital media. The session was attended by DRF’s Network of Women Journalists on 29th December, 2021.

Panels,Webinars and Press

Panel “Community-centric approaches to ending violence against women”

To scale up the debate around activism to end gender-based violence during 16-days of activism, UNDP in Pakistan's PunjabSDGsUnit and HomeNetPakistan jointly hosted a panel discussion on  ending #VAW and rehabilitation of victims into society, to #LeaveNoOneBehind.

Nighat Dad was invited as a speaker to discuss the issue at the panel.

Stay with us for updates!

Nighat Dad speaks at Open Government Partnership, Korea 2021.

On Dec 17th, 2021 Nighat Dad spoke at the Inclusive Digital Innovation Plenary

and highlighted the importance of understanding that safety on online spaces is not experienced uniformly across varying contexts, cultures and circumstances.

Nighat said, "For instance, women journalists are more likely to experience online violence and abuse than their male counterparts."

Nighat Dad attends UN’s Internet Governance Forum Poland, 2021

Nighat Dad spoke at the main session of #IGF2021 about regulations that are being badly framed or narrowly cover issues, this do more harm than good & we can’t come up with universal standards without addressing the imbalance of North-South regulatory approaches over content. She linked the Oversight Board of Facebook that Nighat is a part of.

Nighat Dad speaks at Panel “The Chilling Effect: Hate, Misogyny and the Digital Information Disorder”

Nighat spoke at panel “The Chilling Effect: Hate, Misogyny and the Digital Information Disorder” on December 7, 2021. The panel was about the digital space which continues to extend the promise of extraordinary opportunities for expanding the voice and agency of women, girls and marginalized groups, it has fallen short of our ideals. The panel discussed the impact of the chilling effect on the political ambitions, engagement and empowerment of women and girls, causing many not to step forward, to withdraw or to self-censor. The discussion was a @CCRInitiative.

Nighat Dad’s Lifestory Illustrated Beautifully in Comic, “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures”

Nighat Dad was featured as the central character, through which the story and origin of Digital Rights as a feminist movement in Pakistan has taken root, and evolved into a revolution for young women, girls and gender minorities around the country. The comic traces the evolution of Pakistan’s feminist digital rights movement, spearheaded by our very own, Nighat Dad.

Covid-19 Updates: Cyber Harassment Helpline

To commemorate 5 years of loyal service to survivors of cyber harassment, DRF created a video outlining the work we have done in these 5 years, along with the number and varying cases we have dealt with over the past half decade. The month was dedicated to a campaign which highlighted the work different members of the Helpline do, along with general insight and information into how we keep our Cyber Harassment Helpline running smoothly.

Watch the video here: https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1475472365375356932?s=20

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2021 - Comments Off on November 2021 Newsletter: DRF Hosts its 8th National Privacy Conference in Islamabad on the 24th of November, 2021.

November 2021 Newsletter: DRF Hosts its 8th National Privacy Conference in Islamabad on the 24th of November, 2021.

Events and Training Sessions

Digital Rights Foundation conducted it’s 8th annual National Data Privacy Conference on Wednesday the 24th of November, 2021 at Marriott Hotel Islamabad. The conference brought together experts from various sectors which included the Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, NADRA and other relevant stakeholders.

The event started off with a keynote address from the Executive Director of DRF Nighat Dad, who stated that “the right to privacy is a fundamental right, however what that means in the digital age requires a detailed and nuanced discussion that includes all stakeholders--the state, businesses, civil society, and ordinary citizens.”

The first panel titled, “How Private is the Digital ID in Pakistan” featured Tariq Malik, Chairperson NADRA. Mr. Malik highlighted the importance of a data protection law in Pakistan to ensure standardization of data privacy practices as an important part of the “social contract between citizens and the government”.

Drafting the Data Protection Legislation: Progress and Next Step”’ was the second panel of the day, including Bilal Abassi, Director IT of the Ministry of IT and Technology and Jehan Ara, Founder and CEO of Katalyst Labs. Ms. Jahan Ara highlighted that “a strong personal data protection law needs to apply both to the public and private sector because public bodies hold large amounts of data on citizens.”

The final panel, “Privacy from a Human Rights Perspective”, was split into two parts; the first half with DRF Executive Director Nighat Dad in conversation with Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari. Minister Mazari stated that the “right to privacy is a fundamental human right, but the right needs to be balanced with other competing rights.” She went on to highlight that “privacy is even more important for women, just look at the Noor Muqadam case mainstream media aired footage that caused so much distress for her family. The second half of the panel had Usama Khilji, Director at Bolo Bhi. Mr. Khilji stressed the importance of a strong commission for privacy: “We need a privacy commission that is independent of the proposed privacy commission that is separate from the government that can hold the state and powerful actors accountable.”

The annual Conference is a banner event for the Digital Rights Foundation and this year’s event drew in as substantial and informed an audience and guest panel as ever and was covered extensively by local media.

Workshop for Journalists on Gender Sensitive Reporting

DRF held a workshop with journalists on Gender Sensitive Reporting in Mainstream Media & Digital Journalism on 3rd November. The workshop had journalists from across Pakistan who discussed why gender sensitivity is important in the media and what can be done to make it better.

Digital Well-Being and Safety Fellowship for Women Journalists

DRF held it’s very first Digital Well Being and Safety Fellowship in Lahore with women journalists from across Pakistan at Nishat Hotel. The fellowship was held on the 18th, 19th and 20th November with key modules designed specifically for journalists to train them on digital safety, legal recourse in the country and journalists mental health and well being. The training was attended by 21 women journalists from across the country.

