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May 15, 2020 - Comments Off on April 2020: Online Campaigns and Initiatives 

April 2020: Online Campaigns and Initiatives 

Joint Statement by Digital Rights Foundation and BoloBhi: The Digital Gap During the COVID-19 Pandemic is Exasperating Inequalities

DRF and BoloBhi released a statement regarding the impact of the digital gap during the COVID-19 pandemic and the exclusions that will arise in terms of class, gender, geographical location, ability, and digital literacy.

Read the full statement here:

Joint Statement by Digital Rights Foundation and BoloBhi: The Digital Gap During the COVID-19 Pandemic is Exasperating Inequalities

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/the-colombo-declaration-march-6th-2020/

Girls in ICT Day 

DRF launched an online campaign for Girls in ICT Day on 23rd April to encourage more women to be part of the tech industry. The day emphasizes the need for women to be a part of the ICT sector and how women's access to technology is still limited and hindered. DRF asked women in tech about their experiences in tech and why it is important to keep online spaces safe and inclusive for women.

International Women’s Day: Media4Women 2020 Campaign

 DRF joined the global campaign with 48 partners from 21 countries committing to putting gender equality in the media on the local and international agenda. The global theme was Inclusive and Equal Portrayal of Women by the Media.

DRF’s campaign involved a design competition and quotes from network members on the problematic gender stereotypes portrayed by and in the media. The cash prize for the design competition was PKR 15,000, which was won by Amara Sikandar. Here’s her painting.  

About her design, she said, “Media plays an important role in promoting inclusivity and should put in all efforts to include their perspectives and talk about their rights as a step towards them having their lawful rights.”

COVID UPDATES
Cyber Harassment Helpline 

The helpline’s toll-free number is finally operational. Thanks to the PTA, our number is operating remotely, helping our team to continue practicing social distancing while also assisting you all out too! You can now call us from 9 am till 5 pm, Monday to Friday, or email us on helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk.

IWF Portal

Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) in collaboration with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages – English, Urdu, and Pashto. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

The new portal can be found at https://report.iwf.org.uk/pk

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all-time high with women having nowhere to go and ask for help.  Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for survivors of abuse. We provide a comprehensive directory of lawyers around the country to provide you with the support and assistance you need. You are not alone, and you do not need to fight alone.

Media Engagement

Spread of Disinformation has increased during lockdowns 

https://www.samaa.tv/video/2020/04/spread-of-disinformation-has-increased-during-lockdown-says-nighat-dad/

https://twitter.com/nighatdad/status/1250405111152730119?s=20

During COVID19 disinformation is putting lives at risk especially when it is repeated and amplified by influential and political leaders, it puts true information at the risk of having an only marginal impact. Our Executive Director Nighat Dad  shares her thoughts about fake news in times of the pandemic.

Events and Sessions

Digital Security During The Pandemic


On 23rd April, DRF alongside our friends at ‘Bolo Bhi’ held an Instagram live session to address concerns following a rise in phishing attacks and sextortion emails. The session was moderated by Bolo Bhi’s Kashaf Rehman and our digital security expert and communications lead, Arslan Athar represented DRF and answered questions regarding digital safety during COVID 19.

 

April 21, 2020 - Comments Off on March 2020: Launch of IWF Pakistan reporting portal

March 2020: Launch of IWF Pakistan reporting portal

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

On March 19, Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) in collaboration with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages – English, Urdu, and Pashto. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK. It is the 33rd portal set up around the world to fight the spread of online child sexual abuse material.

The launch was due to take place in Pakistan and would have been attended by representatives from the British High Commission in Pakistan, as well as representatives from the IWF. However, following the cancellation of flights and public gatherings because of the coronavirus, it was decided a virtual launch would be the best solution.

The new portal can be found at https://report.iwf.org.uk/pk

#EndOnlineChildAbuse

M4W campaign 2020

DRF participated in Media4Women (M4W) 2020 campaign with around 48 partners from 21 countries committing to putting gender equality in the media on the local and international agenda. The campaign was run between March 1st and March 15th and the theme for this year focused on, Inclusive and Equal Portrayal of Women by the Media. Members of DRF’s Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights shared quotes on challenging problematic gender stereotypes that portrayed women as less important than men, these were shared on all social media platforms of DRF. DRF also conducted a design competition on the global theme for the year and received numerous submissions.

