Blog Archives

August 12, 2020 - Comments Off on July 2020: Digital 50.50, second edition released

July 2020: Digital 50.50, second edition released

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

Digital 50.50 Second Edition

Digital Rights Foundation released the second edition of its e-magazine, Digital 50.50. This edition focused on the mental health impact and coping strategies during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the topics covered included, a feature on how children are making sense of the coronavirus lockdown, a narrative on digital healing and connectedness during the lockdown and listicle on strategies to do an effective digital detox for mental health and well-being. The reception received by the magazine has so far been amazing and we hope to continue supporting writers and content creators in creating visually strong and intersectional-feminist stories. Do give it a read here or skim through, we have filled it with love for our readers.

Hamara Internet and #MahfoozInternet Campaign

DRF has been taking forward the Hamara Internet campaign on #MahfoozInternet on Twitter highlighting the different aspects of digital rights in Pakistan. The campaign has been focusing on repelling section 20 of PECA 2016, regularly changing passwords to keep devices safe and secure and how social media companies track browser history of individuals.

DRF’s 5 Youth Ambassadors for the Hamara Internet Online Safety Program

DRF launched the Hamara Internet Youth Ambassador Program online and picked 5 youth ambassadors from across Pakistan on a vigorous application process online. The five youth ambassadors will be implementing the Hamara Internet Online Safety curriculum with young adults aged 14 till 18 years old.

Policy initiatives

DRF comments and Objections on the Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020

DRF released its comments and objections on the Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020. DRF reiterated their statement again that the rules are an attack on the fundamental rights of citizens in the country and shed light on why advocacy groups are boycotting consultation on the matter.

Read the full comments below:

Statement against the ban of Bigo live and warning issued to TikTok:

DRF released a statement regarding the ban on the app Bigo live and the warning issued to TikTok recently by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). In the statement it was highlighted how banning both these apps is an attack on the constitutional right of freedom of expression of citizens in the country.

Read the full statement here:

Joint Statement on The Digital Gap during COVID 19 focusing on online classes

Students across Pakistan have been protesting against the shift to online classrooms, rightly pointing out that as students from less urban centers move back home, they either lack access to high-speed internet or no internet at all. DRF released a statement on the digital gap during COVID19 highlighting the problems people are facing with this transition to online spaces. #Internet4GilgitBaltistan #OnlineClasses

Read the full statement here:

Cyber Harassment Helpline June Statistics

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 413 complaints in the month of June only. In comparison to the previous months, this is a huge number. It shows a spike in the cases of online violence especially social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud.


Read about our findings in the following articles:

Media Coverage

DRF on GEO News focusing on how to prevent trolling on social media

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad spoke on Geo News highlighting trolling and how to prevent it in online spaces. She highlighted what measures people can take to avoid trolling and how cyberbullying is a problem in online spaces which should be focused on more.

Nighat Dad spoke on VOA about #unbanPUBG

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad spoke to Voice of America (VOA) about the PUBG ban and how this will have repercussions on our digital economy. She focused on why it is important to #unbanPUBG.

Watch the full interview here:

Nighat Dad highlights in the News on ‘Any unwarranted restriction by animal market on digital media poses a threat to the nascent industry’

DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad spoke to the News about restrictions being posed on vloggers and bloggers online. She also highlighted how the restriction of speech of influencers and people online is a direct threat to their freedom of expression and a violation of the constitution.

Read the full article here:

Digital Exclusion Cripples life in the pandemic

DRF’s ED Nighat Dad shared how digital exclusion silences democratic voices in the country. She talked about how internet connectivity is a serious issue in Pakistan and how it has suffered over the years.

Read the full article here:

پاکستانی تعلیمی اداروں میں جنسی ہراس کتنا سنگین مسئلہ ہے؟

DRF’s ED gave comments about how harassment in educational institutions is a growing problem and how institutions need to do more to address these problems.

Read the full article here:

Dawn’s Editorial highlights in its editorial about banning online apps

Dawn’s editorial highlighted about banning apps online and retreated DRF’s point on how the justification of such bans to ‘protect’ children is akin to banning highways to prevent road accidents.

Read the full editorial here:

Events and Sessions

DRF at the School of Tomorrow discussing ‘Freedom & privacy in information societies’ #SOT2020

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at Beaconhouse's School of Tomorrow conference on ‘Freedom and Privacy in Information Societies’. She shed light on how every individual is vulnerable online and how one must deal with issues of hacking and privacy breach. She also highlighted why it is important to be aware of your digital footprint.

Watch the full conversation here:

Nighat Dad on Digital Rights Digital Divides and the new normal? (A talk by Nighat Dad)

Nighat Dad gave a talk on Digital Rights Digital Divide and the new normal on 21st July. She discussed online spaces post pandemic and particularly highlighted how the online landscape in Pakistan has changed and evolved post pandemic.

DRF at the webinar ‘The critical challenges of tackling hate speech, xenophobia, rhetoric, and incitement to hatred against minorities’

DRF participated in a webinar series on debating challenges for minority protection and spoke on the ‘Critical challenges of tackling hate speech, xenophobia rhetoric and incitement to hatred against minorities’. Nighat Dad spoke at the event on July 2nd and 9th.