Training Session at Learning Alliance School

DRF conducted two sessions at Learning Alliance this month. The first was a panel discussion on ‘Navigating Online Spaces’ geared towards O and A Level students, where Hyra Basit represented DRF on the panel along with Wafa Asher, ex-President of FemSoc at LUMS. The second session was held on ‘Safe Online Surfing’ with students from Grades 6-8 and was more interactive.

Panels and Webinars:

Nighat Dad speaks at panel at CWASU

Executive Director Nighat Dad was invited by the Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) on 5th November to speak at the #JoiningTheDots webinar on cyberspace and new technologies. She was called the 'digital warrior battling the patriarchy' at the event.

Paris Peace Forum Panel

Shmyla Khan took part in the panel “Prevent and heal: Addressing physical and digital violence against women in times of Covid-19” at the Paris Peace Forum on 12 November. She spoke about the work that the organization is doing, along with Lisa Davis (MADRE - Addressing Violence & Normalizing Equality), Heloise Onumba-Bessonnet (Responsable projet Re-Création et pôle santé, LOBA - Re-Création), Triona Pender (ActionAid Ireland - Behaviour Change to Address Inequality).

Nighat Dad speaks at Paris Peace Forum panel

Nighat Dad spoke on the virtual  panel titled “Curbing harmful content: Social media for peace” at the Paris Peace Forum on 12th November. She spoke of the need for policy makers to take local contexts into account when regulating social media in different regions.

Nighat Dad speaks about Digital Rights and Digital Citizenship at  Digital Youth Summit 2021

Nighat spoke at KPK’s Digital Youth Summit 2021 on the 13th and 14th of November about Digital Rights and Digital Citizenship, along with  Misinformation, Cyber Harassment and the need for Data Protection Laws which adequately safeguard the privacy of  users online. Our Director for Policy and Research was also a speaker at the KPDYS’21 Summit and spoke about Misinformation in the Digital Age.

Nighat Dad speaks at AJCON21 Panel, “Challenges to Human Dignity: Victim Blaming”

Nighat Dad was invited to AJCON21 on 20th November as a speaker to speak on the panel, “ Challenges to Human Dignity: Victim Blaming” in which she spoke about how provisions in the law have been weaponized to silence vulnerable victims, including human rights defenders and journalists.

Panel at Internet Governance Forum 2021

 Nighat Dad spoke at the panel  “Creating sustainable value and inclusive society -  the role of digital platforms” at #IGF21 in which she discussed the various ways in which collaboration can be used in new governance models that are human-centric and inclusive.

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF launches Digital 50.50 E-Magazine and Report on Moral Policing

DRF launched new editions of its Digital 50.50 e-magazine and report on the theme of “Moral Policing in Digital Spaces” in Pakistan. DRF conducted research on the issue of moral policing and received stories from various women regarding their experiences with moral policing and its implications. A campaign was launched on social media regarding the various perspectives of women experiencing moral policing which were reflected in their pieces for the Digital 50.50 e-magazine.

DRF Commemorates End Impunity Against Journalists Day with Online Campaign

DRF stood in solidarity for the cause of ending impunity against journalists on November 2nd and launched a campaign on social media sharing stories and reports from women  journalists who have faced threats.

Media Coverage:

Paris Peace Forum Recognition

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline was recognized by the Paris Peace Forum as one of the 80 projects around the word working to end relevant issues of our time. Members from the DRF team also spoke on panels at the Paris Peace Forum.

Appearance on Samaaj show, PTV News

Nighat Dad spoke on PTV News Samaaj show hosted by Muniba Mazari about the impact of social media on  mental health.

PTV News discussion on Illegal Surveillance

On November 26th, Nighat Dad spoke to PTV News about Israeli firm’s Pegasus Software and the lawsuit filed by Apple regarding the state backed surveillance and unlawful use of Apple users information used by the NSO cyber firm group.

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In November, DRF received a total of 264 complaints, with 64% of complaints being registered by women. The trend of women experiencing and reporting a greater number of complaints related to cyber harassment and cyber crime has continued.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393.

You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

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

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

November 10, 2021 - Comments Off on October Newsletter 2021: Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

October Newsletter 2021: Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

Policy Initiatives and Online Campaigns:

Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

DRF launched the Hamara Internet website on the International Day of the Girl Child. The website aims to make the Internet a safe space that is inclusive of women belonging to all walks of life.  The website showcases stories, vlogs and blogs from women journalists across Pakistan, and delves into topics relating to gender and technology.

To find out more visit our website below:

www.hamarainternet.org

Campaign on International Day of the Girl Child

DRF conducted a social media campaign on 11th October which marks International Day of the Girl Child. DRF focused on the importance of equal access to technology for girls and women as a crucial factor in ensuring that they can acquire knowledge and information in order to participate in different spheres of life sufficiently.

 

Stakeholders' Consultation on Exercising Constitutional Freedoms Online in Pakistan

DRF’s legal team participated in the Stakeholders’ Consultation on the topic “Exercising Constitutional Freedoms Online: Prospects and Challenges” on October 9th, 2021. The meeting was organized by the Punjab Bar Council (PBC), Common Laws Company (CLC) and the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA).

The purpose of the consultation was to comprehend the issues and concerns of stakeholders, particularly journalists and human rights defenders in exercising fundamental constitutional freedoms in the online sphere in Pakistan.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security awareness month was observed by raising awareness about key Digital Rights issues such as encryption and the importance of a free and accessible internet for all. DRF’s campaigns were geared towards educating followers about the importance of privacy and accessibility of information online while also celebrating the advantages of the Digital Age.

Events and Training Sessions:

DRF members conduct workshop for Students on Cyber Safety at Skill Share Week

DRF was invited to NGO Hamara Mustaqbil’s skill share week to conduct a workshop on Cyber Safety for students of O-Levels, A’-Levels and Matriculation. The workshop was held on 1st October and was geared towards equipping students with the knowledge related to safeguarding their privacy online and operating responsibly in the digital sphere.

