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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

1


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

#WhyIsDataPrivacyDayImportant

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

Policy Initiatives

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Coverage

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

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

Nighat Dad on 7 News talking about the new Whatsapp Policy

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

Nighat Dad on GNN talking about the new Whatsapp Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

سائبر سیکیورٹی: دورِ حاضر کی اشد ضرورت

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

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

Virginity tests for female rape survivors outlawed by Pakistani court

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

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

Strong data protection law under study

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

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

Cybercrime peaked during lockdown- will 2021 be any different?

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

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

Source Fact Check

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events and Sessions

Nighat Dad speak on Shaping Empowered Societies at World Economic Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Struggle Against Gender-Based Violence and the way forward

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

Digital Security during COVID and Beyond Human Rights

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

Digital safety training

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

Panel discussion on Digital Rights and Advocacy with University of Karachi

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Cyber harassment helpline is now available 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm through its toll free number and social media platforms. You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at 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

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

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

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

16 Days of Activism


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

 

Instances of gender based violence in Pakistan

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

SahafatAurSachayi

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

The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016

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

Policy Initiatives

Social Media Rules threaten the internet

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

 

Digital Detox and Self Care

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

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

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

Wiki Gap challenge results

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

Media Coverage

Objectionable trends on Twitter, Urdu News:

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

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

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

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

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

Has social media regulation increased in Pakistan? - Aaj News

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

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

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

Combatting the COVID19 Disinfodemic: A situation analysis for Pakistan

Nighat Dad Interview with Kiran Butt (Capital TV):

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

Events and Sessions

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

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

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

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

Looking Inward: 2020, and the way forward - tweetchat

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

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

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

Nighat Dad at NDI’s #ChangingTheFaceOfPolitics podcast series

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

A lecture on cyber harassment: UCP Law Society

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

Mentoring for Civic Hackathon 2020 hosted by Code for Pakistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

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

You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at 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

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

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

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Digital 50.50 Gender and Privacy

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

 

#Orangetheworld #16days

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

Maru Website and DRF collaboration on 16days

Feminist Movements Go Online: Imagining Feminist Futures Online

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

The ezine can be assessed here.

#PrivacyIsARight #BeCyberSmart

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

#UnmaskTheTruth #StopSilencingJournalists #stopviolenceagainstwomen

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

#SahafatAurSachayi by FPU and FNF

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

#ActivismInPandemic

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

Policy Initiatives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gender-based violence cases in Pakistan

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

Addressing Online Attacks on Women Journalists in Pakistan

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

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

Punjab Police Women Safety App

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

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

250 recommendations on how to stop infodemics

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

Cyber Harassment Helpline October Statistics

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

Media Coverage

Wired Article

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

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

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

IFEX Article

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

Events and Sessions

UNESCO event on End Impunity Against Journalists in Islamabad

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

Changing the Face of Politics Podcast

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

Digital Rights Popup Forum

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

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

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

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

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

Broken Rules? Pakistan’s Online Regulations

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

Rapid Fire Chat Series

Rapid Fire on it’s an infodemic

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

Rapid Fire Chat on #InternationalMensDay

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

Gender-based harassment of women journalists 

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

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

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

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

Find more details here.

Digital Literacy Drive session

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

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

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

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

Data Localisation: All you need to know

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

Digital Rights and Laws in Pakistan

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

Two Day Residency Training with HRDs and Journalists

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

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

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

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

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

You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us at 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.

IWF Portal

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

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

 

 

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

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

Online Campaigns and Initiatives 

Launch of e-zine

feminist movement

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

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

https://bit.ly/2FKplwK

 

Podcast: “Do Dost aur Digital pe Kacheri”

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

Listen to the podcast here:

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

#NoHonorInKilling

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

#ActivismInPandemic

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

#MentalHealthAwareness #MentalHealthDay

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

#BeCyberSmart

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

#UnMaskTheTruth #StopSilencingJournalists

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

#InternationalInternetDay

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

internet shutdown

Questionnaire on personal data and politics

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

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

Eng: https://forms.gle/dBtNyrGCPELYW6R9A

Urdu: https://forms.gle/G2sarjMDhc5AvcxC6

Policy Initiatives 

Open Data Initiative

mapping gender based

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

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

Learn more about our initiative here.

Mapping gender-based violence since the #motorwayincident

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

Disinformation Campaign from Pro-India Accounts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact Checking and Source Verification Manual in times of COVID19

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

You can access the manual here:

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

Cyber Harassment Helpline September Statistics 

helpline

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

Data Privacy Booklet in English and Urdu

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

You can access the booklet here in Urdu:

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

You can access the booklet here in English:

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

Media Coverage 

What is emotional regulation and why is it so important?

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

Read the full blog here:

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

Silent Battles: How Pakistani Women Counter Harassment in Cyberspace

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

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

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

Events and Sessions 

Changing the Face of Politics Podcast

podcast

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

You can listen to the full podcast here:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rapid Fire Chat

         

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

Twitter Chat: Home based workers in digital space

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

Girls Education during and beyond COVID19- A live webinar series

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

Do you think internet access is a human right?

         

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

You can access the Facebook Live discussion here:

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

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

         

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

You can access the Facebook live discussion here:

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

Legal Clinic Video with Hope

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

You can access the video here:

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

Combating Insecurity in the Age of Digital Media Transformations

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

 

 

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

How to Tackle Sexual Harassment:

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

Digital Literacy Drive

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

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

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

You can contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on 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

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

September 2020: Digital 50.50, third edition released

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Digital 50.50 Third Edition

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

UN Women A to Z of Cyber Harassment

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

#NoHonourInKilling

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

honor killing

#PrivacyIsARight: A Digital Campaign for VPNs

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

#ActivismInPandemic

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

DRF launched the Digital Rapid Fire Chat

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

Policy initiatives

DRF part of coalition with International Media Foundation

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

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

 

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

Helpline August Stats

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

Statement on Shaheena Shaheen’s brutal murder

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

Media Coverage

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

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

Read the full article here:

New Controls on the Internet in Pakistan

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

Watch the full discussion here:

Events and Sessions

#MediaFreedom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Has The PTA Swiped Left On Love?”

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

DRF Cyber Harassment Helpline Webinar Series

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

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

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

Facts Not Filters - FPU

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

#KeepItOn Webinar

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

Workplace Safety- Creating Safer and Inclusive Work Cultures

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

Digital Detox and Self Care

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

 

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

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

Understanding VPNS #PrivacyIsARight

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

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

Tackling Misinformation during times of COVID19

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

Hamara Internet Online Safety of Young Adults Sessions

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

Training on Online Safety training with ASR

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

Online Session Cyber Security Fatima Jinnah University Session

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

Online Safety Training with HRD’s in Sindh

 

 

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

 

 

 

Lincoln’s Corner Session - Janat

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

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

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

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

Ab Aur Nahin

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

www.abaurnahin.pk

IWF Portal

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

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk