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February 13, 2024 - Comments Off on January 2024 Newsletter: Digital Rights Foundation launched its Election Desk

January 2024 Newsletter: Digital Rights Foundation launched its Election Desk

Digital Rights Foundation launched its Election Desk. You can follow the initiative on social media through #DRFElectionDesk. And on our website - https://election2024.digitalrightsfoundation.pk/

Policy Initiatives: 

DRF Election Desk

6 Point Agenda on Digital Rights Protections For Political Parties’ Electoral Manifestos

DRF's Election Desk has identified six key digital rights issues, and we urge political parties to include them in their manifestos due to the inextricable connection between online and offline spaces. 

Read the entire agenda here: https://t.co/vbpw5ednQo

 

6-Point Agenda on Media Freedom And Journalist Safety For Political Parties’ Electoral Manifestos

More than 100 journalists and members of civil society signed the Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights'  6-Point Agenda on Media Freedom And Journalist Safety For Political Parties’ Electoral Manifestos.

 

Read the entire agenda here: https://election2024.digitalrightsfoundation.pk/2024/01/23/pakistan-6-point-agenda-on-media-freedom-and-journalist-safety-for-political-parties-electoral-manifestos/

 

Spotting Generative Content

  1. Unnecessary details: Extra fingers and warped backdrops.
  2. Repetitive imagery: Keep an eye on skin, clothing, or items.
  3. Disruptive lighting: Physics-defying highlights and shadows!
  4. Background error: Look for smooth or distorted backdrops!
  5. Unusual objects: Search for colors spilling over lines or floating hair!
  6. Reflections and Transparency: AI may alter reality in reflective materials!
  7. Facial features and movements: Distorted features? AI could be at play!
  8. Text errors: Typos, incorrect fonts, or formatting issues? Artificial intelligence could be the culprit!
  9. Lack of Analysis: Short sentences, repeated words, and meaningless content - classic AI giveaways!

 

WhatsApp Disinformation Tipline

If you come across misleading content online, please contact Mithu via our WhatsApp Disinformation Tip Line at +9203013249539.

 

Statement by Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWJDR) - Demanding Accountability, Transparency, and Support for Domestic Violence survivors/victims in the Media Industry

83 journalists, including male journalists, signed Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights’ statement raising their voices against domestic violence, condemning the alleged case of domestic violence committed by a TV anchor, and demanding the state take measures to address this menace. 

 

Read the full statement here: https://www.instagram.com/p/C2w_qYOi971/?igsh=MXhwYjZ4OHRmcnF0bQ==

 

Hamara Internet Mahfooz Internet - Digital Citizenship Program

DRF’s 'Hamara Internet Mehfooz Internet' project brought a wave of digital literacy & safety to Lahore's public schools by the end of 2023.

 

Training 1417 students, 138 teachers, and 31 digital rights youth ambassadors, this initiative is about building a safer digital world for our youth.

 

https://x.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1744688973547733035?s=20

 

Data Privacy Day 2024

Digital Rights Foundation conducted research on 'Data Privacy in Pakistan's Healthcare Sector'. And on this #DataPrivacyDay2024, it is critical to highlight the research available to us to work on data privacy in Pakistan and it is time to #TakeControlofYourData.

 

Cyber Harassment Helpline Awareness

Press Coverage: 

Nighat speaking to Wilton Park, Executive Agency of Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office UK

Speaking at Wilton Park’s  event on human rights and new & emerging technology,  DRF’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad reflected on the need to safeguard human rights in tech development & design.

 

Nighat Dad on Bol News Network

Executive Director of DRF, Nighat Dad, spoke with Bol News about the challenges of combating disinformation in the era of AI and Generative AI. She says we're not prepared to deal with disinformation in this manner.

https://x.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1749711280158683569?s=20

 

The deepfake elections are here | Context

DRF’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad, wrote an opinion piece for  Context: "The harsh truth is that deep fakes and synthetic media can indeed influence the mindset of voters, and eventually affect the results of elections." 

https://www.context.news/ai/opinion/the-deepfake-elections-are-here?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=context-newsroom

 

Nighat Dad on PTV News 

Nighat Dad, DRF’s Executive Director, went on PTV News to talk about Pakistan’s General Election 2024 and the rampant disinformation online. She explained the meaning of fake news, deep fake & AI generated disinformation that will impact General Election 2024 in Pakistan & how we are just not prepared to handle it.

 

Nighat Dad on Neo TV

Nighat Dad went on Sahafi program on Neo TV to answer some important questions in relation with the General Elections of Pakistan 2024: 

How is propaganda done? How can deep fake and fake news be countered? How prepared is Pakistan to tackle fake news?

Watch it here: https://x.com/NeoNewsUR/status/1750234776446099573?s=20

 

DRF on Jhoot Such

DRF’s Program Lead Seerat Khan spoke to PTV News’s Jhoot Such about Cyber Stalking and the perils associated with it.

 

Link to talk: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2y9cONygwW/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

DRF’s Sr. Project Manager Zainab Durrani talked to PTV’s Jhoot Such about the role of AI and Gen AI in the upcoming General Elections in Pakistan 2024. 

 

Link to talk: https://x.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1746887172513484911?s=20

 

DRF on Awami Mukalma: Countering Online Hate Speech in Pakistan’s Election Discourse 

DRF’s Programs Lead Seerat Khan spoke on Awami Mukalma on countering hate speech in Pakistan’s Election Discourse. Seerat shared insights on what is hate speech and the importance of countering hate speech and reporting it during election time. She was joined on the panel by Asad Baig from Media Matters for Democracy and journalist Adil Shahzeb. 

 

Link to talk: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=264054746711667&ref=sharing

 

DRF in Press

1 Electronic Frontier Foundation Joint Statement on the Proposed Cybercrime Treaty Ahead of the Concluding Session https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2024/01/joint-statement-proposed-cybercrime-treaty-ahead-concluding-session
2 Economic Times Deepfakes deceive voters from India to Indonesia before elections https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/elections/lok-sabha/india/deepfakes-deceive-voters-from-india-to-indonesia-before-elections/articleshow/106504149.cms?from=mdr
3 The Hindu Deepfakes deceive voters from India to Indonesia before elections https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/deepfakes-deceive-voters-from-india-to-indonesia-before-elections/article67700785.ece
4 Telecom | The Economic Times Deepfakes deceive voters from India to Indonesia before elections https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/internet/deepfakes-deceive-voters-from-india-to-indonesia-before-elections/106498476
5 Phone World Doctored Videos Of Politicians Circulate In India, Pakistan Ahead Of Elections 2024 https://www.phoneworld.com.pk/doctored-videos-of-politicians-circulate-in-india-pakistan-ahead-of-elections-2024/
6 The Friday Times Political Parties Urged To Include Digital Protections In Electoral Manifestos https://thefridaytimes.com/04-Jan-2024/political-parties-urged-to-include-digital-protections-in-electoral-manifestos
7 BNN Digital Rights Foundation Calls for Inclusion of Digital Rights in Pakistan’s Electoral Platforms https://bnnbreaking.com/politics/digital-rights-foundation-calls-for-inclusion-of-digital-rights-in-pakistans-electoral-platforms/
8 The Current Legal fraternity criticizes Justice Naqvi’s resignation over expected perks https://thecurrent.pk/justice-mazahar-ali-akbar-naqvi-resigns-from-supreme-court/
9 The CS Monitor Could TikTok hoaxes tip upcoming South Asian elections? https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2024/0111/Could-TikTok-hoaxes-tip-upcoming-South-Asian-elections
10 Context News The deep fake elections are here https://www.context.news/ai/opinion/the-deepfake-elections-are-here
11 Urdu Point Digital rights activist calls for public awareness of fake news https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/digital-rights-activist-urges-public-awarenes-1785955.html
12 Dawn Online rallies, AI script: New threats loom ahead of 2024 polls https://www.dawn.com/news/1806163/online-rallies-ai-script-new-threats-loom-ahead-of-2024-polls
13 Pi News Digital rights activist calls for public awareness of fake news https://proiqra.com/digital-rights-activist-calls-for-public-awareness-of-fake-news-pi-news/
14 Minute Mirror Digital Rights Foundation unveils 6-point agenda on media freedom, journalist safety ahead of general elections https://minutemirror.com.pk/digital-rights-foundation-unveils-6-point-agenda-on-media-freedom-journalist-safety-ahead-of-general-elections-174597/
15 The Nation Social media, internet services reportedly down again in parts of Pakistan https://www.nation.com.pk/20-Jan-2024/social-media-internet-services-reportedly-down-again-in-parts-of-pakistan
16 The News Fintech industry for kids faces cybersecurity risks: experts https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1149821-fintech-industry-for-kids-faces-cybersecurity-risks-experts
17 Voice.pk 100 Journalists Sign Agenda For Inclusion Of Media, Digital Rights In Party Manifesto https://voicepk.net/2024/01/100-journalists-sign-agenda-for-inclusion-of-media-digital-rights-in-party-manifesto/
18 Gulf Times Deepfakes deceive voters from India to Indonesia before polls https://www.gulf-times.com/article/676002/opinion/deepfakes-deceive-voters-from-india-to-indonesia-before-polls
19 Ifex Looking ahead: Censorship, AI, disinformation, and repression undermining elections https://ifex.org/looking-ahead-censorship-ai-disinformation-and-repression-undermining-elections/
20 Nikkei Asia Pakistan social media outages squeeze Imran Khan party's last bastion https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Pakistan-social-media-outages-squeeze-Imran-Khan-party-s-last-bastion
21 The Nation Demanding accountability, transparency, and support for domestic violence survivors/victims in the media industry https://www.nation.com.pk/31-Jan-2024/demanding-accountability-transparency-and-support-for-domestic-violence-survivors-victims-in-the-media-industry
22 The Media Line Press Under Fire: Concerns Rise for Journalistic Freedoms in Pakistan After Reporters Summoned for Defaming Judiciary https://themedialine.org/people/press-under-fire-concerns-rise-for-journalistic-freedoms-in-pakistan-after-reporters-summoned-for-defaming-judiciary/
23 TechPolicy.Press A Growing Number of Women Activists Confront Technology and Gender-Based Violence https://www.techpolicy.press/a-growing-number-of-women-activists-confront-technology-and-genderbased-violence/
24 The Minute Mirror 83 journalists of Pakistan take firm stand for Nomaika Ashfaque Satti https://minutemirror.com.pk/83-journalists-of-pakistan-take-firm-stand-for-nomaika-ashfaque-satt-180734/

 

Events:

DRF at Alan Turing Institute at London School of Economics

DRF's Research Lead, Maryam Saeed, spoke at a panel hosted by the Alan Turing Institute in collaboration with the London School of Economics' Media and Communications Department. Alan Turing's data justice documentary was also shown at the event as part of their Advancing Data Justice Research Project, which included DRF as one of 12 global policy partners.

 

Watch the documentary here: https://youtube.com/watch?v=x0nCU9ptWqc&list=PLuD_SqLtxSdWAn5DuZu-ExBr46CvfYBek&index=4

 

Policy Dialogue at LUMS

DRF's Legal Team, represented by Irum Shujah and Shafia Imran, attended the Policy Dialogue event organized by the Directorate General Social Welfare & Bait ul Maal, Punjab, at LUMS. The legal team actively shaped the discourse around the forthcoming policy document to the Social Welfare and Bait ul Maal Department, Punjab.

 

During this dialogue, the legal team advocated for crucial aspects of digital inclusion and protection while emphasizing the need for digital literacy programs, robust data protection measures, and the importance of user-friendly online services. Additionally, the team underscored the importance of cybersecurity awareness and proposed collaboration with DRF to tackle evolving digital challenges.

 

TikTok CPC Training

DRF was invited to attend a training session on the new escalation system designed by TikTok. The Cyber Harassment Helpline team attended and has already started to use the new portal for escalating user complaints. 

 

Capacity building workshops in Islamabad and Karachi

DRF organized a series of three in-person capacity building workshops on navigating technology-facilitated online harms during the upcoming elections in Pakistan. Through our series of workshops, we aimed to build the capacity of social media users on different forms and nature of technology-facilitated online harms and the best practices to ensure that the digital spaces are accessible and their participation is safe in the charged political environment during the elections. The second workshop was held on 11th January in Islamabad with 25 participants and the third workshop was held on 18th January in Karachi with 28 participants from diverse religious backgrounds. They shared their experiences of online spaces and how it has impacted their lives in the real world.

 

Digital Citizen Program in Government Schools:

After the winter break, DRF held two sessions in government high schools in Lahore. 355 students (females and males) and 33 teachers were informed about ways of staying safe in online spaces and reporting mechanisms in case of harassment or bullying. The participants were given gift bags with online safety resources and stationary.

Cyberbullying and online safety session at LGS International 

DRF’s program lead Seerat Khan conducted a session on ‘'Cyberbullying and online safety’' at the LGS International school which was attended by 80 students from middle school. Students enthusiastically participated in the session and asked questions about specific online safety practices they should be keeping in mind. 

 

Source Verification and Fact-checking workshop for Journalists during Elections held in Peshawar 

DRF conducted a session on source verification and fact-checking in Peshawar with the support of Meta keeping in mind the upcoming general elections. The one day workshop addressed the emergence of disinformation and misinformation during elections and how to tackle and report dis/misinformation during this time and was attended by 30 journalists from Peshawar and adjacent areas. 

 

DRF Updates: 

Cyber Harassment Helpline 

 

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 260 complaints in total in January, with 127 complaints by men. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

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 

 

StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

 

https://stopncii.org/

January 11, 2024 - Comments Off on December 2023 Newsletter: DRF holds Countering Digital Threats and Building Resilience of Communities Conference

December 2023 Newsletter: DRF holds Countering Digital Threats and Building Resilience of Communities Conference

Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) held a conference ‘Countering Digital Threats and Building Resilience of Communities’ on 15th December 2023 in Islamabad. The conference brought together experts from across the country to discuss digital safety, online religious freedoms and building a safer Hamara Internet and countering hate speech and disinformation for greater access to the internet for all.

Press Coverage:

We News https://en.wenews.pk/digital-rights-foundations-conference-speakers-seek-countering-digital-threats/
Pak Profile https://pakprofile.com/2023/12/15/drf-conference-digital-threats-community-resilience-cybersecurity-tech-news/
Jehan Pakistan https://jehanpakistan.com/epaper/epaper.php?edition=islamabad&date=161223
DND https://dnd.com.pk/conversation-on-online-hate-speech-and-disinformation-held/307880
Express Tribune https://tribune.com.pk/story/2450153/moot-discusses-ways-to-combat-hate-speech
Pak Observer https://pakobserver.net/drf-moot-on-countering-digital-threats-and-building-resilience-of-communities/
The Friday Times https://thefridaytimes.com/16-Dec-2023/state-complicit-in-online-disinformation-campaigns-farhatullah-babar
Minute Mirror https://minutemirror.com.pk/drf-held-conference-to-counter-digital-threats-and-building-resilience-of-communities-159458/
NNI
The Destination
The Spokesman
Islamabad Post
Nawa-i-Waqt
DRF’s Legal Team wins case against ARY in favor of Journalist Asma Shirazi

We laud the recent decision of the Islamabad High Court by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani in "Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 16 of 2023, Asma Shirazi versus Council of Complaints through Secretary" in support of Asma Shirazi, a senior female journalist in Pakistan. Represented by the all-women legal team from DRF, which included Nighat Dad, Irum Shujah, Aqsa Javed, Shafia Imran Lati, and Minahil Farooq, this legal victory against the state-owned media watchdog's complaint body marks a significant milestone. It signifies a crucial step in holding accountable those responsible for spreading disinformation, especially when their targets are women journalists. This verdict represents a noteworthy moment in Pakistan's legal landscape. We appreciate the established precedent that now empowers journalists to raise their voices against entities and individuals attempting to tarnish their credibility and work.

Read the judgement here: https://mis.ihc.gov.pk/attachments/judgements/156193/1/Civil_Miscellaneous_Appeal_No._16_of_2023_638373080860192817.pdf

Nighat Dad at UNSG AI High Level Advisory Board meeting

Nighat Dad attended the UNSG AI High Level Advisory Board meeting where she worked on setting a robust foundation for a report on AI harms, opportunities and AI governance. This report poised to shape how AI intertwines with our societal fabric. Nighat worked with Antonio Guterres, UN General Secretary, who amidst the Security Council meeting, spent number of hours to engage in discussions about AI governance with the members of the High-Level Advisory Body on AI.

Policy Initiatives:

High-Level Advisory Body on AI | Interim Report: Governing AI for Humanity

The United Nations' High-Level Advisory Body on AI launched its "Interim Report: Governing AI for Humanity" discusses the global governance deficit in AI and makes preliminary recommendations. The report emphasizes the importance of inclusive, public-interest-focused governance, integrating AI with data governance, and basing AI governance on the UN Charter, International Human Rights Law, and the Sustainable Development Goals. It outlines the institutional functions required for international AI governance, such as conducting regular assessments of AI's future directions, developing standards, and promoting international collaboration. The report advocates for a balanced approach in which AI benefits humanity while mitigating risks.

Read the entire report here: https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/ai_advisory_body_interim_report.pdf

#16DaysofActivism Campaign
  • Digital Art Competition: DRF’s program team held a digital art exhibition of feminist digital art in Pakistan with 6 digital artists on the topic ‘AI and Generative AI’s Impact on Technology- Facilitated Gender-based Violence in South Asia.’
  • Digital Art Competition Winners Live Chat:

  • Link to video:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/C0oMIUNLgrw/
  • Countering Digital Threats Toolkit Launch | X Space
  • DRF’s legal team discussed our “Countering Digital Threats” toolkit. They shared information on cybercrimes, relevant laws, and steps on how to keep yourself safe online. It is a go-to manual for a secure online world.

    Link to space: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1ypJdkadwzqGW

  • 75th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Saanjhi Kahaniyan

DRF's communications team wrote & co-directed 'Saanjhi Kahaniyan: Diverse Experiences of Individuals Online', a theater play about DRF's Cyber Harassment Helpline cases. The play depicted vulnerable people's online experiences.

Watch the play here: https://youtu.be/h9Xg9LDkmkw

Press Coverage:

Nighat Dad speaks to Hum News about AI

DRF's Executive Director Nighat Dad talked to Hum News about how AI has the potential to change the world, but we must take into account the dire consequences of misusing AI and Generative AI & find ways to govern it globally. This is what she as a member of UN's AI Advisory Body focus on.

Unmasking the Epidemic of Womens Abuse | Daily Times

The article discusses the severe issue of women's abuse in Balochistan, Pakistan, particularly focusing on teenage girls facing cyberbullying. It highlights the situation in cities like Quetta and Turbat, where young girls preparing for medical college admission tests are subjected to cyberbullying. The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) is mentioned in reference to its 2018 report, which revealed that 72% of Pakistani women subjected to cyberbullying experienced various forms of online persecution, impacting their education and well-being. The article calls for comprehensive strategies to address these issues, including educational reforms and legal measures.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/1156203/unmasking-the-epidemic-of-womens-abuse/

Events:

Nighat Dad at the 75th Anniversary of Genocide Convention - Human Rights Council

DRF's Executive Director Nighat Dad spoke on the 75th Anniversary of Genocide Convention - Human Rights Council addressing the role of social media platforms in response to content that incites violence and discrimination.

Watch it here: https://webtv.un.org/en/asset/k1u/k1uv9ghl6o

Nighat Dad speaks at Human Rights 75 – High-level Event by UN

Nighat Dad spoke at the UN 75 High-level Event "The Future of Human Rights and Digital Technologies," and said that now that we're talking about emerging tech and how governments will make frameworks and policies, we should take a pause and actually think about what we've done in the past 15 years, and whether we're not making the same mistakes as before. Are we thinking about the existing international human rights frameworks and CSO interventions? That, I believe, should be our starting point.

Watch it here: https://webtv.un.org/en/asset/k1d/k1diw7g1wv

One Day Self-care Wellbeing Workshop

DRF in collaboration with Dr. Nabiha Chaudhary held a one-day participatory workshop with women human rights defenders on 12th December 2023. The workshop addressed the specific needs of woman human rights defenders relating to self-care and well-being and also addressed burnout that individuals face in the field.

Source Verification and Fact-Checking Workshop During Elections

DRF in collaboration with Meta held a one-day workshop on source verification and fact-checking workshop in times of elections in Lahore with 30 journalists. The workshop addressed election-specific disinformation, misinformation and hate speech and presented tools to participants for verifying the authenticity of the news.

Capacity Building Workshop in Lahore

DRF is organizing a series of three in-person capacity building workshops on navigating technology-facilitated online harms during the upcoming elections Pakistan. Through our series of workshops, we aim to build the capacity of social media users on different forms and nature of technology-facilitated online harms and the best practices to ensure that the digital spaces are accessible and their participation is safe in the charged political environment during the elections. The first was held on 12th December in Lahore with 36 participants from diverse religious backgrounds. They shared their experiences of online spaces and how it has impacted their lives in the real world.

IFEX Generative AI Cafecito

DRF attended the session “Hey, ChatGPT? We have Questions!” - IFEX’s virtual Cafecito on the implications of Generative AI for our work and our world on 5th December. The event focused on the adoption of generative AI and the human rights implications due to it. Conversations around the potential impact of generative AI on the work of human rights defenders and civil society also took place in the session in breakout groups. DRF’s programs lead Seerat Khan facilitate a breakout session for the closed event.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 159 complaints in total December, with 90 complaints by women. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

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

StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

https://stopncii.org/

December 13, 2023 - Comments Off on November 2023 Newsletter: DRF begins its 16 Days of Activism Campaign

November 2023 Newsletter: DRF begins its 16 Days of Activism Campaign

DRF launched its Whatsapp Disinformation Tipline

                   

Digital Rights Foundation is documenting instances of gendered disinformation through our Disinformation Whatsapp Tipline. You can send us a screenshot or link on DRF's Whatsapp Tipline on 03013249539 and help us document and counter gendered disinformation online!

 

DRF launched the 4th Edition of Digital 50.50 - ‘Elections in the Digital Age’

This edition examines how digital tech will affect elections, democracy, and social media in the upcoming Pakistan elections.

Our team also held an X space to discuss the edition with our contributors.

Read it here: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/elections-in-the-digital-age/

 

Policy Initiatives: 

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

DRF began the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. It will include the 5th Edition of Digital 50.50, a Digital Art Competition, two animated videos and the launch of Countering Digital Threats Toolkit.

 

Follow the campaign through #16DaysofActivism

 

In Collaboration with Coalition Against Online Violence 

 

DRF with the support of Coalition Against Online Violence (CAOV), produced 6 animated videos, arranged a play and developed a comic book to highlight the lived experiences of the most marginalized people in Pakistan. Keep a lookout on our campaign with the hashtag #SaanjhiKahaniyan.

 

Press Coverage: 

Nighat Dad becomes Ciarb’s first female Muslim Pakistani Trustee

https://www.ciarb.org/news/nighat-dad-becomes-ciarb-s-first-female-muslim-pakistani-trustee/

 

Nighat Dad on Geo News

DRF's Executive Director Nighat Dad talked about her new role in the UN's Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advisory Body and how most AI development is happening in isolation and that there are concerns about the lack of safety guardrails for this exponential growth.

Watch here: https://x.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1725102813632704876?s=20

 

Nighat Dad on Bol News

In her interview with Bol News about becoming a member of the UN Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence (AI), DRF Executive Director Nighat Dad praised the inclusion of people from the global south, who have traditionally been excluded from AI governance discussions. She went on to say that it is critical for the government of Pakistan to support initiatives that advance artificial intelligence in Pakistan while adhering to the international frameworks established for AI governance.

 

Jhoot Such Segment | PTV News

Digital Rights Foundation’s Senior Legal Associate, Irum Shujah, appeared on PTV News’ “Jhoot Such”. Throughout the segment, she provided her perspective on the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, delving into its impact on the general public. The conversation also delved into digital literacy, exploring the responsibility associated with using these platforms. Furthermore, the discussion covered topics such as cyberstalking, maintaining modesty in online spaces, and other crucial concepts related to cybercrimes.

https://youtu.be/yLRrKFTfzZ0?si=aU5I78_uLzcVQuw_

 

Jhoot Such Segment | PTV News

Seerat Khan, DRF's program lead, appeared on PTV's Jhoot Such to discuss the rampant spread of mis/disinformation, particularly through credible sources. She believes it is because media houses are competing to be the first to break news.

 

A year after Elon Musk bought Twitter, X is now a 'worthless' platform some say is no longer safe for activists | ABC News

Nighat Dad, DRF’s Executive Director, told Reuters that the impact of Mr Musk's staff cuts was felt immediately. Previously, when female political dissidents, journalists, or activists in Pakistan were impersonated online or experienced targeted harassment such as false accusations of blasphemy that could put them in danger, Ms Dad's group had a direct line to Twitter.

But when Mr Musk took over, Ms Dad said they struggled to get responses to requests for urgent take-downs of such high-risk content. 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-02/twitter-elon-musk-one-year-world-human-rights-x-social-media/103044304

 

RSF and 16 partners unveil Paris Charter on AI and Journalism | Reporters without Borders

Nighat Dad, Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation, was named as a Committee member of Paris Charter on AI and Journalism that defines ethics and principles that journalists, newsrooms and media outlets around the world will be able to appropriate and apply in their work with artificial intelligence. It was created by a commission initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and chaired by journalist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa. 

https://rsf.org/en/rsf-and-16-partners-unveil-paris-charter-ai-and-journalism

 

The digital gender gap, a major obstacle to the fight for equality for women in Pakistan | EL PAÍS International

Digital Rights Foundation’s Cyber Harassment Helpline’s Annual Report was quoted in this article that stated that forty percent of Pakistani women have experienced some form of online harassment.

https://english.elpais.com/international/2023-11-14/the-digital-gender-gap-a-major-obstacle-to-the-fight-for-equality-for-women-in-pakistan.html

 

Digital apartheid and the use of social media algorithms in humanitarian crises | Global Voices

DRF’s Project Lead Seerat Khan penned this article. It explores the concept of "digital apartheid" in the context of social media platforms and their alleged bias in censoring, shadow banning, and removing content related to the Palestine-Israel conflict. It expresses concerns about selective amplification or suppression of voices, drawing parallels with previous incidents such as Myanmar's Rohingya crisis. The article highlights censorship-evading user tactics such as "algorithm breaks" and "fooling the algorithms." The article emphasizes the role of social media in documenting humanitarian crises and condemns perceived discrimination as a violation of human rights, resulting in digital apartheid.

https://globalvoices.org/2023/11/14/digital-apartheid-and-the-use-of-social-media-algorithms-in-humanitarian-crises/

 

Events:

Relaunch of Ab Aur Nahin

DRF relaunched its Ab Aur Nahin portal. It is a confidential legal and counselor support service portal specifically designed for survivors of harassment. It was marked through a X/Twitter space. The speakers discussed the promotion of a safer online environment for all and raise awareness about the importance of combating cyber-harassment through reporting. 

Listen to it here: https://x.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1720034065078952190?s=20

 

Press Release: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-rights-foundation-relaunches-ab-aur-nahin-a-pro-bono-online-portal-for-women-seeking-legal-representation/

 

Visit https://abaurnahin.pk for more details. 

 

Press Coverage

 

The Friday Times https://thefridaytimes.com/02-Nov-2023/drf-relaunches-portal-for-women-seeking-legal-aid
Ananke Magazine https://anankemag.com/2023/11/02/pakistani-digital-platform-offers-women-avenues-to-report-seek-advice-related-to-gbv/

 

Annual Pakistan Association of Pathology conference 

DRF was represented at the 44th Annual Pakistan Association of Pathology (PAP) Conference held on the 18th of November, 2023. DRF’s Senior Program Manager Zainab Durrani joined the conference virtually and shared highlights of DRF’s 2023 research study on ‘Data Privacy in Pakistan’s Healthcare Sector’, which maps the state of privacy as it pertains to patients and medical practitioners in Pakistan’s public and private healthcare sectors. The report sheds light on the dearth of understanding around data confidentiality and heightened protections required for personal medical data in particular, as they pertain to citizens of Pakistan.

 

Digital Citizen Program in Goverment Schools

Since last month, DRF has held 7 sessions in different schools across Lahore. 1170 students (females and males) and 123 teachers were informed about ways of staying safe in online spaces and reporting mechanisms incase of harassment or bullying. The participants were given gift bags with online safety resources and stationary.

 

Nighat Dad attended Paris Peace Forum 2023

Nighat Dad met the French President Macron at the Paris Peace Forum, where they discussed AI governance during a working dinner. Nighat has recently joined UN’s Advisory Body on AI.

 

Consultative Meeting on Disrupting Harm Project by the National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC)

On November 17, 2023, the NCRC held a meeting involving its stakeholders and members of civil society. The purpose was to gather insights and recommendations regarding cases of physical and sexual abuse involving minors. This meeting was convened to fulfill the mandate outlined in Section 15 of the NCRC Act, 2017. The Digital Rights Foundation actively participated in the session, contributing by sharing cases and statistics from its Cyber Harassment Helpline, particularly highlighting instances of online violence against minors."

 

Digital Well-being and Safety Fellowship

Digital Rights Foundation held the digital well-being and safety fellowship with 10 women journalists from across Pakistan from 30th October to 1st November 2023. This year DRF’s team received 170 applications from across Pakistan and 10 were shortlisted for a three-day intensive convening on online safety, legal recourse, misinformation and disinformation and well-being and self-care for women journalists. The fellowship is the third of its kind with women journalists. 

 

Virtual Roundtable on WhatsApp Channels

DRF’s programs lead Seerat Khan and Cyber harassment helpline manager Hyra Basit participated in a virtual roundtable on WhatsApp channels by Meta in which a discussion around how to use WhatsApp channels for social causes was discussed in detail. These channels provide an enhanced way to connect with different communities, similar to other social media applications. Now, we can utilize WhatsApp Channels to improve our communication and engagement strategies across various platforms. This development opens up new possibilities for collaboration and outreach.

 

SIRIUS Annual Conference 2023

DRF’s program lead participated in the SIRIUS Annual Conference by EuroJust in the workshop titled, ‘Scrolling for truth' workshop’. The panel focused on Data preservation and content moderation when facing international crimes. DRF’s Seerat Khan talked in detail about DRF’s comments to Meta’s oversight board and platform accountability in content moderation policies. 

 

Meta Trusted Partner Roundtable: Pakistan

DRF’s program team was part of Meta’s trusted partner roundtable from Pakistan focusing on online content trends in Pakistan. DRF’s team highlighted the importance of countering misinformation and disinformation on platforms particularly when elections are emerging. Concerns around the emergence of AI and deep fake technology in targeting human rights defenders, journalists and public figures was also discussed in detail. 

 

StopNCII.org NGO network meeting

Anmol, Hyra, and Ayesha attended a virtual meeting on November 22. We talked about new things and tools that can help make it easier for people who make complaints. This means we are looking at ways to improve how our system works so that it's simpler and better for the people reaching out with their concerns. We want to ensure we use helpful features to make things easier for everyone.

 

Disinformation, Elections, and the Role of Platforms: Case Studies from Asia

DRF’s program lead spoke on a consultative roundtable on disinformation, elections and the role of platforms particularly from Asia. Partners from the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh discussed methods of monitoring platforms during elections and countering disinformation during this time. 

 

“I4T global epistemic community” supported by UNESCO

On November 10, 2023, the DRF took part in a UNESCO meeting focused on shaping the concept of an "Internet for Trust Global Epistemic Community." This conversation aimed to aid in the oversight of digital platforms with a global lens. The session invited various stakeholders and members of civil society to contribute, fostering a "network of networks." This was envisioned as a multi-stakeholder environment for discussions and the exchange of best practices related to regulating digital platforms. DRF participated in this initiative, sharing its observed best practices in online spaces and contributing insights toward building an epistemic online community.

 

Policy Committee Meeting by Global Network Initiative 

On 16 November 2023, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) held a Policy Committee meeting involving different stakeholders and members of civil society. During the meeting, a comprehensive discussion was held on the Online Safety Bill currently under consideration in the Sri Lankan Parliament. The session delved into the legal challenges and concerns regarding its potential impact on fundamental rights and the democratic principles of Sri Lanka. Additionally, UNESCO guidelines were also discussed during the meeting. UNESCO stressed the importance of "multistakeholder discussion" and expressed intent to collaborate with networks such as GNI in fostering civil society participation in this initiative.

 

DRF Updates: 

Cyber Harassment Helpline 

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 190 complaints in total October, with 87 complaints by men. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

 

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 

 

StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

 

https://stopncii.org/

November 12, 2023 - Comments Off on Nighat Dad becomes a member of UN’s new Artificial Intelligence Advisory Body

Nighat Dad becomes a member of UN’s new Artificial Intelligence Advisory Body

nighat Digital Rights Foundation’s (DRF) Executive Director Nighat Dad has joined the United Nations Secretary General's high-level advisory board on Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with esteemed distinguished individuals from across the globe. The board will address the overarching theme of addressing global governance of AI.
https://press.un.org/en/2023/sga2236.doc.htm
https://www.un.org/en/ai-advisory-body

Press Coverage:
Geo TV https://www.geo.tv/latest/516314-pakistans-nighat-dad-joins-un-chief-antonio-guterres-high-level-ai-advisory-board
Samaa TV https://www.samaa.tv/208733373-nighat-dad-joins-un-s-advisory-board-on-artificial-intelligence
We News https://en.wenews.pk/nighat-dad-joins-unsgs-high-level-advisory-board-on-ai/
Voice pk https://voicepk.net/2023/10/nighat-dad-joins-un-secretary-generals-high-level-advisory-board-on-artificial-intelligence-ai/
The Express Tribune https://tribune.com.pk/story/2443255/nighat-dad-joins-un-secretary-generals-advisory-board-on-ai
The Nation https://www.nation.com.pk/27-Oct-2023/nighat-dad-joins-unsg-s-high-level-advisory-board-on-artificial-intelligence
Arab News https://www.arabnews.com/node/2398681/pakistan
The News https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1123585-pakistan-s-nighat-dad-joins-un-chief-s-high-level-ai-advisory-board
Dunya News https://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/766036-Nighat-Dad-joins-UN-Secretary-General/%27s-advisory-body-on-AI
Dawn https://www.dawn.com/news/1784356/nighat-dad-joins-un-chiefs-ai-advisory-board
Pakistan Observer https://pakobserver.net/nighat-joins-unsgs-advisory-board/
Yahoo Finance https://finance.yahoo.com/news/openai-google-digital-anthropologist-un-140258678.html?guccounter=1
Business Plus https://businessplus.ie/news/abeba-birhane-un/
Associated Press of Pakistan https://www.app.com.pk/national/nighat-dad-joins-un-secretary-generals-high-level-advisory-board-on-artificial-intelligence/
Bol News https://www.bolnews.com/videos/nighat-dad-became-part-of-un-ai-advisory-board-big-achievement-for-pakistan-breaking-news/
Digital Rights Foundations signs an MOU with DC Lahore to conduct Digital Safety and Literacy Sessions for Young Adults

Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) and Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the Lahore District Administration Rafia Haider signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a series of upcoming digital safety and literacy sessions for young adults titled, ‘Hamara Internet Mahfooz Internet’.

 

 

Press Coverage:

The Urdu Point https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/mou-signed-to-conduct-digital-literacy-and-sa-1761880.html
Voice PK https://voicepk.net/2023/10/digital-rights-foundation-hamara-internet/
Dawn https://www.dawn.com/news/1784554/digital-safety-sessions-at-public-schools
Digital Rights Foundation, along with many other Civil Society Organizations signed the  petition to 'Stop War Crimes in Gaza'

Policy Initiatives:

World Development Information Day

On #WorldDevelopmentInformationDay, DRF reaffirmed its commitment to empowering human rights defenders, especially women, in the digital realm.

In Collaboration with Coalition Against Online Violence

DRF with the support of Coalition Against Online Violence (CAOV), produced 6 animated videos, arranged a play and developed a comic book to highlight the lived experiences of the most marginalized people in Pakistan. Keep a lookout on our campaign with the hashtag #SaanjhiKahaniyan.

World Mental Health Day

Digital Rights Foundation collaborated with Tiktok to produce and publish content regarding World Mental Health Day (WMHD).

Press Coverage:
MM News https://mmnews.tv/tiktok-pledges-to-foster-mental-health-awareness-in-pakistan/
The Nation https://www.nation.com.pk/11-Oct-2023/tiktok-promoting-mental-health-awareness-in-pakistan

Press Coverage:

Jhoot Such Segment | PTV News

DRF’s Program Lead Seerat Khan was featured on PTV News Jhoot Such program where she talked about looking beyond the headlines especially in the time of rampant misinformation.
https://youtu.be/lpGp4hwrWaM?si=rSHTxDbN5JnL6oyi

Online, unsafe and censored | The News | Big News Network

The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), in this article where women journalists share how they’re met with threats, abuse and harassment in online spaces, reports that, in 2022, its helpline received 75 complaints from journalists, with 51 of them related to cyber harassment, emphasizing the pressing need for secure online spaces for female journalists. The report highlights that Punjab accounted for the highest number of complaints. Despite the alarming rise in digital violence, women often hesitate to report incidents to law enforcement agencies, citing a lack of confidence in the seriousness of their complaints.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/1114300-online-unsafe-and-censore
https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/273986143/online-unsafe-and-censored

Resilient media voices | IFEX

IFEX member Digital Rights Foundation hosted a gathering which recognized the role of the nationwide network of women journalists in building a “safe space where women turn to each other for support and solidarity in the absence of support mechanisms.”

'They're afraid of joy': Pakistan's trans community fights hate | The Manila Times

Digital Rights Foundation, a nonprofit that also runs Cyber Harassment Helpline, has recorded 74 complaints registered by the trans community since the start of the hate campaign.

https://www.manilatimes.net/2023/10/10/world/asia-oceania/theyre-afraid-of-joy-pakistans-trans-community-fights-hate/1914105

Online freedoms | Opinion | Dawn

Nighat Dad, the Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation, emphasized the alarming use of AI by governments for digital repression and misinformation, as highlighted in the Freedom on the Net 2023 report. She called for global collaboration, autonomous oversight, and prioritization of data protection to address the escalating challenges to internet freedom.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1781020

OurNet: The Internet Is Ours | The Internet Society

According to Nighat Dad, the adverse effects of Internet fragmentation disproportionately affect marginalized communities, lacking access to resources or knowledge to safeguard their digital rights. As a human rights lawyer and digital rights advocate, she asserts that the offline gender gap in Pakistan is mirrored online, motivating her to tirelessly offer a platform for marginalized voices to be amplified.

OurNet: The Internet Is Ours

Mobilising for Data Justice | The Alan Turing Institute

In the concluding episode of the Advancing Data Justice series, Shmyla Khan discusses the myriad complex and systemic challenges on the path to data justice. She also shared insight into the transformative activism and advocacy efforts, revealing the actions required to disrupt longstanding structures of inequity as individuals and communities worldwide pave a hopeful path toward data justice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0nCU9ptWqc

Human rights organizations call for an immediate physical and digital ceasefire in Gaza | Global Voices

Global Voices, alongside 140+ civil society organizations and activists, has joined the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel amid the escalating crisis. Digital Rights Foundation has signed on for this collective plea that emphasizes the urgent need to halt violence and prevent further loss of innocent lives.

Human rights organizations call for an immediate physical and digital ceasefire in Gaza

Events:

Digital Rights Foundation at United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum 2023

Digital Rights Foundation actively participated in the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum held in Kyoto, Japan from 8 to 12 October. Starting off with the pre-events, DRF was one of the co-organizers of the day-long Gender at the GDC conference, which was attended by civil society members as well as representatives of various governments. On Day 0, DRF hosted a lightning talk titled ‘Global South Perspectives on Governing AI’ which comprehensively covered the AI policy in consideration in Pakistan and a comparison with other AI policies introduced around the world. On Day 3, DRF was part of a panel and networking session hosted by NDI titled ‘Networking for Information Integrity in Asia and Globally’, in which we gave an overview of our extensive work on promoting information integrity. The second session of the day was titled ‘Viewing Disinformation from a Global Governance Perspective’. Nighat Dad was invited to the panel by APC, and she spoke strongly about the effects of disinformation on democracy and regulating disinformation.

Hamara Internet, Mahfooz Internet Session at Public School

The first session of 'Hamara Internet Mahfooz Internet' was a success, with the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) engaging students and educators in public school. This milestone marks the start of DRF's impactful journey to provide essential tools for online safety, ethical social media use, and resilience against digital threats to the youth.

Resilience Workshop

The Digital Rights Foundation recently organized a Resilience Workshop in late October. The workshop had a transformative objective of strengthening interpersonal and employer-employee relations within our workplace. The session, facilitated by an experienced professional, was designed to enhance communication skills, support mental well-being, cultivate trust, and encourage collaboration. Everyone actively participated in interactive exercises, acquiring practical tools to effectively navigate workplace dynamics. The workshop has garnered positive feedback, with attendees expressing a newfound sense of confidence in effectively managing day-to-day challenges.

Lincoln Corner Workshop with Fatima Jinnah University

DRF’s Senior Project Manager and Digital Security Trainer conducted a ‘Securing Digital Spaces’ workshop with Lincoln Corner Pakistan. It aimed to empower women by significantly enhancing their digital security prowess, fostering a safer and more confident online presence.

Training of Trainers Workshop | Digital Safety Awareness Sessions for Marginalized Communities | Lahore

DRF's Communications and Engagement Manager and Digital Security Trainer led a training of trainers workshop for marginalized communities' digital safety. It included a digital security roadmap as well as reporting and legal mechanisms for protecting oneself online. Participants came from a variety of backgrounds and actively participated and provided constructive feedback.

Freedom on the Net 2023 | Report Launch

The Digital Rights Foundation's Executive Director, Nighat Dad, spoke at the Freedom House event to launch "Freedom on the Net 2023: The Repressive Power of Artificial Intelligence." The event aimed to shed light on key findings from the 2023 report against the backdrop of increasing scale, speed, and efficiency of digital repression driven by advances in artificial intelligence. The event, which featured eminent speakers such as Michael J. Abramowitz, Allie Funk, Audrey Tang, Teresa Hutson, and Kara Swisher, provided a thorough examination of global trends, country-specific developments, and best practices to protect internet freedom in the face of evolving challenges.

DRF’s Online Safety Training Session at Maati TV

On 5th October, DRF’s communications manager and digital security trainer gave a training at the Interactive Resource Centre for Maati TV residency workshop Digital Storytelling and Social Media Advocacy. They talked about digital safety  content creators from all over Pakistan.

Gender Sensitive Campaigning during Elections Workshops for Simorgh

DRF in collaboration with Simorgh held Gender Sensitive Campaigning during Elections Workshops in Kasur from 12th to 13th Octobar, 2023 and in Tob Tek Singh from 18th to 19th Octobar, 2023. The workshop aimed to explain to the political party members the concepts of elections and democracy, emphasizing the importance of conducting fair elections in the country. In addition to this, the trainers delved into discussion differentiating between gender and sex within the framework of patriarchy, emphasizing the need for women's participation in politics and elections for the country’s welfare.

Further, a detailed discussion was held regarding Pakistan's election-related laws as well as its legal obligations to the international community. Toward the end of the workshop, all participants engaged in an activity of making manifesto points for women, disabled, Khawaja Sira, children, and religious minorities.

Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWJDR), Digital Well-being and Safety Fellowship 2023

The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) in collaboration with the Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWJDR) conducted a three day Digital Well-being and Safety Fellowship, of which second day was spent on focusing the legal dimensions of journalism. The fellowship featured insightful sessions by the DRF legal team on 31 October, 2023,  focusing on defamation laws and the PECA Act of 2016, along with in-depth discussions on the correlation between freedom of expression, hate speech, and responsible reporting. This initiative aimed to empower journalists, especially women, equipping them with the necessary legal and ethical knowledge for safe and ethical digital reporting in today's media landscape. The fellowship fostered impactful conversations and collaborative solutions for challenges in the digital journalism sphere, highlighting the commitment to a safer and more responsible online environment.

Insta live - Launch of Legal Toolkit

DRF conducted an Instagram Live to launch our "Countering Digital Threats" Toolkit. In the Instagram Live, along with our Legal intern, Ali Abbas Gillani, we talked about the growing need for an easy-to-read toolkit in the current landscape of social media usage, providing accessibility to online users on how to safeguard themselves against digital threats and approach online safety redressal mechanisms as well as know more about the legal recourse available to the public.

DRF conducted two workshops with the journalist community on Capacity building on Gender Sensitive reporting in the Media

As part of DRF’s ongoing work on online safety, DRF conducted two workshops in October with the journalist community to build their capacity to use online space safely and effectively. The workshops titled ‘Capacity building on Gender Sensitive reporting in the Media’ were held on the 16th and 26th of October and were attended by 24 and 29 journalists respectively. The workshop was focused on enhancing the ability of journalists to better utilize online platforms for their work.

Twitter space:  Artificial Intelligence and Bias

DRF organized a Twitter Space where we delved into the themes of the 3rd edition of Digital 50.50, focusing on 'Artificial Intelligence and Bias: Implications for Women and Minorities.' We were honored to host three distinguished contributors, namely Anmol Irfan, Zunaira Rafi, and Sadia Mazhar from Digital 50'50, with the aim of expanding the reach of their insightful articles. This engaging session took place on October 17, 2023.
You can access the recorded session here.

A session with Tech Sahelis

Digital Rights Foundation conducted a workshop on online harassment, the consent model, and the legal framework around harassment in Pakistan. This four-hour session includes an in-depth segment on digital literacy and security skills necessary for youth. The workshop were held on the 10th and 11th of October and was attended by more than 100 students.

Community session on Legal Certification of Digital Evidence

On 19th October, Minahil Farooq from the DRF Legal team participated in an online community session hosted by Digital Defenders Organization. This session was centered around sharing best practices for the legal certification of digital evidence to use in legal proceedings. This session aimed to foster discussion on how various feminist helplines handle digital evidence that they receive and to exchange insights on the processes, requirements, tools, platforms, methodologies, and strategies used in different countries. During the session, Minahil presented how the Legal team at DRF handled evidence received from its helpline and its effective use in legal proceedings.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 190 complaints in total October, with 87 complaints by men. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

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

StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

https://stopncii.org/

October 17, 2023 - Comments Off on September 2023 Newsletter: DRF celebrates seven years of resilient voices in the media

September 2023 Newsletter: DRF celebrates seven years of resilient voices in the media

voices            

DRF celebrated it’s conference on seven years of resilient voices in the media in Islamabad on 15 September 2023 which marked the celebration of DRF's engagement with the media community, particularly women journalists. The conference brought together journalists, civil society, government representatives, and other stakeholders to discuss the state of media and the challenges that women journalists face in the country and celebrate their achievements despite the difficult circumstances they face working in the field. The conference had an exciting line-up of three panels to delve into DRF’s engagement with the journalist community in Pakistan and showcased an art exhibition of hand-drawn illustrations from DRF’s e-magazine, Digital 50.50.