Policy Initiatives

DRF on Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020

https://www.geo.tv/latest/275191-social-media-rules-digital-rights-group-calls-govts-call-for-consultation-token-to-deflect-criticism

The Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020, notified by the Federal Government, was the government's attempt to centralize control of all online content through one central ‘National Coordinator,’ which was granted unprecedented censorship powers. It required all social media companies to have a local presence, obligated them to remove any objectionable material and flag as ‘false’ any content communicated to them as being false by the Coordinator. These rules were made without any consultation with any stakeholders and outrightly infringed the Constitutional rights of privacy and free speech. Realizing the devastating impact these rules would have on the already precarious human rights condition with regards to user privacy and freedom of expression, Digital RIghts Foundation issued a statement condemning these rules followed by a Legal Analysis of the same which was also shared publicly. Apart from other things, it was discussed in the legal analysis how these rules violate fundamental right of privacy and free speech, exceed the scope of, as well as contravene, the legislative enactments under which they were framed.

Joint Statement by Digital Rights Foundation and BoloBhi: The Digital Gap During the COVID-19 Pandemic is Exasperating Inequalities

Joint Statement by Digital Rights Foundation and BoloBhi: The Digital Gap During the COVID-19 Pandemic is Exasperating Inequalities

DRF Contributed To ‘The Colombo Declaration’. South Asian Feminists contribution to the Beijing +25 process and other processes

Feminist organizations from South Asia got together to write out a feminist declaration that would be used to create modern states that champion causes like equality, freedom and privacy. You can read the entire declaration here:

THE COLOMBO DECLARATION (March 6th 2020)

Events and Sessions

DRF holds Gender and Privacy at Government College Sahiwal

DRF conducted an informative session on Gender and Privacy at the Government College in Sahiwal on the 3rd of March, 2020 where an audience of 100+ young men and women were in attendance. The session covered a host of topics around the theme and was well-received.

DRF at ‘Empowering Women to fight disinformation’

DRF in collaboration with Global Neighborhood For Media Innovation (GNMI) conducted a session on empowering women to fight disinformation- coming together to combat fake news on 4th March 2020 in Lahore. The session focused on how fake news manifests itself in online spaces and the importance of source verification for not only journalists but also common citizens of the country. The audience included female journalists and media practitioners.

DRF at ‘Bridging Gaps between GBV Survivors and Response Services’

Dastak Charitable Trust held an event, titled: ‘Bridging Gaps between GBV Survivors and Response Services' in which they brought together their first responders and community workers with organizations and institutes in a bid to better inform them and give them a chance to exchange information and ask questions about practical elements of the important work they do with domestic abuse victims. DRF was part of the panel and introduced the Cyber Harassment Helpline to the audience. Informational material was also distributed to the participants of the event.

Other participant organizations and institutions were the police, PCSW, a mental health care helpline, HRCP, AGHS, amongst others.

DRF at FNF’s seminar on ‘Strengthening NGOs: Strategy, Management and Fundraising’


The Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) held a seminar on 'Strengthening NGOs: Strategy, Management and Fundraising' at the International Academy of Leadership (IAF), Gummersbach from 8th March till 20th March.

During the seminar, the participants took a deep dive into what it takes to set up the organisations. All the participants planned for different ways through which they will be able to upsurge and increase the capacity, sustainability and impact of their organisations. Participants were invited to reflect on their organisation’s purpose and vision, and explore the concepts of leadership and management. The facilitators discussed their organisational culture and NGOs in Germany i-e Mother-hood, a German initiative for the safety of women and children during the birth. A fundraising workshop with Jonathan Moakes was also held on “Managing Donor Relations and Performance Management Plans.”

Media Engagement

Battling for women rights online in midst of patriarchy

AFP wrote a piece on DRF’s executive director Nighat Dad on her work related to women rights and digital rights in Pakistan. The article uncovers Nighat’s journey as an activist and also sheds light on the formation of the Digital Rights Foundation. You can read the full article here:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1537944

‘How to Pakistan’ podcast CHAYN

Our Executive Director Nighat Dad was part of the podcast ‘How to Pakistan’ by Chayn which focuses on the #metoo movement in the country. The podcast in available in both urdu and english here:

https://twitter.com/ChaynHQ/status/1232575812228067328?s=20

COVID Updates

Helpline Virtually Available amid Coronavirus pandemic

In wake of the Pandemic COVID 19, Digital Rights Foundation decided to take all the precautionary measures necessary to prevent the spread of this infection, prioritizing both the health of its team members and its callers by shifting the operations of Cyber Harassment Helpline virtual and responding to complaints through emails and social media platforms. Contact us through our email helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk

March 19, 2020 - Comments Off on DRF in collaboration with the World Economic Forum conducted the Mobilizing and Inspiring Action with Technology 2020