Workshop on Cyber Crimes for Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD)

DRF conducted a workshop for female media professionals on cybercrimes and the important provisions present in the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA) that were relevant to such crimes.

Session on Understanding Online Safety

DRF conducted an online session on digital safety and security for media professionals on October 13th, 2021. Participants were introduced to potential cyber concerns and were given tips to secure their online presence as well as sensitive data.

Session on digital safety for women at Dastak Shelter Home

DRF conducted a digital safety and awareness session with women at Dastak shelter home on October 20th, appraising them to digital safety practices and practical tips they can use in their daily lives.

Pakistan’s Legal landscape and Media Law

DRF conducted a workshop for media professionals on October 20th based on understanding Pakistan’s legal landscape and the impact it has on their work in both online and offline spaces.

Training Session at Government College for Women, Lahore

DRF conducted an informative session on cyber harassment and privacy online at Government College for Women, Lahore on October 22nd. Nighat Dad spoke to the young women students about the importance of consent and keeping one’s data safe online. The session included discussions about harassment and how power dynamics are involved when an individual is being targeted online.

Network Engagement Program

DRF organized a one-day digital security training workshop for gender minorities in Lahore on 22nd October, 2021. Twenty-three members from the transgender community participated in the workshop and shared their unfiltered experiences regarding cyber harassment with the group. The session highlighted the by-laws and policy initiatives that were present to safeguard the rights of Pakistani citizens. Tips and detailed information relating to securing personal data was shared with the participants.  Using social media as a tool for advocacy and strategic capacity building was also discussed with the group.

Panel on Digital Disruption of Human Rights by Women in Law

DRF’s Director of Legal Affairs participated in a panel discussion on data protection which was hosted by the Women in Law Initiative, Islamabad Chapter in collaboration with the Ananke Girl Summit. A critical discussion was carried out regarding the Personal Data Protection Bill, and the impact this bill would have on the privacy of individuals online.

Media Coverage

Nighat Dad’s accomplishments in Digital Rights recognized by Ted Fellows Program

Our Executive Director was recognized by the prestigious Ted Fellows Program for her work in fighting against cyber harassment targeted at women and gender minorities. The efforts made by DRF to equip women with the resources and knowledge they require in order to take advantage of the internet were highlighted.

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In October, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 292 complaints, with a majority of complaints being reported by females. These included 11 instances of domestic violence and physical harassment.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

Ab Aur Nahin: Since the start of COVID-19, domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. DRF has relaunched its Ab Aur Nahin initiative which is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse. Please contact us if you require assistance, free of charge.

Link can  be found here: www.abaurnahin.pk

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

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

 

October 7, 2021 - Comments Off on September 2021 Newsletter: Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 576 complaints

September 2021 Newsletter: Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 576 complaints

Policy Initiatives:

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Statistics, August 2021

The Cyber Harassment Helpline reported receiving 576 complaints in the month of August, with 402 of these complaints being registered by women. A substantial number of complaints (241 in total) were related to varying forms of blackmail as well as the non-consensual use of information by perpetrators online.
These statistics highlight the prevalence of gender-based violence which women face online in Pakistan daily.

Our Helpline is dedicated to assisting victims of cyber harassment by providing support in the form of digital safety guidance, legal aid, and mental health assistance.

You can reach us at 0800-39393, 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.

Submission of comments to Ministry for Personal Data Protection Bill 2021

DRF provided a series of comments and suggestions to the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MoITT) on its Personal Data Protection Bill of 2021, which is the fourth draft of the Bill released since 2018.

The official document by DRF can be found here:
https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/PDPB-2021-Submission-by-DRF.pdf

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF is all set to relaunch its Hamara Internet website

#HamaraInternetKyaHai

The website will feature insightful contributions from women journalists and writers focused on digital rights, gender and technology. New content such as blogs, vlogs and articles will serve as engaging content for our audiences.

DRF launches surveys  on Virtual Learning and Disinformation during the Covid-19 Pandemic

DRF is conducting research on the effects that Covid-19 has had on learning in schools with a focus on the shift  to virtual learning and the outcome this has had. There is also research being conducted on the role that fake news and disinformation have played in providing information to the public regarding crucial issues such as vaccination.

Events and Training Sessions

Retreat for Women Journalists for Digital Rights in Nathia Gali

DRF hosted a residency retreat for Women Journalists from across Pakistan in Nathia Gali from the 10th - 14th of  September. The retreat involved a number of activities geared towards encouraging journalists to inculcate self-care and well-being practices into their daily lives to be able to manage daily stressors better. These involved reinvigorating yoga sessions along with team building exercises such as campfire stories which really allowed the attendees to unwind and bond with each other. It also served as a wonderful opportunity for the journalists to network and create an avenue  of collectivized support which was accessible and effective.

Nighat Dad spoke on the panel “Does One Size Fit All? Regulating Content in the Digital Age”

Nighat participated as a guest speaker in the webinar centered around challenges that governments face in regulating digital content on the internet. The online event was  hosted by Quaid-i-Azam University in collaboration with BowerGroupAsia, a strategic advisory firm focusing on Asia-Pacific.

Digital Safety Training Session for Women Reporters at the Tribal News Network

Our Digital Safety Trainer Danish held a training session for women reporters organized by TNN on September 20th  in which he provided useful information regarding how one can keep themselves and their data safe while using online platforms.