Press Coverage for the event:

The Friday Times

https://thefridaytimes.com/15-Sep-2023/digital-rights-foundation-celebrates-seven-years-of-resilient-voices-in-the-media

Sehrish Khan Pakistan

https://sehrishkhanpakistan.wordpress.com/2023/09/15/digital-rights-foundation-celebrates-seven-years-of-resilient-voices-in-the-mediathrough-its-conference-today-islamabaddiscuss-the-challenges-that-women-journalists-face-in-the-country-and-celebra/

Bunjaarun - Youtube Channel

https://youtu.be/f39y__WkiUM?si=ublfFr3lzaWtX6Ip

Anake

https://anankemag.com/2023/09/15/digital-rights-foundation-pakistan-celebrates-seven-years-of-resilient-voices-in-the-media/

The Nation

https://www.nation.com.pk/15-Sep-2023/digital-rights-foundation-celebrates-seven-years-of-resilient-voices-in-the-media-through-it-s-conference

Voicepk.net

https://voicepk.net/2023/09/drf-holds-conference-to-celebrate-achievements-of-women-journalists/

 The News International

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1110377-resilient-voices-in-media-celebrated

Associated Press of Pakistan

https://www.app.com.pk/national/drf-celebrates-seven-years-of-resilient-voices-in-the-media/

Daily Times

https://dailytimes.com.pk/1132748/seven-years-of-resilient-voices-in-the-media-celebrated/

Urdu Point

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/drf-celebrates-seven-years-of-resilient-voic-1749847.html

Online Campaigns:

In Collaboration with Coalition Against Online Violence

DRF with the support of Coalition Against Online Violence (CAOV), produced 6 animated videos, arranged a play and developed a comic book to highlight the lived experiences of the most marginalized people in Pakistan. Keep a lookout on our campaign with the hashtag #SaanjhiKahaniyan.

Identity Crisis: Roadblocks In Women's Access To Basic Id Documentation In Pakistan | GenderIT.org

To mark Identity Day 2023, DRF highlighted this article written by our Program Manager, Zainab Durrani and it talks about the discrimination by public service departments from a gendered and intersectional approach particularly in the case of accessing digital and passport ID for women in Pakistan.
Read it here.

Did you know? | Social Media Public Service Announcements Series

DRF has started on an online campaign on ‘Did You Know?’, to create mass awareness regarding the digital landscape in Pakistan and the rights afforded under it. It started as a part of The International Day for Universal Access to Information.

Press Coverage:

Nighat Dad on Bol News Network about weaponization of CCTV in educational institutes

DRF's Executive Director, Nighat Dad appeared on Bol News Network at the start of September 2023, to shed light on the weaponization of CCTV cameras in educational institutes. She emphasized on the lack of regulation, accountability & oversight regarding the use of CCTV cameras in schools & universities in Pakistan.

Nighat Dad explains how public comments play a vital role in making decisions by the Oversight Board | Oversight Board Twitter
https://x.com/OversightBoard/status/1701558969368457459?s=20
Pakistan: Groups win some concessions, but new laws threaten free speech | IFEX

The article provides a round-up of events related to free expression in Asia-Pacific in August 2023. It highlights the worsening repression in Afghanistan under Taliban rule, with a significant impact on media outlets and women's rights. Digital Rights Foundation was mentioned as an IFEX member and our analysis of the data protection bill was quoted.

https://ifex.org/two-years-of-taliban-and-a-love-letter-from-china/

https://ifex.org/two-years-of-taliban-and-a-love-letter-from-china/

Ahead of election, Pakistan introduces new laws to stifle dissent | Global Voices

Digital Rights Foundation was mentioned in this article because we raised concerns and provided recommendations regarding the Data Protection Bill, particularly emphasizing issues related to data localization and the independence of the proposed Commission, fearing they might infringe on digital rights and hamper the free flow of information.

https://advox.globalvoices.org/2023/08/17/ahead-of-election-pakistan-introduces-new-laws-to-stifle-dissent/

Digital detox: Making internet safer for all age groups in Pakistan | Dunya News

DRF’s work was highlighted in the piece Digital Detox: Making Internet Safer for all age groups in Pakistan in Dunya News. The piece discusses the challenges of e-security and cyberbullying in Pakistan particularly in reporting and addressing issues faced by women. There is a need for strengthening laws and increasing awareness to create a secure and inclusive social media environment in Pakistan.

https://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/754065-Digital-detox:-Making-internet-safer-for-all-age-groups-in-Pakistan-

Youth at risk: cyberbullying epidemic grips Pakistan | Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) (Digital)

The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF)’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is highlighted in this article as its data showcases the prevalence of cyber harassment, with a majority of victims falling in the youth sector. To address these issues, there is a call for strengthening laws and increasing awareness to create a secure and inclusive online environment in Pakistan.

https://www.app.com.pk/national/youth-at-risk-cyberbullying-epidemic-grips-pakistan/

The Nation

https://www.nation.com.pk/11-Sep-2023/youth-at-risk-cyberbullying-epidemic-grips-pakistan

The Express Tribune

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2435327/youths-at-risk-from-cyberbullying-epidemic
Explainer: What’s the debate over the wages paid to junior lawyers by law firms? | Dawn News

The article discusses the ongoing debate among junior lawyers in Pakistan about insufficient remuneration, especially for those working in law firms that primarily practice litigation. The issue was brought to attention during a panel discussion and has led to discussions about low pay, discrimination against female lawyers, and the lack of formal regulations in the legal profession. Various lawyers and experts have weighed in on the matter, highlighting the challenges faced by junior lawyers and the need for standardization and better compensation policies. Nighat Dad was quoted in this article.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1777625

Events:

Concordia Annual Summit | A Global Guideline for Digital Information

Nighat Dad, Executive Director of DRF, spoke at the Global Guideline for Digital Information event on 19th September during the 13th session of the Concordia Annual Summit, a leading public-private sector forum held alongside the UN General Assembly. Nighat spoke about examining how misinformation threatens democracy and development and what can be done to address it.

Berkman Klein Center - Harvard University | Now & Next: Platform Accountability and Content Governance - Oversight Board Mock Deliberation

At the Berkman Klein Center - Harvard University, DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in a live deliberation on 22nd September of the cases Oversight Board receives and examined the challenges and successes the board has faced in its first three years.

NIC Peshawar | Safeguarding Women against Online Abuse and Cyber Crime

The session on ‘Safeguarding Women against Online Abuse and Cyber Crime’ was conducted by Digital Rights Foundation’s Communication Manager and Digital Security Trainer in NIC Peshawar on 5th September, 2023. The training's goal was to provide an overview of digital safety awareness as well as knowledge of combating online abuse and cyber crime. The audience consisted of Peshawar women from various sociocultural backgrounds.

Leadership Institute CHANAN

Chanan

On September 17th, DRF's Digital Security Trainer conducted a training workshop for participants from across Pakistan on Digital Safety and Security for Human Rights Defenders.
The workshop covered the holistic security approach for civil society organizations in order to protect both offline and online spaces.

Driving National Action against Child Sexual Abuse Online Using the Model National Response - the Experience of Indonesia

DRF attended the webinar organized by UNICEF in collaboration with WeProtect Global Alliance on Malaysia’s experience in implementation of the Model National Response (MNR). MNR was introduced in 2015 and used by many countries across the world to deal with online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Experiences and challenges on implementation, call to action and updates on MNR were shared with attendees.

Landscape of Hope (LoH) Meeting

DRF’s Programs Lead Seerat Khan attended the network meeting of landscape of hope (LoH) from 6th to 8th September 2023 in Beirut Lebanon. The meeting brought together organizations from across the globe majority in an annual meeting focusing on making cross collaborations and strengthening the network across the region.

Gender Sensitive Election Campaigns One Day Workshop with Simourgh

DRF conducted one day workshops on gender sensitive election campaigns on 20th and 21st September with political workers in collaboration with Simourgh Women’s Resource and Publication Centre. The workshop highlighted the importance of a gender sensitive approach in campaigning during the upcoming elections and have a human rights based manifestos.

HIVE Fellows visit DRF | Collaborative Meeting on rights of a marginalized community and combating extremism

Fellows from HIVE, a Pakistani social-impact organization dedicated to addressing extremism and marginalization through community-led efforts and collaboration, met with DRF team on  21st September 2023 to discuss shared research interests and their mutual commitment to uplifting marginalized communities in pursuit of inclusivity, equality, and peace in Pakistan.

Source Verification and Fact-checking workshop for Journalists during Elections held in Karachi

DRF and CEJ conducted a session on source verification and fact-checking in Karachi with the support of Meta keeping in mind the upcoming general elections. The two day workshop addressed the emergence of disinformation and misinformation during elections and how to tackle and report dis/misinformation during this time.

Driving national action against child sexual abuse online using the Model National Response webinar

DRF attended a webinar on Driving national action against child sexual abuse online using the Model National Response webinar. Ms.Anmol and Ms. Asma attended the webinar. In this webinar, speakers explored how Indonesia uses the  Model National Response in their response against child sexual exploitation and abuse online, the challenges they have encountered, and the lessons they have learned.

Webinar: State of Pakistan’s Digital Democracy

 

This year on the 14th of September, DRF hosted a webinar to commemorate the International Day of Democracy with legal, policy, media and human rights experts to discuss the latest developments in Pakistan that are undermining basic democratic freedoms, especially in the context of internet rights.

We were joined by noted journalist Afia Salam, Legal Counsel Human Rights Watch (Asia) Saroop Ijaz and CEO and Founder of Katalyst Labs, Jehan Ara. The session was moderated by Senior Program Manager Zainab Durrani.

 The panel discussed the recent onslaught of legislative and policy changes looking to overhaul the digital landscape in the country and summarize the impact it is having on most of Pakistan’s citizens, industries and human rights movements. Their valuable insights provided much needed context to the equation and also put forward clear policy points on how to mitigate the effects of such spirited attempts at overregulation.

The live talk can be viewed here.

Women Journalists' Collective Well-being Residency Retreat

Digital Rights Foundation held its annual residency for women journalists from 16-18 September 2023. The Residency is a space where women journalists create and nurture personal and professional bonds which are long lasting and help them in their professional career. The Residency had a line-up of sessions over two days focused on networking, online safety skills and story pitching.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 185 complaints in total September, with 122 complaints by women. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts.

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 
StopNCII.org

September 12, 2023 - Comments Off on August 2023 Newsletter: DRF joins the Global Network Initiative (GNI)

August 2023 Newsletter: DRF joins the Global Network Initiative (GNI)

Nighat Dad meeting with UK High Commisioner to Pakistan Jane Marriott

DRF’s Nighat Dad met with the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan Jane Marriott in Lahore to discuss the current state of Digital rights in Pakistan among other civil society leaders.

Policy Intiatives:

Digital Rights Foundation Joins Global Network Initiative (GNI)

DRF is thrilled to join GNI; GNI helps companies respect freedom of expression and privacy rights when faced with government pressure to hand over user data, remove content, or restrict communications. They are a growing alliance of Internet and telecom-munications companies, human rights and press freedom groups, investors, and academic institutions from around the world. We are pleased to be part of a network that works on advancing accountability to advocating for laws and policies that protect free expression and privacy rights worldwide, our members are working together to get results.

DRF issues statement on the horrible Jaranwala incident

DRF launches Exploring Jurisprudence on Transgender Rights: A Comparative Study on Modern Islamic Frameworks, Equality, Privacy Rights and Gender-based Violence.

In light of the recent Federal Shariat Court judgment on the ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018’, DRF conducted a study understand the legality of transgender rights from a constitutional, Islamic jurispduence, privacy and gender-based violence perspective.

Read here

Review of 2023: Digital Rights in Pakistan

DRF's interns Rameen Durrani and Maham Sohail this year developed a Review of 2023: Digital Rights in Pakistan of the digital rights space. The review seeks to study the impact on the digital economy due to frequent internet shutdowns.

Read here

Intern Blogs: Creative Freedom vs. Societal Sensitivities

Our brilliant intern Rameen Durrani wrote a thought-provoking and timely blogpost on the limitations placed on creative expression through vague and arbitrary decisions by regulatory bodies in Pakistan.

Read the blog here.

National AI Policy

DRF submitted a comprehensive analysis on the current National AI policy including a section by section breakdown with international best practices and the current complementary legislation. Read in detail here

Legal Analysis: Personal Data Protection Bill 2023

DRF published a legal analysis of the personal data protection bill 2023 introduced in Pakistan’s parliament. Digital Rights Foundation welcomed the progression of the Personal Data Protection Bill, and raised questions regarding data localisation requirements and independence of the proposed Commission.