DRF in collaboration with the World Economic Forum conducted the Mobilizing and Inspiring Action with Technology 2020

WEF

Digital Rights Foundation and the World Economic Forum in collaboration with institutional partners hosted a first of its kind event in Kathmandu from February 19-21, 2020. This event brought together participants from across South Asia and the rest of the world to discuss the implications of digital and emerging technologies for organizations promoting advocacy and mobilizing people-powered action in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

DRF Collaborated with PJA on hosting a session addressing online gender based violence with Punjab Judicial Academy (PJA) in a conference on Cyber Law


DRF took part in the Punjab Judicial Academy (PJA) titled “Cyber Law” and hostes a panel titled “Digital violence against gender-based marginalised communities” in collaboration with PJA. The conference was attended by the Lahore High Court Chief Justice, Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed. The conference was attended by nearly 300 judges and included both local and international experts.

DRF Executive Director, Nighat Dad spoke at the conference on ‘Social Media And Ways To Promote Freedoms And Protect Activists’

https://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/19/02/2020/Call-for-enhanced-coordination-between-CSOs-to-protect-digital-rights

At a talk titled ‘Identification of future activities to broaden civic spaces on social media’, Nighat Dad talked about how there is a need to bring together CSOs from across South Asia and have them work together. She said that South Asia is faced with many issues of digital rights, and working together can help bride those gaps.

DRF wins the 6th eNGO Challenge Award 2019-2020.

DRF won under the category of the best Civil Society Digital Innovator. The 6th eNGO Challenge Awards was organized by the Digital Empowerment Foundation in New Delhi, India.

DRF at FNF’s panel discussion on fake news

Digital Rights Foundation participated in a panel discussion hosted by Friedrich Nauman Foundation on the launch of the urdu version of their book, “What can be done to counter Fake News?". The panel discussion was held on 22 February 2020 at PNCA during the Mother Language Literature Festival and had Maryam Saeed from DRF, Asad Baig from Media Matters for Democracy and Gulmina Bilal from Individual Land. It was attended by I.A. Rehman, Afrasiab Khattak and Fauzia Saeed among many other activists from the civil society organisations.

DRF at Human Rights Situation in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

Digital Rights Foundation attended a seminar on the current human rights situation in the country on 13th February organized by EU. The seminar had UN Special Rapporteur Michel Frost as the chief guest of the event. DRF also took part in NHRF Grantee workshop on 14th to 15th February in Islamabad. The workshop focused on learning and sharing of NHRF partners in the country.

Cyberbullying session in Beaconhouse Bahria Town Campus

Digital Rights Foundation conducted a seminar with students of Bahria Town O-levels around cyber bullying and harassment. Two sessions were conducted with the students on 26th February one with boys and the other with girls. The session focused on why it is important for children to keep their information personal online and the implications of cyber bullying on children.

DRF at ‘Maati Talks’ discussing Web and OTT Rules by PEMRA

Zainab Durrani represented the DRF team on a panel discussion for the web show ‘Maati Talks’ which was focused on discussing the proposed Web and OTT Rules by PEMRA and the implications of enacting said Rules on web content, content creators and the impact on the legal landscape that has the ability to curtail fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and right to information.

Training on Combating Insecurities in the Age of Digital Media Transformations


DRF organized a workshop for journalists on ‘’Combating Insecurity in the Age of Digital Media Transformations’’ in Peshawar on the  26th and 27th of February 2020. The aim of the workshop was to discuss if the existing media ethics are suitable for the evolving digital media landscape or new and diverse standards are required. Around 25 journalists from print, electronic and digital media joined and actively participated in the two-day workshop. Participants gave their input on how to tackle fake news and disinformation online, considering the low levels of digital literacy among the population in Pakistan which makes it vulnerable to all kinds of online and digital propaganda, and also discussed ways forward in developing the media industry.

Statement: DRF Condemns Citizen’s Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 as an Affront on Online Freedoms

DRF Condemns Citizen’s Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 as an Affront on Online Freedoms

Digital Rights Foundation released a statement condemning the recent ‘Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 which were notified by the Ministry of Information Technology. Click here to read the full statement.

 

 

February 10, 2020 - Comments Off on January 2020: DRF released its latest report on fake news

January 2020: DRF released its latest report on fake news

Digital Rights Foundation released its report titled, ‘Sifting Truth from Lies in the Era of Fake News’,  on 15th January 2020. The study attempts to identify topics that are more susceptible to fake news, and common methods of its dissemination. It also examines the extent of fact-checking practiced in Pakistan’s newsrooms and how often do journalists believe fake news to be true.

