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

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

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

DRF celebrates International Women’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

DRF at Asia Liberty Forum 2019, Sri Lanka

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

Nighat Dad at Pakistan in the Digital Age conference, London

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

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

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

Focus Group Discussion at Kinnaird College

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

Session at Bahria University

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

Session at Pakistan College of Law

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

DRF at Lahore Grammar School, Phase 1 DHA

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

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

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

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

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

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

DRF releases a Policy Brief on Online Harassment in Pakistan

Policy Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seminar held in Lahore

Seminar held in in Karachi

Seminar held in Islamabad

DRF at Social Media Festival

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

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

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

Nighat Dad on Aaj News, Dawn and Geo News

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

DRF at the roundtable consultation by UNESCO

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

Students from Beaconhouse School System Bahria Town Branch at DRF

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

Seminar on Cyber Harassment at Gender Studies Department, Punjab University

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

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

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

DRF at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

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

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

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

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

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

Ride sharing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nighat on GNN news

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

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

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

Equality Festival at Ali Auditorium

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

DRF launches “e-Baithak” Podcast series

Baithak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nighat on Aaj News

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

Nighat on 92 News

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nighat Dad at Asma Jahangir Conference

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

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

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

DRF at OTF Summit 2018, Taiwan

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

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

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

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Workshop for Lawyers on Digital Rights in Quetta

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

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

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

 Hamara Internet: Multi stakeholder Consultation on Data Projection and Privacy

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

 

Visit to Violence Against Women Center (VAWC) in Multan

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

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DRF attends Two-Day Advocacy Training by TDEA

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

 

Training of Lawyers on Digital Rights and Cybercrime Laws in Lahore

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

 

Training of Lawyers on Digital Rights and Cybercrime Laws in Islamabad

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

September 2018- Digital Rights Foundation at the UN General Assembly

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

DRF at Pakistan School of Internet Governance, Karachi

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

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

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

 

Workshop for Lawyers on Digital Rights in Gilgit

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

 

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

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

 

DRF at Connected Communities event, Glasgow

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Panel discussion at “Conference on Violence Against Women”

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

 

DRF at IPDC Talks 2018 organized by UNESCO Islamabad

IPDC

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

 

DRF Train-the-Trainer Training in Islamabad

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

 

DRF at #EmpoderaxlosODS in Malaga, Spain

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

 

Workplace Harassment Conviction

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

 

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

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