Read the detailed analysis here

DRF gives Public Comment on Meta Oversight Board Political Dispute Ahead of Turkish Elections cases

DRF submitted its public comment in a case where the Meta Oversight Board overturned Meta's original decisions to remove the posts of three Turkish media organisations containing a similar video of a politician confronting another in public. DRF’s comment also posited that the removal was against norms of free speech, speaking from its experiences of political speech being censored in Pakistan.

Link to DRF’s comment.

Link to OSB decision.
Press Coverage:
Muzzling digital media | The News

DRF’s Director of Research and Policy wrote about the barrage of legislation that are tightening the noose on digital rights in Pakistan and making it hard for the average person to keep up with all the new developments.

Link to article: https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/1097230-muzzling-digital-media

Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Foreign Affairs to lead Commonwealth observers for Zimbabwean Elections | The Zimbabwean

The Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Nighat Dad, was mentioned in the article as one of the Commonwealth Observer Group members.

Link to article: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2023/08/ambassador-amina-mohamed-kenyas-former-cabinet-secretary-for-education-and-foreign-affairs-to-lead-commonwealth-observers-for-zimbabwean-elections/
Ahead of election, Pakistan introduces new laws to stifle dissent | Global Voices

DRF’s Legal analysis of the Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 was cited in this article and the critique and recommendations in the article were highlighted and it was mentioned that it was presented to the government in July 2023 to enhance the bill draft's quality.

Link to article: https://globalvoices.org/2023/08/17/ahead-of-election-pakistan-introduces-new-laws-to-stifle-dissent/
AI Charter in Media: 10 individuals and 6 additional partner organisations join with RSF before the first working session | Reporters Without Borders RSF

Nighat Dad, Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation was mentioned

Link to article: https://rsf.org/en/ai-charter-media-10-individuals-and-6-additional-partner-organisations-join-rsf-first-working
Decolonising Data for Data Justice

DRF’s programs and communications lead wrote a piece for GenderIT.org on Decolonising Data for Data Justice and highlighted the social injustices through the datafication of our lives.

Read the piece here
Nighat Dad’s interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation

DRF’s Nighat Dad’s interview was featured in the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation highlighting her journey as a digital rights feminist activist working in Pakistan and the journey of Digital Rights Foundation as an organization tackling cyber harassment in the country.

Link to piece

Events:

DRF Executive Director’s meeting with NCRC Pakistan Chairperson

DRF's Executive Director, Nighat Dad met with National Commission on The Rights of Child (NCRC) Pakistan Chairperson Ayesha Raza Farooq. discuss online abuse, digital safety, and ways to protect children from cyberbullying and online sexual abuse.  The two also discussed measures to be adopted in light of the country's growing number of child abuse cases.

 

 

DRF attended a consultation hosted by HRCP on Tackling Misinformation Surrounding The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act

DRF provided its input based on its research on gender disinformation and rising trends of disinformation targeting the transgender and khawajasira community in Pakistan. The consultation was held on August 8, 2023 by a range of lawyers, journalists, and members of civil society.

Read DRF’s comparative study on the jurisprudence regarding transgender rights here.
AprIGF 2023: Malicious Convergence: Addressing Emerging Trends of Gendered Hate Speech in South Asia

DRF conducted a session with POV and Hashtag Generation on Malicious Convergence: Emerging Trends of Gendered Hate Speech in South Asia at the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Forum 2023. Shmyla Khan the research and policy director at DRF moderated the session and Seerat Khan programs and communications lead spoke on the panel. The session highlighted the emerging trends of hate speech in South Asia. Saritha Irugalbandara from Hashtag Generation spoke about similar trends in Sri Lanka and Prarthana Mitra from POV India also presented case studies from India. Rumky Farhana from Article 19 also shared insights from Bangladesh and moderated the session on-site. DRF’s team also presented the work of the cyber harassment helpline and resource mechanisms available to counter gendered hate speech.

Splice Media Workshop

DRF attended a workshop hosted by Splice Media, supported by Free Press Unlimited. The workshop focused on strategies to build a viable and sustainable media start up.

Provincial Ombudsperson Punjab organized a meeting/discussion on better implementation of the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010 (Amendment 2012)

On 28 August 2023, DRF attended a meeting titled “Better Implementation of Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010 (Amendment 2012)” arranged by the Ombudsperson, Ms. Nabila Hakim Khan, in Lahore. In light of the increasing number of harassment cases within educational institutions, this meeting included a panel discussion consisting of human rights activists, lawyers, and stakeholders from civil society. Starting with a brief presentation on the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010 (Amendment 2012), the meeting then led to a discussion about introducing methods for public awareness regarding anti-harassment laws, while also addressing challenges pertaining to human rights enforcement. The objective of the meeting was to collaboratively devise a plan to address challenges regarding the effective implementation of the law and to propose amendments and recommendations for strengthening the application of anti-harassment laws.

Training with Human Rights Defenders by DRF’s Legal Team:

On 17 August 2023, DRF conducted a training session with human rights defenders. The session was initiated with a brief overview of the FIA and proceeded to cover the comprehensive discussion on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights), Act 2018, cyber laws, and defamation law concerning human rights defenders and activists. The discussion further focused on the recent Shariat Petition verdict, which striked down some provisions of Transgender Act, and explored its impact on the community.

Investigative Fact Checking Skills Training with Africa Women Journalism Project (AWJP)

DRF conducted an online training workshop with women journalists from across Africa on the issue of gender disinformation on August 30, 2023. The session built the capacity of these journalists to monitor, document and report on gender disinformation trends in their region as well as providing an opportunity for knowledge-sharing across the Global South.

Peacemakers Program about Social Media and Hate Speech

DRF representatives partook in a session at the Grief Directory and the session was about making young adults aware of the different ways in which hate speech manifests on digital platforms and the safety measures we can take address the issue. This was arranged for their summer interns.

DRF’s Online Safety Training Session at Maati TV

DRF’s communications manager and digital security trainer  gave a training at the Interactive Resource Centre and Maati TV residency for Digital Storytelling and Social Media Advocacy workshop for journalists and content creators from Multan and Quetta.

DRF at Meta APAC Youth & Safety Summit

The Digital Rights Foundation was invited to join in the Meta Youth & Safety Summit that took place in Singapore from the 28th-30th of August 2023.

Program Manager Zainab Durrani represented the organization and delivered a spotlight presentation on the work our Cyber Harassment Helpline does and the StopNCII.org partnership DRF maintains with Meta through which non-consensual image sharing can be reported. The portal then designates a unique identity to each reported image and ensures said data cannot be shared online.

Additionally, the Summit allowed for a robust exchange of ideas, trends and projects that each organization has accomplished or is currently working on, with excellent strategies and initiatives coming to light from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand and many more Asia Pacific countries.

Centre for Excellence in Journalism Session:

The Digital Rights Foundation was represented in a session held by the IBA Centre for Excellence in Journalism on the 1st of August 2023.

The session ‘Data Protection: Is the law actually protective?’ was conducted online and streamed live via CEJ at IBA’s Facebook as well and can be viewed here.

Zainab Durrani, Program Manager for DRF’s data privacy portfolio participated in the session and addressed queries regarding the latest (2023) draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill by the Ministry of IT, including reservations and our legal analysis of the proposed legislation.

The session was moderated by Farieha Aziz of Bolo Bhi and other esteemed panelists included Mubariz Siddiqui of Carbon Law, Misbah Naqvi of i2i Ventures and Imran Moinuddin of VentureDrive.

Consultation Session with National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC):

DRF attended a consultative meeting with NCRC and civil society organizations on “Child Rights Issues, Challenges and Way Forward in Punjab.” The meeting was chaired by NCRC chairperson Ayesha Raza Farooq. The purpose of the meeting was for civil society organizations to discuss the challenges and rights violations that children in Pakistan experience, and civil society organizations’ experiences and hurdles in working on child rights issues.

DRF highlighted that while the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 was passed, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) lacks the resources and staff to deal with the sheer number of cases they receive. This results in many cases being overlooked as FIA has to prioritize based on the severity of cases. DRF explained the need to take preventive measures related to online harms by raising awareness of the youth and educators on privacy and consent, online safety, responsible online behavior and how to report cyber harassment. DRF also spoke about its current efforts with the Punjab Education Department to start digital literacy and safety training with students and teachers in public schools.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 198 complaints in total August, with 130 complaints by women. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

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 
StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

https://stopncii.org/

 

August 16, 2023 - Comments Off on Digital 50.50: Women Technology & the Gig Economy

Digital 50.50: Women Technology & the Gig Economy

DRF released its new edition of Digital 50.50 on 'Women, Technology & Gig Economy' in July. The edition focused on the role of women in the digital gig economy in Pakistan and its opportunities and challenges. You can read our new features in the link below:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/women-technology-and-gig-economy

 

DRF Strongly condemns the recent incident of sexual exploitation and harassment at the Islamia University Bahawalpur.

DRF Strongly condemns the recent incident of sexual exploitation and harassment at the Islamia University Bahawalpur. This distressing turn of events marks the third high-profile case in many years. In 2019, a similar incident like this took place at the University of Balochistan, Quetta, and later at the King Edward Medical University Lahore.

Incidents like these are indicative of an alarming pattern of misconduct emerging, where at least two of the known cases implicate the chief of security as the primary accused.

Click here to read our statement:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/drf-strongly-condemns-the-recent-incident-of-sexual-exploitation-and-harassment-at-the-islamia-university-bahawalpur/

Online Campaigns:

The Digital Rights Foundation spoke on the judgment of the Lahore High Court (LHC) dated 13th of July, 2023.The judgment is a seminal development in terms of creating a precedent that highlights the importance of the right to privacy, with respect to seizure of devices, particularly mobile phones, during an investigation.

Here the LHC reads Articles 13 and 14 of the Constitution of Pakistan in conjunction to highlight privacy of individuals and declares spying or extraction of data without a Court order to be unconstitutional and illegal.

DRF is heartened by the take of the honourable justices of the provincial High Court, who have placed emphasis on the protection of the crucial right to privacy.

Policy Initiatives:

July was a busy month for DRF as we worked on policies and proposed laws put forward by the government. DRF is committed to providing feedback to all government stakeholders to improve laws and policies and ensure they are in compliance with international best practices and responsive to local context.

Feedback on ‘Draft National Artificial Intelligence Policy 2023’

DRF submitted it’s detailed feedback to the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MOITT) on the ‘Draft National Artificial Intelligence Policy 2023’. Emerging technologies such as AI are rapidly informing our everyday lives and it is essential that regulation takes into account human rights and Pakistan’s specific context. Our submission seeks to provide a digital rights perspective and signpost loopholes within the existing policy.

The feedback document can be accessed here.

Legal Analysis: Personal Data Protection Bill 2023

The Cabinet has approved a draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill on July 27, 2023 and the Bill is expected to be presented in Parliament soon. DRF has consistently been providing feedback on all versions of the Bill since 2018 and has produced an updated analysis of the latest publicly available version of the Bill (dated May 2023) raising concerns regarding data localisation requirements and independence of the proposed Commission, among other issues.

The updated analysis can be found here.

Blog Post: Digital Rights in Pakistan: A Review of 2023

DRF’s research interns this summer, Maham Sohail and Rameen Durrani, put together a timeline of digital rights-related events in the first six months of 2023 highlighting issues of internet shutdowns, new digital policies and prosecutions based on digital speech.

The blog can be accessed here.

Exploring Jurisprudence on Transgender Rights: A Comparative Study

In light of the recent Federal Shariat Court judgment on the ‘Transgender Persons

(Protection of Rights) Act, 2018’, DRF conducted a study understand the legality of transgender rights from a constitutional, Islamic jurispduence, privacy and gender-based violence perspective.

The study can be found here.
Submission to Meta Oversight Board on Gender-based Violence

DRF submitted its comments for the Meta Oversight Board (OSB) two cases regarding Gender-based Viiolence (2023-002-IG-UA and 2023-005-IG-UA ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN (SWEDISH)), the judgment for was issued by the Board in July 2023. DRF’s submission (available here) highlighted the importance of digital spaces in raising issues of Gender-based Violence and how removing content raising awareness regarding these issues is tantamount to gender discrimination.