Based on the experiences of 152 journalists and activists, who participated in a survey for the research, the report found that over 88per percent respondents identified social media platforms as the least worthy source of information with WhatsApp being a top choice. Eight percent of journalists said that no one fact-checked in the newsroom they worked at. The report can be accessed here. A policy brief was also released to be shared with key stakeholders and can be accessed here. The launch of the report was also widely covered in the media.

Understanding cyber harassment through a gendered lens - one day training session with Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) Cybercrime Wing, Karachi

On January 23, 2020 DRF conducted a training session  ‘Understanding cyber harassment through a gendered lens’ in collaboration with UN Women for FIA cyber crime representatives in Movenpick hotel, Karachi.  The ubiquitousness of harassment cases was discussed delineating its reasons viz; anonymity of users, gender hierarchy, lack of digital literacy, and victim-blaming. Session also highlighted how technology has deepened the gender divide and is being used as a platform for harassment. The aim of the session was to challenge participants’ views regarding harassment and shift attention from victim to perpetrator in order to help them empathize with victims coming to lodge their complaints, to build an insight around the fears and apprehensions of the victims that need to be addressed while building the victims’ trust in the procedure, and to address their queries regarding cyber harassment laws (PECA, 2016) and their prosecutorial shortcomings.

Combating Insecurity in the Age of Digital Media Transformations in Lahore

DRF organized a workshop for journalists on ‘’Combating Insecurity in the Age of Digital Media Transformations’’ at Park Lane Hotel, Lahore on 13th and 14th January 2020. The aim of the workshop was to discuss if the existing media ethics are suitable for the evolving digital media landscape or new and diverse standards are required. Around 24 journalists from print, electronic and digital media joined and actively participated in the two-day workshop. Participants gave their input on how to tackle fake news and disinformation online, considering the low levels of digital literacy among the population in Pakistan which makes it vulnerable to all kinds of online and digital propaganda.

DRF, alongside other major citizen groups and NGOs, released a public statement against proposed PEMRA laws

After much discussion, DRF and other advocacy groups came together to raise their voice and concern over proposed draft PEMRA regulations which are widely seen as draconian and as major impediments to freedom of speech, and creativity. The entire statement can be found here:

Citizens Groups, Journalists’ Body & Others Reject PEMRA’s Draconian Proposed Draft Regulations On Web TV & Other Allied Attempts

Session at Digital Literacy Camp for Young Opinion Leaders by Interactive Resource Centre

DRF delivered a session on “Understanding Social Media in the Age of Misinformation and Insecurity” at the Interactive Resource Centre on January 31 with content creators from across Pakistan where we spoke about digital rights education, the online right to freedom of expression and privacy, and digital safety.

Participated in launch of ‘End Cyber Abuse’ portal and Webinar

DRF contributed to the making of the ‘Pakistan Factsheet for “End Cyber Abuse”, which provide details regarding all legal remedies available to citizens in each country when faced with online abuse and violence. These fact sheets can be accessed here: http://endcyberabuse.org/country-factsheets/

DRF also participated in a webinar titled "A Spotlight on Legal Remedies for Survivors of Image-Based Sexual Abuse Worldwide” on January 28th where we discussed the legal regime in Pakistan and the challenges that victims face in reporting cases of online violence. A recording of the webinar can be found here: https://thomsonreuters.webex.com/recordingservice/sites/thomsonreuters/recording/fc889b1833b8412e895447dd217a93eb.

Session on Domestic Violence by Lincoln Corners at “Peacetivity”

DRF conducted an awareness session on domestic violence laws in Pakistan via weblink on January 11. The event was organised by Lincoln Corners at “Peacetivity”. The session covered the legal regime in each province, particularly Sindh, as well as the resources women have when reporting instances of online harassment.

DRF was a signatory to the APC’s Open Letter to the United Nations.

The purpose of this open letter was to raise our voice and concern over a proposed international convention against cyber crime that could impede on human rights online.

The details of this can be seen here:

https://www.apc.org/en/pubs/open-letter-un-general-assembly-proposed-international-convention-cybercrime-poses-threat-human

DRF’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad took part in Esra’a Al Shafei’s podcast titled ‘Why We’re Pissed’.

Esra’a is a Bahraini Civil Rights Activist and Blogger. Her podcast, ‘Philantropi$$ed’ takes a critical look at the NGO sector worldwide. You can listen to her and Nighat’s fascinating conversation here:

Episode #1: Why We’re Pissed

DRF’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad, was selected for the prestigious International Leaders Programme (ILP).