Consultation Event by Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project

DRF attended a Consultation session on the 21st and 22nd of September at Pearl Continental, Lahore to discuss the vision and priorities of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW). The event was organized by Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project, a joint initiative by the European Union and the Ministry of Human Right in Pakistan. DRF engaged in relevant discussions with the panel and provided recommendations for the NCSW.

“Defending Rights and Challenging Discourse”  Event

Our Executive Director Nighat Dad and Director for Research and Policy, Shmyla Khan attended the Jinnah Institute’s Womansplaining Writer’s Conversation on 27th September, 2021. The panel was hosted by Zahid Rehman, with Rimmel Mohyudin also participating. DRF has contributed towards the Womansplaining book by writing a chapter in it. The book has been edited by Senator Sherry Rehman this year.

You can find the conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiuLNkx6yG0

Media Coverage:

Nighat Dad meets with young women journalists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Nighat Dad, along with Marium Chaudry (founder of The Current) met with a group of young women journalists from KPK through an event organized  by the Tribal News Network (TNN) in collaboration with Thomson Foundation. Nighat spoke to the women about her experience working in Digital Rights and how she had gotten to where she was, including the obstacles she faced along the way. The session proved to be inspirational and insightful for the young women who were attending.

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on the Samaa TV Morning Show

Nighat spoke to Samaa TV on Friday, 17th September about the importance of digital literacy regarding social media content that is malicious and classifies as defamation according to the law. She also spoke about the need for ethical journalism and for social media organizations to take  more responsibility in filtering out content that thrives on false information discrimination on their platforms.

Blog post on “Digital and Social Transformations in Pakistan During Covid-19”

DRF’s summer intern worked alongside our Research and Policy team to produce a survey to assess the impact of increased digitization across Pakistan due to the pandemic, and the digital and social transformations that have occurred as a result.

Read the blog here: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-and-social-transformations-in-pakistan-during-covid-19/

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

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

Link can  be found here: www.abaurnahin.pk

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

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

September 17, 2021 - Comments Off on June, July and August 2021 Newsletter: DRF launches Digital 50.50 on Online Freedom of Assembly and Association

June, July and August 2021 Newsletter: DRF launches Digital 50.50 on Online Freedom of Assembly and Association

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF launches Digital 50.50 on Online Freedom of Assembly and Association

DRF launched it's second last edition of Digital 50.50 on August 23. It was focused on online freedom of assembly and association. As the world retreated inside the homes during the Coronavirus lockdown in 2020, protests were still held in both online spaces and the streets across the world. This reminded us of the importance of freedom of assembly and association as fundamental human rights and essential requirements for a functioning democracy. Journalists from both Urdu and English media shared their thoughts and words with us on some interesting aspects around the theme.

Link to magazine: https://www.canva.com/design/DAEmriH0G7Y/dfnTz_2bRDrVaqIvZq5MYA/view
Some ways you can secure your snapchat

DRF’s cyber harassment helpline has been seeing an increasing number of calls about people having their Snapchat accounts hacked. It's always a good time to remind ourselves of some of the basics of being safe online. We must always be mindful of our digital safety, given how frequent hacks are becoming.

Blame the criminal, not the victim


DRF shared a series of posts highlighting the importance of accountability in the current situation of physical, verbal and emotional attacks on women. The ongoing femicide in the country is quite distressing and in case of help individuals can reach out to the Cyber Harassment Helpline.

 

Digital 50.50 edition on ‘Loving Yourself in the Era of Trolling’

DRF launched the Digital 50.50 edition, "Loving Yourself In The Era Of Trolling" issue which is packed full of powerful writing from womxn all across Pakistan who have had to deal with immense trolling for simply existing online.

Read the full magazine here:

https://canva.com/design/DAEiAMh5ItM/1je9A13SXImSCLKtBmt-UA/view

Cyber Harassment Helpline’s campaign on key digital rights issues

 

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline in June shared a series of posts around cyber bullying, harassment, digital safety and infomatic posts around how to file a complaint with the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA).

Policy Initiatives:

Policy Brief on #AttacksWontSilenceUs - One year on

Last year, amid rising digital attacks against women journalists, we issued a statement signed by more than 150 women journalists and activists.

To evaluate where we stand a year later, we've launched a new policy brief. Read here: https://bit.ly/2VJeNGt

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics for July 2021

In July, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 712 complaints, bringing a 54% increase in cases since June. Due to recent incidents and the spotlight on gender based violence, there has been a surge in awareness and resources being shared for the benefit of the public.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics for June 2021

According to DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics in the month of June 2021, there was  an almost 40% increase in complaints compared to the previous month of May, 2021. This rise brought to light how much further we all have to go to work towards an equal and safe internet for all.

DRF’s study on Young People and Privacy in Online Spaces


DRF launched a study in June titled, "Young People & Privacy". The study looks at how young Pakistani teens interact with digital spaces and understand the concept of privacy.

You can read the entire study here: https://bit.ly/3wTeC8B

 

#PrivacyHumSabKeLiye

 

The Network of Women Journalists statement condemning the petition registered in Gujranwala for treason cases against notable Pakistani journalists

DRF’s Network of Women Journalists on Digital Rights released a statement in June condemning the petition registered in Gujranwala for treason cases against notable Pakistani journalists Hamid Mir and Asma Shirazi.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics for May 2021

For the month of May 2021, our Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 336 complaints.

Media Coverage:

Afghan people face an impossible choice over their digital footprint

Nighat Dad penned down the aftermath that the Afghan people face over their digital footprint.

Read the full piece here:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2287409-afghan-people-face-an-impossible-choice-over-their-digital-footprint/

Nighat Dad on 92 News about the digital gender divide

Nighat Dad spoke on Subh Savary Pakistan of 92 News regarding the digital gender divide in the country.