Cyber Harassment Helpline Policy Brief 2022

DRF launched its cyber harassment policy brief of 2022. The policy brief aims to analyze the work of the helpline with cases of online harassment and violence against journalists and media practitioners.

Link to policy brief:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Policy-Brief-Cyber-Harassment-Helpline-2022.pdf

Link to Press Release:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-rights-foundation-received-75-cases-of-online-harassment-against-journalists-in-2022/

Press Coverage:

DRF received 75 cases of Online Harassment of Journalists

DRF’s policy brief was covered by Ananke magazine highlighting the 75 cases of online harassment the helpline received in 2022.

Link to article:

https://anankemag.com/2023/07/24/drf-pakistan-received-75-cases-of-online-harassment-against-journalists/
75 Journalists reported Cyber Harassment in 2022

DRF’s policy brief was covered by Dawn in detail particularly about the 75 online cases the helpline recieved.

Link to article:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1766675/75-journalists-reported-cyber-harassment-in-2022

Events:

Nighat Dad at TrustCon

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at TrustCon on a panel discussing  her role at the task force report on the future of web by Atlantic Council. On the panel at the event Nighat also spoke to importance of not just saying “civil society” as if a monolith. Being a civil society group in Pakistan is not the same as US. We don’t always engage w/ those most impacted, or prioritize what they flag. Folks not talking about this years’ Pakistan elections

You can see the newly launched report here:

Scaling trust on the web

Twitter Space: the role of women in the gig economy

Digital 50.50 contributors Wajiha Hyder, Sabin Muzaffar and Aneela Ashraf were part of a twitter space on the role of women in the gig economy highlighting their contributions in the second edition of Digital 50.50.

You can listen to the conversation here:

Training with Human Rights Defenders on Digital Safety and Legal Recourse

DRF conducted a series of workshops with human rights defenders on legal recourse and digital safety in the month of July. The team discussed relevant laws with respect to human rights defenders and activists along with online safety tips for them. The workshops took place on the 13th, 17th, 19th and 21st of July.

Workshop on Geolocating Images: Methods, Tools, and Creativity - ETI - 20 July 2023

DRF’s Aqsa Javed attended a workshop on “Geolocating Images: Methods, Tools, and Creativity” which was organized by ETI, on the 20th of July 2023. The workshop was initiated with a brief introduction to the concept of geolocating and image analysis and then led to an overview of how geolocation technology works. Following the initial overview, the workshop delved into a comprehensive discussion of tools, and methods employed for geolocating images by using different techniques, including map markings. Furthermore, the workshop touched upon real-life examples and different online platforms that are available for geolocating images effectively.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 250 complaints in total July, with 112 complaints by women and 5 from transgender persons. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.

DRF NCHR Complaint Cell for Journalists

DRF and NCHR are operating a Complaint Cell to support journalists that have been the target of human rights abuses. The contact information for the Journalist Complaint Cell is available on the NCHR website at https://nchr.gov.pk/contact-us/

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
StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

 

July 12, 2023 - Comments Off on DRF at RightsCon 2023

DRF at RightsCon 2023

DRF attended RightsCon this year in San Jose, Costa Rica from July 6th - 8th. The organisation hosted three sessions and spoke at

DRF hosted a dialogue on “Demystifying Self-Regulation Models for Tech Accountability” with Catalina Botero-Marino and Pamela Saint-Martín from the Meta Oversight Board, Mark Howard Stephens, and Maria Luisa Stasi, Head of Law & Policy for digital markets, Article 19. Furthermore, DRF co-hosted two workshops on “Responding to online gender-based violence: co-creating guiding principles for the global south” along with other organisations from South Asia, Delete Nothing and Point of View and on “Co-designing guidelines with first responders”.

The organisation’s Executive Director, Nighat Dad, spoke at 8 panels and Director of Policy and Research at 3 panels on subjects varying from digital regulations, data localisation, transparency, internet shutdowns, online gender-based violence, and digital futures.

 

 

 

Online Campaigns:

#InternationalDayForCounteringHateSpeech

This #InternationalDayForCounteringHateSpeech let's pledge to make our online spaces more safe and inclusive for all.

#StopCyberbullyingDay

Cyberbullying refers to threatening or harassing individuals online using electronic mediums through intimidation and discriminatory messages.

Let's pledge to put a stop to cyberbullying on this #stopcyberbullyingday

DRF Annual Report 2022

DRF's Annual Report 2022 is out now! You can see what we've been up to in 2022 and all our achievements in the link below:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Annual-Report-2022.pdf

Policy Initiatives:

Task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web’s report

DRF’s Nighat Dad is now part of the steering committee and bringing the perspective of the global majority in the report by the task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web.

Click here for more information:

https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/scaling-trust/

Press Release:

Gender and the Disaster Response Framework in Pakistan

Last year, our contributor for Digital 50.50, Sana Rizwan Gondal, wrote about Gender & the Disaster Response Framework in Pakistan. A year ahead, we are sharing this to shed light on how relevant it is to talk about disaster response amid the current monsoon & flooding situation.

Read the piece here:

https://www.canva.com/design/DAFQBoYqigE/ukiaqgpXqr1MspxP1ogJAQ/view?utm_content=DAFQBoYqigE&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=homepage_design_menu#5

Events:

Chatham House Rules Cyber Conference 2023

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at the Chatham House Cyber Conference and discussed how we can make an open and free internet a reality in an increasingly fragmented world.

London Tech Week

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at the London Tech Week focusing on how the internet has empowered women and how technological innovations are important in this day and age.

DRF at NUR Student Leadership Program

DRF’s Seerat Khan conducted a workshop with Nur Student Leadership program on Anti Cyberbullying and Digital awareness with young adults from olevels and alevels. A discussion around what is cyberbullying, consent and safe practices online took place at the workshop.

Sub Regional Launch Addressing Hate Speech Through Education - Nepal 20 - 21 June 2023

DRF was part of the sub-regional launch addressing hate speech through education in Nepal with other UN agencies, regulatory bodies, internet and social media companies, educational stakeholders and youth leaders throughout South Asia in Kathmandu, Nepal on 20 and 21 June 2023. The event marked the launch of the new policy guide published in English – Addressing Hate Speech through Education: a guide for Policy-makers. The event explored the root causes of hate speech in the region and the role that education can play to counter-narratives of hate and promote global citizenship and digital citizenship based on human rights.

Legal Experts Consultation on the Implementation of the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence (Amendment) Act 2022

DRF participated in a consultation arranged by the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law, LUMS, Social Welfare Department Government of Punjab, Punjab Women Protection Authority (PWPA) and Dastak Charitable on the 5th and 6th June. The dialogue between the participants entailed reviewing and discussing the implementation of the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act 2016 in light of Sindh’s approach. Besides the procedural and legal ambiguities persistent within the Act, the problems faced by lawyers and human rights defenders were also elaborated upon. The consultation was a healthy discussion about basic women rights and the available forums for women to seek redressal for their domestic issues.

DRF conducted two workshops with the journalist community in Lahore and Islamabad on the 14th and 21st June 2023

As part of DRF’s ongoing work on online safety, DRF conducted two workshops in June with the journalist community to build their capacity in using online space safely and effectively. The workshops were held on 14th and 21st June and were attended by 33 and 27 journalists respectively. The workshop was focused on enhancing the ability of journalists to better utilise online platforms for their work.

MeedanxDRF

DRF was invited to address Meedan’s weekly in-organization meeting on 21 June. The presentation focused on the ways in which gendered disinformation manifests in Pakistan and its effects. The Meedan community engaged enthusiastically with the presentation and had a lot of questions for Nighat and DRF.

HRCP National Consultation on Enshrining the Right to Health

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) conducted a national consultation on enshrining the right to health in the Constitution of Pakistan on the 16th of June, 2023 in Islamabad. The event included policymakers and parliamentarians as well as healthcare and public policy veterans, leading to a robust conversation from a myriad of relevant perspectives.

Program Manager Zainab Durrani attended the consultation on behalf of DRF and shared our report on Data Privacy in Pakistan’s Healthcare Sector while highlighting the need to push for privacy and confidentiality protections within the right to health that HRCP and the civil society are seeking to constitutionally codify and protect.

Oxford Internet Institute (University of Oxford) Community Consultation on UNESCO’s Guidelines for Regulating Digital Platforms (Version 3.0)

On June 20th 2023, DRF’s Senior Research Associate, Noor Waheed,  participated in a hybrid online/in-person community consultation organized by the  Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford to discuss UNESCO’s v3.0 draft of the Guidelines on Regulating Digital Platforms. The session brought together a remarkable group of participants from various stakeholder groups, including doctoral candidates, researchers, policy makers etc. each offering unique research interests and global perspectives, and valuable insights on contentious perspectives that had emerged in previous rounds of consultation.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 195 complaints in June, with 55% of the cases being of women. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.

DRF NCHR Complaint Cell for Journalists

DRF and NCHR are operating a Complaint Cell to support journalists that have been the target of human rights abuses. The contact information for the Journalist Complaint Cell is available on the NCHR website at https://nchr.gov.pk/contact-us/

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
StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

June 9, 2023 - Comments Off on DRF launched the Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022

DRF launched the Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022

DRF launched its Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022. The Helpline reports over 2500 Cases of Digital Harassment in 2022 and a total of 14,376 cases reported in the last six years.

Click here to read the report:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Cyber-Harassment-Helpline-Annual-Report-2022-1.pdf

 

Online Campaigns:

World Press Freedom Day #WPFD2023

3rd May marks World Press Freedom Day and today we pledge to make our spaces more inclusive, safe and free for journalists and the press. DRF initiated an online campaign to mark the day and held a Twitter space with renowned women journalists to discuss pressing issues that journalists face in this day and age.

This World Press Freedom Day DRF held a Twitter Space with Asma Shirazi, Afia Salam and Mehmal Sarfraz on this year’s theme of #WPFD2023 on Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a driver for all other Human Rights.

You can tune into the conversation here:

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1653661121092415489?s=20

#CensorshipAwarenessCampaign

DRF joined Free Press Unlimited in a #CensorshipAwareness campaign to mark the #WPFD2023 under which a custom font #Erased erases 363 words, one for every imprisoned journalist across the globe. We stand up for journalists & highlight the importance of free press because we can’t read what is never published.

Policy Initiatives:

#PushBackUNESCO

CSOs from the Asia Pacific are highly alarmed by the newly proposed guidelines by UNESCO on regulating digital platforms. We ask for a review of these guidelines keeping in mind the human rights framework. #PushbackUNESCO

Press Coverage:

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022

The Cyber Harassment Helpline Report 2022 has been extensively covered by media outlets in the country.

Dawn: https://www.dawn.com/news/1754718/2600-harassment-complaints-received-in-a-year-drf

Express Tribune:

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2417727/1

Samaa English:

https://www.samaaenglish.tv/news/40035841/pakistan-rights-helpline-reported-over-2500-cases-of-digital-harassment-in-2022

Ebuzz:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CseYKtdrvSp/?igshid=MmJiY2I4NDBkZg==

The News:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1072502-drf-s-reports-over-2-500-cases-of-digital-harassment-in-2022

Voice.pk:

https://voicepk.net/2023/05/pakistans-cyber-harassment-crisis-drf-report-reveals-2695-new-cases-in-2022/

Daily Times:

https://dailytimes.com.pk/1095531/online-harassment-2/

The News editorial:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1073283-harassment-online

Tribune editorial:

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2418053/online-harassment

Tribune editorial 2:

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2418801/digital-hate-speech

Dawn editorial:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1755206/cyber-complaints

DRF on Dawn News

DRF's Nighat Dad spoke to Dawn News about whether our devices are secure and highlighted if WhatsApp is really secure and what other alternative options are available.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1655526477645897729?s=20

DRF at Geo Pakistan

DRF's Nighat Dad spoke to Geo Pakistan about the need to use social media platforms in a responsible manner.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1659176159282860032?s=20

Appearance on ‘Suno Pakistan’

DRF was invited to Suno News’ morning show ‘Suno Pakistan’ to talk about its Helpline report, digital safety tips and responsible digital citizenship.