The ILP identifies global leaders and invites them to the United Kingdom for high level meetings, briefings and diplomatic visits. Nighat is the first digital rights activist to be chosen for the ILP from Pakistan.

Before leaving for the program, Nighat Dad met with the British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner in Islamabad.

During the ILP, Nighat Dad took part in multiple high level meetings, and met with other activists and leaders who are working on digital rights. Nighat Dad also met with Baroness Helena Kennedy and had a productive conversation about civil liberties online and a collective way forward in the promotion of digital rights and online freedom of speech.

 

January 22, 2020 - Comments Off on December 2019: Digital Rights Foundation conducts its Sixth National Conference on Privacy: #PrivacyIsARight

December 2019: Digital Rights Foundation conducts its Sixth National Conference on Privacy: #PrivacyIsARight

Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) conducted its Sixth National Conference on “Privacy: #PrivacyIsARight” on December 7, 2019 in Islamabad to discuss issues relating to artificial intelligence, and algorithmic decision-making in the context of privacy rights. The event was supported by one of our key partners, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The keynote address was delivered by former senator Faratullah Babar. The conference featured the Glass Room Exhibit which featured interactive installations such as “The Zuckerburg House”, “The Empire”, “A Data-Day”, “Fake or Real” and “The Real Life of Your Selfie” which were supported by Tactical Tech as part of its global exhibit.

A panel discussion on the topic “The Future of Tech: AI and Algorithms in the Context of the Criminal Justice System & Social Justice” was conducted to tackle the issue of emerging technology such as artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making from a human rights perspective. The panelists included Dr. Maryam Mustafa, Dr. Muhammad Nadeem, Rahma M Mian and Aleena Alavi.

The event also included a vibrant debate on the proposition “This House Believes That (THBT): Sentencing by judges should be delegated to algorithms”. Oves Anwar (RSIL), Mujtaba Hussain (KPITP) and Usama Khilji (BoloBhi) spoke in favour of the motion. A team of Malaika Raza, Aniqa Arshad and Zoya Rehman argued against the proposition.

Press Conference with Joint Action Committee on Dec 16

DRF took part in a press conference as part of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) to highlight the issue of shrinking spaces in Pakistan, especially the lack of freedoms for civil society. Speakers at the conference included representatives from HRCP, WISE, AGHS Legal Cell, South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK), SAFMA and several others. DRF particularly highlighted the shrinking online spaces and how it was impacting other fundamental freedoms enjoyed by citizens.

National Feminist Legal Theory and Practice Training (NFLTP)-Pakistan

DRF took part in the NFLTP organised by HomeNet from December 17th till 19th. Jannat Ali Kalyar and Shmyla Khan attended the conference as representatives from DRF. The workshop focused on feminist approaches to the law, covering a wide range of issues relating to international human rights law, intersectionality, the feminist movement in Pakistan and critiques of laws aimed at addressing gender-based issues in Pakistan.

Nighat in Women of the World Festival

DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad took part in the ‘Women of the World’ Festival in Karachi, and took part in a panel discussion titled, ‘Feminism in the Digital Age’. This panel aimed to bring to light issues of access to the internet as well as how the the feminist movement has played out in digital spaces.

Privacy series with TNS:

As part of our work on data privacy and data protection, we partnered with ‘The News on Sunday’ to publish opinion pieces about the topic. The aim with these articles was to help create awareness, and further public discourse on the matter.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/586618-cyber-insecurityhttps://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/579980-under-the-watchful-eye

DRF conducts session at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro

DRF conducted a session on 3rd December with students and admin of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology at the USPCAS-W Auditorium. The session titled Hamara Internet: Online Spaces; Challenges and Opportunities had 174 students from the institute. The session highlighted the current digital rights discourse in the country along with a need for a data protection bill in the country. Students shared their experiences of online harassment and harassment in general and also highlighted the pivotal role of each citizen to make online spaces safe for all.

DRF conducted session at Iqra University, North Campus, Karachi

DRF conducted a session on 4th December with students and admin of Iqra University, North Campus, Karachi. The session was with 92 students and teachers on campus. The session highlighted the impact of online violence in offline spaces and how certain communities are vulnerable online. There was a much needed debate around the current cybercrime legislation in the country and also the need for a data protection bill.

Landmark Judgement regarding Right To Information and Privacy passed by Pakistan Information Commission.