Link to interview: https://twitter.com/SubhSavarayPk/status/1427556824010665988?s=20

Nighat Dad spoke on PTV on gender based violence

DRF’s Nighat Dad on 16th August spoke on PTV World on gender based violence and how there is a need for more accountability to make safe spaces for women and gendered minorities.

Link to interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=RuPijVRTu4Q&ab_channel=PTVWorld

Nighat Dad mentioned in Pride of Pakistan

This independence day Nighat Dad was mentioned in the Pride of Pakistan piece by the news.

Read the full piece here:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/magazine/you/867898-pride-of-pakistan

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke to Dawn News about the domestic violence bill

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on Dawn News on the domestic violence bill and why there is a need for such a bill.

Link to interview:

https://twitter.com/newseyeofficial/status/1412436814439215112?s=20

Events and Sessions:

Understanding the Legal Landscape and Media Law - 27th August

DRF, in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited conducted the first of its series of training based on media law for journalists on the 27th of August. The training was attended by both Urdu and English media and many journalists expressed interest in joining refreshers of the same. It covered Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and defamation laws among others.

WISE - Women in Struggle for Empowerment Seminar on The Role of Helplines in Countering Gender Based Violence - 25th August

The Cyber Harassment Helpline took part in a seminar organized by WISE on the role of helplines in working to assist in cases of gender based violence. The Helpline team shared the services it provides, how people can report instances of cyber crime to designated law enforcement authorities and what precautionary measures they can take in order to make themselves more secure online.

Workshop for Gender Minorities, Multan - 24th and 25th August:

DRF organized a two-day workshop for Gender minorities in Multan and the session aimed to create awareness among the Transgender community regarding the legal landscape that governs digital platforms, how to secure personal data and to avoid dangerous practices online that may put the Transgender community at risk.

A cyber-harassment awareness session was also conducted among the participants in which they were provided guidance on how to deal with harassment issues online during COVID-19. They were informed about how to reach out to DRF’s helpline if necessary. Helpline brochures and books were distributed amongst the participants along with hand sanitizers and face masks.

Online Training Session - Digital Safety in the Context of Advocacy movements and Human Rights - 19th August

An online training session regarding digital security within the context of advocacy movements and human rights was conducted.

This session focused on human rights defenders, specifically those belonging to minority communities, and how they can navigate through online spaces safely. Zanaya Chaudhry, a transgender activist, discussed the importance of managing online interactions, and the consequences minority communities faced when being drawn into controversial and potentially harmful online discourses. Zanaya shared a touching message with the participants regarding her personal experiences dealing with marginalization along with the challenges she had to face in order to achieve her objectives.

Nighat Dad spoke on panel ‘Why do we need a world where we control the internet?’

On 15th August Nighat Dad took part in a panel titled, ‘Why do we need a world where we control the internet?’ In the session she highlighted that the internet needs to be a safe space where nobody’s digital identity is threatened.

Nighat Dad  session on Violence Against Women: Challenges, Reform and the Pandemic

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in the webinar ‘Violence Against Women: Challenges, Reform and the Pandemic’ on 19th July at SDPI. The session had renowned speakers discussing the ongoing femicide and the need for reform, especially during the pandemic.

DRF conducted an online training on gender sensitive reporting in mainstream and digital media

On 16th July, DRF hosted an online training with journalists from across the country on gender sensitive reporting. The training included components on understanding the changing terminology around gender, examples of biased news reports and guidelines on reporting in a gender sensitive manner. It also focused and how newsrooms can be sensitized towards being more gender-inclusive.

DRF conducted a training session on ensuring online safety for it's network of journalists on 12th July

The workshop was conducted via zoom considering the Covid situation. It was attended by journalists from digital and mainstream media across the country.

Nighat Dad on Unlock the Freedom with Tauseeq Haider

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s web-series ‘Unlock Freedom’ with Tauseeq Haider on 10th July. The session focused on internet freedom and digital rights in the country.

DRF on the launch of ‘Algorithmic Decision-Making in Pakistan: A challenge to Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination’

DRF’s Shmyla Khan took part in the Centre for Human Rights’ report launch on "Algorithmic Decision-Making in Pakistan: A Challenge to Right to Equality & Non-Discrimination” on 9th July 2021.

DRF conducted two sessions on Misinformation and Fake News in times of COVID19

DRF conducted sessions on the 6th and 8th of July with journalists and civil society on Misinformation and Fake News in times of COVID19. The session was conducted with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

Protecting your gatherings online: digitally-mediated assemblies and international law

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in the session ‘Protecting your gatherings online: digitally-mediated assemblies and international law’ at RightsCon on July 7th. In the session our ED highlighted how policies made in the west have a ripple effect across the globe which is why policies should be thorough and fair.

DRF at #BalochistanYoungGirlsSummerCamp2021

DRF’s Nighat Dad held a session with #BalochistanYoungGirlsSummerCamp2021 on 29th June highlighting the importance of privacy online and also the importance of reclaiming online spaces and filing a complaint of online violence.

DRF conducted a webinar on the report launch of ‘Young People and Privacy in Digital Spaces’

DRF conducted a webinar on account of the report launch titled, ‘Young People and Privacy in Digital Spaces’ on 25th June. The team who worked on the report participated in the event and highlighted their findings in the report.

DRF conducted a session on 'bringing feminism to digital and mainstream media' on 18th June in Islamabad

The session was held in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited. It was attended by journalists from Urdu and English media. The topics covered included understanding the terminology of gender, reflecting on why the media is gender insensitive and guidelines to report in a gender sensitive manner.

DRF on Platform Futures session on Mobile Ecosystems: Opportunities and Challenges in the Asia-Pacific region

DRF participated in the session Mobile Ecosystems: Opportunities and Challenges in the Asia-Pacific region on 11th June. Nighat Dad of DRF took part in the discussion around platforms, access, markets, equity and Tiktok.