DRF conducted a virtual session with Lincoln Corner ‘Digital Rights & Reporting Cyber Bullying’

DRF conducted a virtual session with Lincoln’s corner on ‘Digital Rights & Reporting Cyber Bullying’. Nighat Dad spoke in detail on how protecting one’s individual identity online is important and what one must do to respond to cyber harassment. She also highlighted the cyber harassment helpline and other intitriaves of DRF to tackle cyber harassment and cyberbullying online.

Consultation on VPN registration

DRF held a virtual consultation on the issue of VPN registration by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) with civil society actors, lawyers and industry stakeholders. The consultation was an opportunity to understand the impact of regulating VPNs on not only digital rights indicators, but also the viability of the digital economy in Pakistan.

Meeting with FIA

DRF’s cyber harassment helpline held a meeting with the Cyber Crime Wing of the FIA on July 6, 2020 to discuss the ways in which the work of our law enforcement agencies can be improved to make the internet safer for women and gender minorities.

RightsCon Panels

Digital rights solidarities in South Asia
July 31, 2020

DRF hosted its community lab session on the state of digital rights in South Asia with participants from India, Bangladesh and Nepal to understand the common trends in digital rights and state policies in the region. The aim of this session was also to forge solidarities and partnerships in the region based on our shared histories and challenges.

Between regulation and rights: empowering the citizen through media and information literacy in the context of misinformation and offline violence
July 30, 2020

DRF took part in Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)’s session at RightsCon 2020. The session (available here) brought a diversity of perspectives of media and information literacy practitioners from the Global North and South to tease out the nuances of the operation of the phenomenon in different socio-political contexts, the government responses, and the role of civil society in mainstreaming media and information literacy within the communities they work with.

Technology-facilitated hate speech and digital activism
July 31, 2020

DRF also took part in BoloBhi’s panel on online hate speech with Arzu Geybullayeva from Azerbaijan and Alex Warofka from Facebook. The session delved into an in-depth discussion about technology facilitated hate speech on social media platforms with special focus on hate received by digital activism. The session analyzed the impact this hate speech has on the movements and their actors, and seeks to explore ways to deal with it.

DRF Attends Uproar Training on 3rd July

Members of  DRF attended an online training on using the uproar tools, which are quite useful for improving research and advocacy skills with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Curbing Cyber Harassment in rapidly digitalizing world

On 23rd July, DRF took part in a facebook live session to address cyber harassment in a digitalized world. Muhammad Usman represented DRF at this session which was hosted by Peace and Justice Network Pakistan. Usman spoke on the offenses under PECA and on the reporting mechanisms and procedures of cybercrimes in Pakistan.

DRF at UNESCO webinar on ‘Advanced ICTs & Artificial Intelligence: Human Rights & Development Intersection

Nighat Dad spoke on UNESCO’s webinar on ‘Advanced ICTs & Artificial Intelligence: Human rights & Development Intersection’. She highlighted our growing reliance on ICT’s and technology and also highlighted how digital rights are important and need to be implemented in online spaces.

DRF at webinar on ‘Safer and Equal Online Space for Women’

DRF spoke at the webinar ‘Safer and Equal Online Space for Women’. She highlighted how the internet and technology need to be accessible to women for it to move ahead. She also emphasized how these spaces aren’t safe for women and gendered minorities and the responsibility of social media channels to make these spaces safe for all.

A talk on domestic violence in Pakistan

DRF’s Dania Mukhtar spoke on a talk on domestic abuse in Pakistan. She highlighted how domestic abuse has been on the rise in times of COVID19 and what the law says in terms of domestic abuse cases in Pakistan

Watch the full video here:

Meeting with Women Action Forum (Lahore) dated 14 July 2020

DRF presented its comments to the amendments proposed by UN Women to the ‘The Punjab Protection against Harassment of Women at the WorkplaceAct, 2010’. After the meeting, the teams of DRF and WAF decided to form a committee to propose amendments to this law as well as the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act, 2016.

Session with AWAM

DRF conducted an online safety session with team members of

Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) Organization of Faislabad on the 29th of July, 2020.

The session covered a basic understanding of how to keep oneself secure and protected from risks while working and operating digitally and was well-received by our participants.

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In the wake of COVID 19 lockdown when cyber harassment cases have increased  DRF has made its cyber harassment helpline operational 24/7 for three months. The cyber harassment helpline is offering the services free of cost for anyone who calls in or reaches out to us via social media or email. These include legal aid, the digital help desk, and mental health counseling. During these three months, our toll-free number is  accessible every day of the week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, our mental health counselors are working from 10 AM to 9 PM each day as well. Our mental health counselors are trained professionals providing free of cost counseling to women and marginalized communities. During all other hours of the day, our team is attending to complaints and queries through online platforms.

Contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on [email protected]. You can also reach out to us on our social media channels.

Ab Aur Nahin

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

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. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

Published by: Digital Rights Foundation in Newsletter

Comments are closed.