The Chief Information Commissioner passed a landmark order in December 2019 which can be seen as a major win in the area of privacy and data rights. The judgement is as follows:

“All Public Information Officers designated under Section 9 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 are directed not to demand the provision of certified copy of CNIC when an applicant mentions that s/he is citizen of Pakistan. A Public Information Officer can only demand production of CNIC when it is warranted by objective grounds, i.e. a request for information seems to have been filed from abroad.”

In the proceedings of the appeal, DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad acted as Amicus Curie, and added her  input. She talked about the current legal landscape regarding privacy, which in Pakistan is covered under Article 14 of the Constitution. Nighat Dad also talked about how there are no data protection laws in the country, a matter that has led to private citizen’s data being compromised, as seen in the case of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s online citizen portal and its corresponding app. Additionally, she added the following, ‘Until and unless a robust data protection law is enacted, collection of private information, unless explicitly required, should not be collected. Furthermore, making CNIC as a requirement for access to a fundamental right, such as the right to information, is too onerous a restriction.’

December 24, 2019 - Comments Off on November 2019: Launch of the Freedom on the Net Report

November 2019: Launch of the Freedom on the Net Report

Freedom House released its Freedom on the Net (FoTN) report for the year 2019, titled “The Crisis of Social Media” to reflect the plethora of issues emerging on social media. The report finds an overall decline in global internet freedom for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Pakistan’s ranking on the report remains “Not Free” for the coverage period, with its score decreasing from 27 to 26. Internet freedom declined during this report’s coverage period due to authorities’ increased blocking of political, social, and cultural websites. The general election environment in July 2018 saw connectivity restrictions and increased disinformation. The report for Pakistan was authored by Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) and evaluated through the methodology developed by Freedom House.

The full report can be accessed here. Pakistan’s country-specific report is available here.

Facebook’s Safety Week

Digital Rights Foundation collaborated with Facebook and other partner organisations including Sahil, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Child Rights Movement and SPARC to plan three events on women’s online safety, child online sexual abuse, and safety of human rights defenders from November 7th till 9th. The events were an opportunity to become familiar with Facebook’s policies, tools, and resources to raise questions to the Facebook team.

Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Lecture

Representing DRF, Shmyla Khan and Zainab Durrani delivered a lecture on data protection and privacy at the Computer Science Department at LUMS for the course called “Privacy in the Digital Age”. We shared our advocacy regarding the personal data protection bill with the students and had a lively question and answer session.

Safer Communications and Secure Data Convening by IFEX

DRF attended a two day training organized by IFEX in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 5th and 6th of November 2019. The training brought together people from all over South and Far-East Asia and allowed for an exchange of ideas and best practises in terms of digital safety and digital training.

Focus Group Discussion with CSOs

As part of the project that we are collaborating on with Privacy International, DRF hosted a focus group discussion with members of the civil society under the theme of ‘How Private Are You?’ where we had a conversation on organizational security and privacy in terms of cyber security and measures that should be implemented to strengthen the existing framework. The discussion also revolved around the organizations sharing their concerns with regards to the topic at hand and our Digital Safety team conducted a session to best address their concerns. 

Two Day Online Safety Training for Human Rights Defenders in Islamabad 

DRF conducted a two day session with human rights defenders from Islamabad and Lahore regarding online safety and digital rights. HRDs discussed in detail on their privacy concerns and what safe practices they need to adopt in order to stay safe in online spaces. The session took place for two days on 30th November and 1st December and had human rights defenders which consisted of activists, lawyers, journalists and civil society.

DRF at IGF’19

The DRF Team was represented at the Internet Governance Forum 2019 in Berlin by an all-female team consisting of Sehar Dad, and Program Managers Maryam Saeed and Zainab Durrani

Nighat Dad spoke on the #MeToo movement to Newsline Magazine.

While social media has been such a great tool in bringing the sexual harassment conversation to light, it is also where people continue to be harassed. We need to focus on creating alternate physical spaces and forums where survivors of sexual harassment can share their stories without fear of backlash, she said.

Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder

In the context of the Paris Peace Forum, eleven organizations unveiled the newly created Forum on Information & Democracy. This new entity will issue recommendations for standards in order to encourage the regulation and self-regulation  of the space of information and communication. The initiative was welcomed by President Emmanuel Macron during his inaugural speech. He first quoted “the Partnership on Information and Democracy, launched by Reporters Without Borders and supported by governments” to illustrate “the importance of these new forms of cooperation”, “a concrete example of innovations that provide different actors to move forward together".