Listen to the full session here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=160iBtfVBfA

RightsCon session on Amplifying the human impact of internet shutdowns - why it matters

Nighat Dad spoke on RightsCon on the session ‘Amplifying the human impact of internet shutdowns- why it matters’ on 11th June. The session highlighted how internet shutdowns have an adverse impact on human lives and how the internet now is a fundamental human right.

DRF at Article 19’s session on how civil society carves out space for change in South & Southeast Asia

DRF participated in RightsCon from 7th till 11th June and took part in Article 19’s session on how civil society carves out space for change in South & Southeast Asia. The session focused on how solidarity is important in a shrinking media environment in South and Southeast Asia.

Gender and Disinformation: Towards a Gender-Based Approach for Researchers, Activists and Allies

DRF, along with EU Disinfo Lab, co-hosted a Community Lab at RightsCon  titled: Gender and disinformation: towards a gender-based approach for researchers, activists, and allies on 10th June. Through an interactive discussion led by six facilitators, they explored the intersections of gender and disinformation in relation to conflict, political participation, activism, gender-based violence.

Asia Pacific Social Hour

DRF participated at RightsCon social hour on 10th June which was a relaxed discussion around the digital rights movement and how art and humor can be used to promote digital rights.

Digital Security: Perspective from the Margins in Asia

DRF’s Shmyla Khan participated in the RightsCon session on ‘Digital Security: Perspective from the Margins in Asia’ on 9th June which was hosted by Body and Data. Shmyla Khan highlighted how security needs to be redefined and broadened in the digital space. There was also a discussion around how there should be a wider debate around mental health and well being.

Gendered disinformation: How should democracies respond to this threat?

DRF’s Shmyla Khan spoke in the session ‘gendered disinformation: How should democracies respond to this threat?’ by Heinrich Böll Stiftung on 9th June. The event focused on how to improve responses to gendered disinformation online and what platforms can do to help.

Details of the session: https://calendar.boell.de/en/gendered-disinformation

Voicing the shutdowns #LetTheNetWork

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in the RightsCon session ‘Voicing the shutdowns’ on 8th June 2021. In the session a much needed debate around internet shutdowns across the globe and strategies around it took place.

Silencing the silenced? The impact of takedown legislation on civil liberties and victims of human rights abuses

DRF’s Executive Director participated in the RightsCon session ‘Silencing the silenced? The impact of takedown legislation on civil liberties and victims of human rights abuses on 8th June. The session highlighted the impact of takedown laws on civil liberties and human rights abuses across the globe.

COVID-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Sunday, from 9AM to 5PM. If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

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

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

 

 

 

June 25, 2021 - Comments Off on May 2021 Newsletter: DRF Commemorates World Press Freedom Day 2021

May 2021 Newsletter: DRF Commemorates World Press Freedom Day 2021

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:


DRF Addresses the impact on COVID-19 on journalists for World Press Freedom Day 2021:

For the #WorldPressFreedomDay, DRF reflected on the struggles of the past year faced by journalists, including the rise in disinformation and the sudden change in how newsrooms are operated across the country, in addition to the risks to health posed by a global pandemic.


First 2021 Edition of the Digital 50.50 Feminist E-Magazine celebrates Women’s History Month:

The Digital Rights Foundation’s Digital 50.50 Feminist E-Magazine’s first edition for 2021 highlighted women’s history month, and the role of prominent women in Pakistan, in enacting major social change, and sheds light on the discrimination faced by these women that has silenced their acheivements. The magazine can be accessed here.

DRF is expanding the Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWJDR)

The network of women journalists for digital rights (@NWJDR) is looking for women journalists and reporters from across Pakistan, particularly individuals working with Urdu media platforms. The network aims to create a safe space and support network for women journalists. The network also connects its members to DRF's expert digital safety staff in case of compromises on their devices or other digital safety issues that they may face. Our Cyber Harassment Helpline is also available as a resource in case someone faces online harassment.

Click here to join theNWJDR network:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeEWC2vrH1D9Xni1dTyLSh800qILjAc0FX5z65WKzzYE3JhiA/viewform

DRF highlighted the Digital Apartheid on social media

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatsapp Account Update


Never forget to log out of your WhatsApp account after using it on your laptop or any other device. The new WhatsApp update will keep your WhatsApp account logged on several devices despite being active on your phone. Some of the most common complaints we get on our Helpline have to do with WhatsApp hacks. Use the three steps mentioned above to protect yourself.

Policy Initiatives:


DRF conducts study on “Cyber Harassment Against Female Journalists”:

The Digital Rights Foundation conducted a study on “Cyber Harassment Against Female Journalists”, in which they interviewed 60 journalists, and revealed that 55% of the respondents have been subjected to online abuse while 91% believe that online abuse is gendered. More importantly, 93% of the respondents believed that the state had failed to protect female journalists in online spaces.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline releases statistics for April 2021:

For the month of April, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 455 complaints (a 27% increase), in which 327 were women, 111 were men, 13 were minors and two transgender individuals. These numbers are a stark reminder that we must strive together to make the internet a safer space for everyone.

Media Coverage:


DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline featured in an article by BBC World News:

In an interview with BBC World News, our Cyber Harassment Helpline Manager, Jannat Fazal, talks about the digital gender divide in Pakistan and the kind of services being offered to vulnerable women at our Helpline. This article highlights how the pandemic affected women's online experiences the world over. It highlights how this is truly a global issue, one that we need to fight together. You can read the article here.