The news segment can be accessed here:

https://www.facebook.com/sunopakistanHD/videos/262652242823030/.

Events:

Stockholm Internet Forum:

DRF was invited to participate in SIF’23 held in Stockholm, Sweden from 30-31 May. The first panel held on Day 1 was titled ‘Disinformation and everyday surveillance: lessons from locally-led responses to democratic crises, natural disasters, and conflicts’ where DRF highlighted three ways in which disinformation manifests in Pakistan currently, including attacks on women journalists and the transgender community, and how it affects democracy. On Day 2, Nighat Dad spoke on the panel titled ‘Internet shutdowns; Weaponizing of access’, where she underscored the different ways in which an internet shutdown can take place other than just blanket bans, and the massive economic burden of the shutdowns in Pakistan.

Palestine Digital Activism Forum

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on the Palestine Digital RigHTS Forum on a fireside talk around how Meta moderates content in Arabic and Hebrew with 7amleh.

Training at Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on cybercrime and redressal pathways

Nighat Dad delivered a training workshop to participants on May 19 from across Pakistan on digital harassment and gender-based violence for first responders. The workshop entailed appraising participants of ways to address cases relating to digital spaces keeping in mind gender-sensivity, consent and data privacy of survivors.

Training with journalists during Workshop on ‘The International Human Rights System and its Uses for the Safety of Journalists in Pakistan’

Organised by OHCHR, PCHR and PFUJ, DRF delivered a session on online challenges faced by journalists in Pakistan on May 19 in Lahore. The workshop focused on digital safety and disinformation as major reasons digital insecurity of journalists and media practitioners in Pakistan.

GNMI Consultation on GBV Literature

Zainab Durrani and Zoya Dawar from the Digital Rights Foundation attended a multi-stakeholder consultation conducted by the Global Neighbourhood for Media Innovation (GNMI) on Thursday the 25th of May, 2023. The consultation included members of the civil society, NGO representatives, journalists and human rights activists who were gathered by GNMI to offer feedback and validation to the 3 recent publications that have been published by them under their Gen-J (Gender Justice) project.

The literature was well-researched and put together as a tool for journalists and GBV survivors both, and included reporting and referral mechanisms and a directory of relevant laws. Ms. Durrani commented on the need for focusing on tech-facilitated GBV (TFGBV) in digital spaces and calling for platform accountability, as a core avenue for advocacy, to strengthen the much-needed work GNMI is doing around GBV in Pakistan.

Ms. Dawar shared how streamlining issues faced by a survivor can be streamlined by introducing a collective which keeps a survivor updated with the tools and practices that they can facilitate the process of receiving justice. It was also discussed how DRF facilitates this through their helpline for cyber harassment cases. Contact information and the number of the helpline was shared with different shelter homes, journalists and NGOs which were present at the meeting.

DRAPAC’23:

DRF participated in the Digital Rights Asia-Pacific Assembly (DRAPAC) organized by EngageMedia and held in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 22-26 May. Four sessions were hosted by the DRF team during the intensive week, including ‘Investigating VPN censorship with Open Data: landscape survey and research questions’, ‘Technology exacerbated new forms of online gender-based violence (OGBV)’, ‘Decolonizing Data for Data Justice’, ‘Defaming criticism: the use of defamation laws to silence voices’. The DRF team members were also asked to speak on two other panels: ‘Building Momentum on Digital Rights’ and ‘Internet Shutdown: Risks, Needs and Challenges’. The week was full of insightful conversations, and eye-opening learnings with the opportunity to connect with peers working in digital rights spaces from the Asia Pacific region.

Peace Connects Consultation on Youth-Centred Digital Peacebuilding in South and Southeast Asia

                               

DRF participated in Peace Connects Consultation arranged by UNDP in Bangkok. Amongst the multiple sessions conducted during this 2-day consultation - DRF representative, Ms. Irum Shujah spoke about the digital harms in the context of Pakistan and DRF’s role in actively engaging with those online ills.

The session brought together individuals from various backgrounds and explored ways to employ comprehensive analytical frameworks to tackle digital harm effectively. The key takeaway from the session was starting the dialogue about the need to identify a "hateful environment" on the internet and the much-required sensitization of everyday internet users. The panel discussion also shed light on the fundamental imbalance of accountability within the tech industry.

Justice Project Pakistan organized a Consultative dialogue with UN OHCHR's Ms. Christine Chung

On 17 May 2023, DRF’s Shafia and Aqsa joined a consultative dialogue arranged by Justice Project Pakistan in Lahore titled “Consultative dialogue with UN OHCHR's Ms. Christine Chung” which included a panel consisting of lawyers, human rights activists, and stakeholders from the civil society. This consultation was held in light of the upcoming pre-session of Pakistan's review by the Human Rights Committee, as well as the ongoing international accreditation process of the National Commission for Human Rights under the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, and the role of civil society in these matters. During this consultation, issues encountered by NGOs during the registration procedure, and challenges pertaining to human rights enforcement were discussed. The objective was to collaboratively devise a plan to address these challenges effectively.

ICRC and RSIL Diplomacy Law and Policy Roundtable on Cyber Security and Law

On May 17th 2023, DRF’s Senior Research Associate, Noor Waheed, was invited to a roundtable discussion on Cyber Security and the Law hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Research Society of International Law (RSIL) in Islamabad as part of their Diplomacy, Law and Policy (DLP) initiative. The roundtable featured experts in the field of technology, policy,  human rights, security and international law that weighed in on the applicability of international humanitarian law on cyber-warfare and the effectiveness of Pakistan’s cyber-security legal and infrastructural framework.

Online Awareness Session in collaboration with Forman Christian College University (FCCU) on laws dealing with domestic violence in Pakistan

DRF participated in a session on domestic violence in Pakistan arranged by FCCU society in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Ms. Aqsa Javed and Ms. Shafia Imran Lati spoke to FCCU students and the female participants from a local village on the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act, 2016, and the relevant provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code. The speakers elaborated upon the relevant procedure and the basics of domestic violence. The overall session revolved around the discussion on how to change the behaviour of individuals toward domestic violence. Ms. Shafia and Aqsa also addressed the queries raised by women related to their cases and their personal circumstances.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 182 complaints in April, with most cases being around financial fraud. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.

DRF NCHR Complaint Cell for Journalists

DRF and NCHR are operating a Complaint Cell to support journalists that have been the target of human rights abuses. The contact information for the Journalist Complaint Cell is available on the NCHR website at https://nchr.gov.pk/contact-us/

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
StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

 

 

May 9, 2023 - Comments Off on April 2023 Newsletter: Digital 50.50 Edition on Innovation and Technological Change for Achieving Gender Equality in the Digital Age

April 2023 Newsletter: Digital 50.50 Edition on Innovation and Technological Change for Achieving Gender Equality in the Digital Age

digital 50.50

Digital 50.50 feminist e-magazine Edition 1 on Innovation & Technological Change for achieving gender equality in the digital age is now live on our website.

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/innovation-and-technological-change-for-achieving-gender-equality-in-the-digital-age/

Policy Initiatives

Nadra launches ‘Ijazat Ap Ki’ Service by Zainab Durrani

DRF's new blog post reviews the newly launched 'Ijazat Ap Ki' service by Nadra and how it works. According to news coverage 'Ijazat ap ki' is a service which will be using a one-time password (OTP) to collect the authorization of the individual before verification of their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC). The development of the app and safeguarding the rights of Pakistani citizens in digital spaces, especially through data privacy, is a positive first step  and one that must be accompanied by the principles of transparency and accountability by Nadra. We'd also like to acknowledge Chairperson Tariq Malik and Nadra for being forthcoming about the app & we reiterate the need for data protection legislation in the country. DRF will continue to monitor the developments under this new service & state of privacy in the country.

Read the blog here:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/nadra-launches-ijazat-ap-ki-service/
Feminist Approaches to Digital Safety: Perspective from the Global South

DRF’s Shmyla Khan wrote about Feminist Approaches to Digital Safety: Perspective from the Global South'.

Link to blog:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/feminist-approaches-to-digital-safety-perspectives-from-the-global-south/
Analyzing Content Regulation and Model of the Council of Complaints of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)

DRF published an analysis of PEMRA’s regulations, particularly in light of the C.P. No.3506 of  2020, PEMRA etc vs ARY Digital judgment by the Supreme Court this month authored by Justices Mansoor Ali Shah and Ayesha Malik on the composition of the Council of Complaints, process of decision-making within PEMRA and powers of regulating broadcast content.

Access here.

DRF partners with organizations across South Asia on Gendered Disinformation Project

DRF partnered with other organizations for a project of documenting gendered disinformation in South Asia as part of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Knowledge for Action to End Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children Research Grant 2023. DRF will be working with lead organization Meedan for the project which will focus on weaponization of false information and narratives to silence and target women and gender minorities across South Asia.

Press Coverage

Digital rights activist makes Pakistan’s presence felt at democracy summit

DRF’s Nighat Dad speech from the democracy summit was featured at Dawn News. She emphasized the importance of margnalized groups being included in conversations online.

Read the full piece here:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1745290
DRF’s Irum Shujah speaking about Digital Right’s Foundation’s scope of work and impact

DRF’s Irum Shujah spoke to Sophie Flemming from Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) in a short online interview wherein she spoke about Digital Rights Foundation’s scope and its subsequent impact. The prevailing issue of digital crimes and cyber harassment in Pakistan were discussed. The interview also entailed introduction of the DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline and its role in helping survivors of the crimes committed in cyber spaces.

Online Campaigns

#GirlsInICTDay

This Girls in ICT Day let's aim to ensure greater access of girls to digital devices and the internet to ensure gender equality on Hamara Internet and offline spaces.

Twitter Space &  launch of Digital 50.50 magazine on Innovation & Technological change for achieving gender equality

DRF’s Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWJDR) took part in our twitter space & launch of our latest edition of the Digital 50.50 magazine on Innovation & Technological change for achieving gender equality.

Listen to the conversation here:

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1651893324502974464?s=20

⚠️Caution

Always make sure to sell or exchange your items in a public setting and avoid being alone.????

☎️ You can contact our Cyber Harassment Helpline for further queries at 0800-39393, [email protected] or on our socials.

International Health Day

This International Health Day we'd like to highlight our work on Data Privacy in Pakistan's Healthcare Sector and why it's important.

Here's our findings on Data Privacy in the healthcare sector:

https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Study-Health-Care-Report.pdf

#HealthForAll #WHO75

Events

TED Conference 2023

DRF’s Nighat Dad attended the annual Ted Conference at e West Coast of North America, the TED Conference. The conference was attended by more than a thousand people attend for five-days discussing Technology, Entertainment and Design -- as well as science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. There were over 70 speakers on the main stage to give talks and shorter presentations, including music, performance and comedy.

Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence (online event)

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke in an online webinar with the International Feminist Legal Network (IFLN)  on technology-facilitated gender-based violence.

https://www.feminist-legal.com/events/technology-facilitated-gender-based-violence

Disinformation, Censorship and Eternal Search For Truth

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at the International Journalism Festival at Perguia Italy on how to tackle online disinformation in post-truth world. #ijf23

DRF Talk at Accountability Lab’s #ackCorruption Hackathon

Project Manager Zainab Durrani virtually addressed the participants at the second #ackCorruption Hackathon organized by Accountability Lab Global in Nepal on the 28th of April 2023. The theme of the conversation was around the concept of ‘Digital citizenship to constrain corruption’ where Ms. Durrani highlighted the importance of using technology to build the anti-corruption movement.

She also spoke about the open data and open governance movements and underscored the importance of transparency as the key element in eradicating corrupt practices and systems.

The talk was attended by participants from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan who had been brought together for the 3-day event to brainstorm and present their ideas on tackling the epidemic of corruption in the region.

DRF Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 182 complaints in April, with most cases being around financial fraud. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.

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
StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.