The first General Assembly of the Forum on I&D was held yesterday at RSF’s headquarters in Paris. Its eleven founding members are NGOs, think tanks, multistakeholder initiatives and research centers: CIGI (Canada), CIVICUS (South Africa), the Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan), Free Press Unlimited (Netherlands), the Human Rights Centre at UC Berkeley School of Law, University of California (United States), the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (United Kingdom), OBSERVACOM (Uruguay), the Open Government Partnership, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (Norway), Reporters without Borders/RSF (France) and Research ICT Africa (South Africa).

The Forum’s Board of Directors elected the RSF Secretary general, Christophe Deloire as its President. Nighat Dad (executive director of Digital Rights Foundation) and Leon Willems (director of Free Press Unlimited) were elected as Vice-President and Treasurer.

World Forum for Democracy

Session soundbites: “Democracy dies in darkness: do we have the information we need?”

Nighat Dad, Pakistani lawyer, Internet activist and founder of Digital Rights Foundation: “Vulnerable groups and minorities usually don’t find space in the offline world to exercise their right to freedom of speech”.

Moderating ‘content’ in democracies

Shmyla Khan from Digital Rights Foundation writes for The News on Sunday

This past week the social media behemoth, Facebook, released its transparency report for the period January till July 2019. This report, issued on a bi-annual basis, contains information regarding the enforcement of its community standards and policies on intellectual property as well as compliance with legal requests from governments across the world.

Click here to read the full article.

How not to lose private data

R Umaima Ahmed from DRF's Network of Women Journalist for Digital Rights wrote for The News on Sunday on the need for an extensive awareness campaign about how to protect data from fraudsters and intruders.

Click here to read the full article.

2019 Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit

The 2019 Class of Asia 21 Young Leaders including Nighat Dad (Pakistan), Founder & Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation met on November 15-16 in San Francisco and Silicon Valley at the annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit. This summit held in the United States for the first time and it carried the theme “Technology & Humanity: Roadmaps for the Future.” Since the first Asia 21 summit, held in Seoul in 2006, the initiative has connected people from the region and facilitated collaborations in tackling the common challenges of the 21st century.

November 25, 2019 - Comments Off on October 2019: Wiki Gender Gap Editathon in Islamabad

October 2019: Wiki Gender Gap Editathon in Islamabad

DRF, along with the Swedish Embassy, UN Women, and Media Matters for Democracy, hosted a Wiki Gender Gap editathon on October 11 and 12, 2019 in which around 35 volunteers gathered to add content on Wikipedia about Pakistani women and gender-related issues. We were able to post over 50 articles during the two-day Editathon.

Read more about it here.

Two-day Event on Combating Online and Offline Sexual Harassment in Pakistan

DRF conducted a two-day event in Islamabad on October 22 and 23, 2019 on issues of harassment and their legal frameworks. The first day involved a closed-door consultation, “Combating Online and Offline Sexual Harassment in Pakistan: Rethinking Legal Interventions”, with journalists, lawyers, and civil society to draft recommendations regarding the existing laws and procedures.

The Conference on October 23, titled “Combating Online and Offline Harassment in Pakistan”, included a keynote address from Kashmala Tariq, the Federal Ombudsperson for Protection Against Harassment. The first panel, titled “Tackling the criticisms of the Law - Is the legal system a tool for silencing or resistance?”, was moderated by Nighat Dad. The panelists included Syed Fareed Ali (director training at Federal Investigative Agency), Tooba Syed (lecturer at Quaid-e-Azam University, Awami Workers Party, Women Democratic Front), Khawar Mumtaz (Chairperson National Commission on the Status of Women), Tanzeela Mazhar (Journalist), Zoya Rehman (Researcher), Aslam Chohan (Consultant at Punjab Ombudsperson for Protection Against Harassment), Fauzia Viqar (Ex-chairperson of Punjab Commission on the Status of Women) and Nuzhat Shirin (Chairperson, Sindh Commission on the Status of Women). The second panel titled “Reforming the law - A way forward” included Maleeka Bokhari (Member of National Assembly), Kashmala Tariq (Federal Ombudsperson for Protection Against Harassment), Barrister Jannat Ali Kalyar (DRF), Dania Mukhtar (Lawyer), Rukhshanda Naz (KPK Ombudsperson for Protection Against Harassment), and Aisha Sarwari (Co-founder Women’s advancement Hub, Author and Journalist).

The recommendations made at the conference are available in Urdu and English.