Nighat Dad featured by Women of the World:

Women of the  World listed Nighat Dad, Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation, as one of the most prominent women in the country, highlighting her role in setting a precedent for digital security and privacy in Pakistan.

Link to article: https://artsandculture.google.com/story/yQWRVh7d36w05w

Nighat Dad was featured in IFEX’s Faces of Free expression

DRF’s executive director Nighat Dad was featured in the faces of free expression spotlight in which her experience of setting up Digital Rights Foundation and her achievements and accomplishments as an human rights defender were celebrated.

Link: https://www.ifep.io/faces

DRF’s Nighat Dad featured as the ‘Top 10 Tech Influencers in Pakistan’

DRF’s Nighat Dad has been featured as the ‘Top 10 Tech Influencers in Pakistan’. Her achievements have been highlighted among other pioneering tech influencers in the country.

Link to article: https://localwriter.pk/top-tech-influencers-of-pakistan/

Events and Sessions:


Panel Discussion on ‘The State of Journalism in Pakistan’:

Marking the World Press Freedom Day 2021 on the 3rd of May, the Digital Rights Foundation held a panel discussion on the ‘State of Journalism in Pakistan’. The discussion was moderated by Nighat Dad, with a diverse group of panelists, discussing the changes brought on by the global pandemic, and how information is a public good, especially in times of COVID 19.

Link to webinar: https://fb.watch/6hlWT9lXJj/


DRF featured in Privacy International’s Stockholm Internet Forum 2021:

At the annual Stockholm Internet Forum (2021), the Digital Rights Foundation was featured in a comprehensive panel discussion on “Global Lessons and Challenges to Advocate for Data Protection”. More details can be found here.


Nighat Dad featured in panel discussion for Beaconhouse’s School of Tomorrow Conference:

Nighat Dad, Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation, was featured in the Beaconhouse group’s School of Tomorrow (SOT) Virtual Conference, participating in a panel discussion on “Censorship, Human Endurance and Crossfires”. The conference can be accessed here.


Nighat Dad featured in panel discussion for Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum

In a panel discussion for the Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum (RBHR) for 2021, Nighat Dad joined esteemed panelists to discuss “Business and Human Rights in the Digital Era”, which highlighted the most prevalent issues in South Asia and reiterated the need for reform in digital spaces.

DRF’s session with LGS Phase 5 children

DRF conducted a session with 5th Graders for LGS Phase 5 on the 6th of May. These students were conducting a project on advocacy around data protection for their PYP project and members of our team (Zainab Durrani as well as ED Nighat Dad) walked them through the data protection landscape in Pakistan. The session also led to an online data protection advocacy campaign where the content was created by the students, highlighting why #ProtectMyData is the need of the hour.

COVID-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline:

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms. You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday). The helpline now also provides services to journalists like legal assistance and representation, counselling and digital safety and assistance.


Ab Aur Nahin:

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

IWF Portal:

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

 

 

May 21, 2021 - Comments Off on April 2021: DRF Commemorates #GirlsInICT Day

April 2021: DRF Commemorates #GirlsInICT Day

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:


DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline finalist for World Justice Challenge:

The Digital Rights Foundation’s Cyber Harassment Helpline has been shortlisted as a finalist for the World Justice Challenge (organised by the World Justice Project), for its tremendous efforts in recording, documenting and reporting cases of online harassment.

DRF celebrates #GirlsInICT Day:

On the 22nd of April, the Digital Rights Foundation participated in commemorating the #GirlsInICT Day, discussing the gender digital divide, and how it holds back women and girls from interacting and understanding technology.

Policy Initiatives:

DRF Cyber Harassment Helpline releases statistics for March 2021:

The Digital Rights Foundation released the Cyber Harassment Helpline’s key statistics for March 2021, with 356 complaints marking an unprecedented 118% increase in reported complaints.

#AbAurNahin introduces directory of  female lawyers:

#AbAurNahin provides a comprehensive directory of pro-bono lawyers for victims of harassment and abuse on both online or offline spaces, with thirty female lawyers extending their services across Pakistan. For further information, please refer to the following link.

Remembering Our Friends

DRF mourns the loss of IA Rehman Sahab

IA Rehman was a true champion of human rights, and an inspiration for all of us working towards making Pakistan a more equal place. Over the years he widened his understanding of the digital world.  As time progressed he became more aware of modernity and technology and how it affects human rights. He was a strong voice against online censorship and supported digital rights and online freedom of expression. We are all left poorer without him. His life will serve a reminder to always fight the good fight, with strength and integrity. Our condolences and prayers are with his family and those who were close to him. May we continue his legacy by continuing to stand up against injustice.

We are deeply saddened by the sudden demise of our very dear friend and @NWJDR member, Ambreen Zaman Khan. She was an amazing journalist who wrote about key issues, including digital rights and harassment. Ambreen will always be close to our hearts.

Rest in peace, Ambreen

 

 

Media Coverage:

Nighat Dad discusses privacy and cybersecurity on Facebook with Hum News:

In an interview with Hum News, Nighat Dad spoke about how the data leak of 533 million Facebook users’ personal data, and how the leaked data could provide valuable information to cybercriminals. You can watch the interview here.

Nighat Dad discusses gender rights with the Harvard Radcliffe Institute:

In a panel discussion for the Harvard Radcliffe Institute’s Women and Public Policy Program, Nighat Dad discussed how women in Pakistan are constantly surveilled in digital spaces, and that online platforms are inequitable as they include marginalised and disenfranchised groups.

Events and Sessions:

Nighat Dad participates in panel discussion for the Lahore School of Law:

In a panel discussion webinar on “Pakistan’s Personal Data Protection Bill: New Law, New Challenges”, Nighat Dad spoke about the plethora on emerging digital security challenges, and how Pakistan can develop a rigorous legal framework to deal with those emerging issues. You can view the session here.

Seminar on “Digital Security during COVID-19 and Beyond for Human Rights”:

The Digital Rights Foundation held a seminar on “Digital Security during COVID-19 and Beyond for Human Rights”, on the 30th of April. Dr. Ayra Patras moderated the seminar, in which members of both religious and gender minority communities shared their concerns and fears in digital spaces, and were subsequently advised on how they could secure themselves online from intimidation and harassment.

COVID-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline:

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

You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at
helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk between 9 am to 5 pm (monday - friday).

 

Ab Aur Nahin:

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

IWF Portal:

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

April 21, 2021 - Comments Off on March 2021 Newsletter: DRF hosts National Privacy Conference in the COVID-19 era

March 2021 Newsletter: DRF hosts National Privacy Conference in the COVID-19 era

Online Campaigns and Initiatives :

National Privacy Conference:

On the 9th and 10th of March 2021, DRF held its first ever virtual National Privacy Conference. Our annual event is one of the highlights of our year, as we come together with industry experts and other activists to talk about digital rights and privacy rights. This year, we focused on the repercussions of the COVID 19 pandemic on mental health, and on privacy, especially around sensitive information like an individual’s health information.

All of our talks were streamed live on our Facebook page. They’re currently saved there and you can catch them here.

Policy Initiatives:

DRF Launches Its 2020 Annual Report:

With the collaboration of our entire team, we were able to digitally launch our annual report for 2020. This report goes over the work we did over the past year, which came with its challenges. Nonetheless, our team persevered and we were able to achieve what we all set out to do at the start of 2020.

The report can be accessed here.

Media Coverage:

Nighat Dad joins panel discussion with the UK’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations:

In a panel discussion with the United Kingdom’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Nighat Dad discusses solutions to countering online violence against women in public life, and to make digital spaces more inclusive and safe.

Nighat Dad joins panel discussion with International Center for Journalists:

Nighat Dad joined a group of prominent panelists for the 65th anniversary of the inception of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, discussing the role of women in public life and how they can be granted equal participation in decision making mechanisms.

Nighat Dad joins panel discussion with UNDP Business and Human Rights Asia:

Nighat Dad joined a group of esteemed panelists for the 2nd United Nations South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights, discussing Gender Bias in New Technologies and how digital spaces can be more inclusive for women and minorities.

Nighat Dad joins panel discussion on “The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act”

Nighat Dad joined a panel discussion on The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, to understand the context, legality and implication of the current legal frameworks in place.

Nighat Dad joins panel discussion on “AI and Power”

In a panel session conducted by the Mozilla Festival, Nighat Dad discussed how the rise of artificial intelligence can pose new challenges for the digital age, and what those potential threats may translate for women in online spaces.

Events and Sessions:

Women In Cyber Security Beyond Border 2021 |The Era of Data Protection in South Asia, March 24

DRF was part of the ‘Women In Cyber Security Beyond Border 2021’, panel ‘The Era of Data Protection in South Asia’ to talk about the importance of privacy and data protection laws in the country.

Bridging the Gender and Digital Divide in Post COVID-19 Pakistan: Empowering Women Through ICT on March 26

The Centre for Public Policy and Governance at Forman Christian College marked International Women's Day with the campaign #ChoosetoChallenge calling for action on creating an equitable world that is inclusive and that fights gender bias. This panel discussion looked at some of the challenges the country faces in light of the gender divide in access to and use of information and communications technology. Shmyla Khan from DRF took part in the panel along with Burhan Rasool (head of the Software Engineering Wing at PITB, and Salma Butt (Member Punjab Provincial Assembly).

Virtual Workshop with Women Home-based Workers in Sukkur:

DRF conducted a day-long virtual workshop on digital literacy and online safety with 25 women from Sukkur on the 30th of March. The participants discussed issues of online harassment and insecurity in their use of mobile phones and were given a hands-on digital safety workshop by the trainers at DRF.

COVID-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline:

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

Ab Aur Nahin:

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

IWF Portal:

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

 

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

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

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

#SaferInternetDay: Understanding the Cyber Harassment Landscape

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

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

Mapping Gender-based violence in Pakistan:

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

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

Policy Initiatives:

Cyber Harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan

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

Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report (2020)

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

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

 

Self-help Toolkit on Mental Health

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

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

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

Media Coverage:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with PTV News on Cyber Harassment Helpline:

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

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

Events and Sessions:

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

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

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

Taking Charge of your digital identity: understanding digital rights

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

Tweet Chat: Imagining a Safer Internet

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

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

Tweet Chat: Privacy in Pakistan, Ghar Sey Kanoon Tak

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

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

COVID-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline:

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

Ab Aur Nahin:

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

IWF Portal:

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

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

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

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Whatsapp New Policy

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

#WhyIsDataPrivacyDayImportant

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

Policy Initiatives

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Coverage

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

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

Nighat Dad on 7 News talking about the new Whatsapp Policy

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

Nighat Dad on GNN talking about the new Whatsapp Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

سائبر سیکیورٹی: دورِ حاضر کی اشد ضرورت

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

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

Virginity tests for female rape survivors outlawed by Pakistani court

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

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

Strong data protection law under study

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

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

Cybercrime peaked during lockdown- will 2021 be any different?

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

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

Source Fact Check

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events and Sessions

Nighat Dad speak on Shaping Empowered Societies at World Economic Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Struggle Against Gender-Based Violence and the way forward

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

Digital Security during COVID and Beyond Human Rights

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

Digital safety training

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

Panel discussion on Digital Rights and Advocacy with University of Karachi

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

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

Ab Aur Nahin

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

IWF Portal

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