Academic Roundtable

DRF held an Academic Roundtable at the HRCP Office in Lahore on Friday the 18th of October, 2019. This event was held in collaboration with our partner organization Privacy International. The theme under discussion was ‘Privacy in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism’. The event began with a keynote speech by noted academic Ammar Ali Jan on the emerging issues of privacy and surveillance in the region, followed by an introduction to the Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 by our Legal Officer Jannat Ali Kalyar and later, a group discussion on related thematic areas was held amongst the students and academics. We rounded up the event with human rights activist and former Director Gender Studies Director at QAU, Dr. Farzana Bari delivering the concluding remarks wherein she laid emphasis on the need for having important conversations like these, which are pertinent to this day and age and the challenges that come with it.

Hearing at the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights regarding Privacy and Harassment

On 25 October 2019, Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), along with members of civil society and student activists, got a chance to brief the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights’ session on the issue of the University of Balochistan in light of privacy, surveillance of campuses and harassment in educational institutes. Along with the acting Vice-Chancellor of the University, student representatives were given a chance to put forward their demands. The Chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Khawar Mumtaz, academic & activist Arfana Mallah and Shmyla Khan from DRF gave their recommendations to the Committee.

Read our full statement on the hearing here.

Read our statement in solidarity with students at the University of Balochistan here.

Submission to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on new technologies and their impact on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of assemblies, including peaceful protests under res. 38/11

DRF submitted its comments and recommendations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the right to freedom of assembly in light of new technologies. We highlighted the legal and social context in Pakistan while analyzing emerging technologies.

Read our submission here.

Hamara Internet: Engagement of Lawyers on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 in Lahore

DRF in collaboration with Friedrich-Naumann Foundation held a session in Lahore with lawyers on the 2nd October 2019. Lawyers in Lahore discussed in detail about the current cyber crime legislation in the country along with the need of a data protection bill. Recommendations were given by lawyers regarding the data protection bill and there was also a much needed conversation around how awareness raising sessions need to take place with students regarding the safe use of the internet.

Hamara Internet: Engagement of Lawyers on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 in Karachi

DRF in collaboration with Friedrich-Naumann Foundation held a session in Karachi with lawyers on 29th October 2019 at the Movenpick Hotel. Lawyers and law students from Karachi had a discussion on the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and how the implementation of the law needs to be made better. There was also a conversation around the data protection bill and how lawyers need to adopt online safety practices in their work life.

Two Day Online Safety Training in Karachi with HRDs

DRF conducted a two day session with human rights defenders from karachi regarding online safety and digital rights. HRDs discussed in detail on their privacy concerns and what safe practices they need to adopt in order to stay safe in online spaces. The session took place for two days and had human rights defenders which consisted of activists, lawyers, journalists and civil society.

Algorithms, AI & Civil Liberties - Visiting Program with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

DRF was part of a delegation from South Asia which took part in the "Privacy as a Human Right - Algorithms, AI & Civil Liberties” visiting program from 28th September to 5th October 2019 in Germany. Our DRF representative took part in high-level meetings with civil society organizations in Germany as well as public officials such as the Data Protection Commissioner in Hamburg and members of the Berlin House of Representatives.

Understanding Cyber Harassment through a Gender Lens  - Training with Sub- Inspectors Federal Investigative Agency

On 3 October 2019 DRF conducted a training session with FIA Sub-Inspectors in FIA Academy, Islamabad with the collaboration of UNWomen  The ubiquitousness of harassment cases was discussed delineating its reasons viz; anonymity of users, gender hierarchy, lack of digital literacy, and victim-blaming. It also highlighted how technology has deepened the gender divide and is being used as a platform for harassment. The aim of the session was to challenge participants’ views regarding harassment and shift attention from victim to perpetrator in order to help them empathize with victims coming to lodge their complaints.The objective was to build an insight into the fears and apprehensions of the victims that need to be addressed while building the victims’ trust in the procedure. Another purpose was that participants challenge their internalized views regarding harassment, understand the impact it can have on their work and, shift the attention from blaming or scrutinizing the victim to calling out the perpetrator and the whole system supplementing it.

Bringing Feminism to Mainstream and Digital Journalism

Digital Rights Foundation collaborated with Media Bethak to conduct workshop on “Brining Feminism to Mainstream and Digital Journalism” on October 30, 2019 at Media Bethak in Karachi. The workshop aimed to create a deeper understanding of sex and gender, busting gender-based stereotypes and the inclusion of these in the media, discussing power dynamics and its intersection with the patriarchal system, and learning guidelines for gender sensitive reporting. It focused on bringing together journalists, activists and students of media to work on reports and stories from a feminist perspective. It was attended by 25 participants who actively engaged in activities and discussions.

November 6, 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 4, 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 5, 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.