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March 13, 2023 - Comments Off on February 2023 Newsletter: Nighat Dad at UNESCO’s Internet For Trust Conference

February 2023 Newsletter: Nighat Dad at UNESCO’s Internet For Trust Conference

DRF’s Nighat Dad joined UNESCO’S #InternetForTrust conference speaking on content moderation in crisis: the oversight board model. She highlighted that while we are looking at other content moderation mechanisms, we need to look at what’s already there. If we want to create a good framework, we must look at international human rights law. She also spoke about civil society spaces in some contexts are diminishing. How do we do a true multistakeholder process without having civil society meaningfully engaged.

Online Campaigns


This Safer Internet Day DRF strives to work towards making the internet a safe and inclusive space for all. #SaferInternetDay

Recent cases of women getting trapped in unsafe situations while going for job interviews

Recent reports have indicated women getting trapped in unsafe situations leading to harassment while going for job interviews. Before you go for an interview observe the following things about the situation.For further assistance and help contact our cyber harassment helpline on 0800-39393, [email protected] or our socials.

Policy Initiatives

DRF strongly condemns the downgrading of access to Wikipedia in Pakistan

DRF strongly condemns the downgrading of access to Wikipedia in Pakistan. The PTA has 'degraded' access to Wikipedia for 48 hours with the possibility of completely banning the platform if it does not comply with their requests. #SaveWikipedia

Press Coverage

Nighat Dad spoke to Dawn News about the Prevention of Electronics Crimes Act (PECA)

DRF’s Executive Director spoke to Dawn News regarding Sikander Sheikh’s arrest with three-year jail by using PECA. She highlighted how this particular incident is an attack on free speech and the fundamental rights of the citizens.

Link to video:
DRF's Executive Director Nighat Dad spoke to Dawn News on Internet Censorship and the recent Wikipedia ban.

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke to Dawn News, highlighting the ban on Wikipedia in Pakistan. She shared how a 'disabling' environment is being created for the IT and communications industry despite the industry's major contributions to the economy.

Link to video:
Nighat Dad on Bol News speaking about loan application scams

DRF's Executive Director Nighat Dad spoke on Bol News about the recent online loan application scam and how social media platforms are being used by mafias to scam innocent people.

Link to video:
DRF's ED Nighat Dad is showcased on the current as Boss Ladies of South Asia.
Read the piece here:
DRF launched its report on Data Privacy in the Healthcare sector

Coverage of the healthcare data privacy report is below:


UN Women Panel: CSW 67: Addressing online and technology-facilitated GBV

DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad took part in a panel hosted by UN Women in preparation of the CSW 67 in March 2023 on tech-facilitated GBV. Nighat spoke from her extensive experience on the issue on adopting a holistic approach to tackling TFGBV, particularly investing in survivor-centric approaches.

Nighat Dad at #MSC2023

During #MSC2023 for the BMW Foundation, Nighat Dad emphasized on how technology looks in next democratic paradigm, and how we should bear in mind that govt regulation of platforms alone may not be a “cure-all.” It can even leave the door open for less democratic regimes to suppress free speech online.

Panel Discussion on ‘Think Before You Type: A Discussion on Cyberbullying in Pakistan’ at LUMS

DRF’s executive director Nighat Dad spoke at LUMS on a panel discussion on ‘Think Before You Type: A Discussion on Cyberbullying in Pakistan’.  Experts on the panel dissected various aspects and types of cyberharassment, the legal repercussions and policy framework, the gender inequality and lack of safety, in the digital spaces in Pakistan.

#TSCollab Meta Oversight Board - how's it going so far?

DRF’s Executive Director spoke for the #TSCollab on how has the Board evolved from conception to practice. She spoke about her work on the board and the lessons learned in building a first-of-its-kind institution

Details of the online event below:
Panel Discussion on “Ending Digital Violence Against Women” at LUMS

Shmyla Khan, director for research and policy, spoke at a panel hosted by VoicePK at LUMS titled “Ending Digital Violence Against Women”. The panel included parliamentarian Mehnaz Akber Aziz, Senator Ali Zafar and Punjab Cyber Crime Wing FIA Director Jahanzeb Nazir Khan, and hosted by Muneze Jahangir and Usama Khilji. The panel discussion was proceeded by the screening of a documentary on online gender-based violence. The documentary can be seen here.

Link to panel recording.
Panel coverage in Dawn.
Regional Event: Inclusive and Intersectional Digital Safety in South Asia

On 16th February 2023, Digital Rights Foundation in partnership with Meedan hosted a webinar on the issue of digital safety and human rights issues in South Asia on Zoom with pre-registered attendees.The webinar titled “Inclusive and Intersectional Digital Safety in South Asia” included a panel consisting of digital rights and security experts from across the South Asian region. The experts included Debarati Das, co-leader of Grassroots Capacity Building at Point of View, a feminist non-profit in India working with women, girls, gender minorities, and people with disabilities; Kat Lo, Content Moderation Lead at Meedan and Research Affiliate at the Center for Responsible, Ethical, and Accountable Technology (University of California, Irvine); Namya Gunawardena, Project Lead of ‘Prathya’ (an ecosystem of support for persons affected by Online Gender- Based Violence) at Hashtag Generation Sri Lanka; and Seerat Khan, Programs and Comms Lead at DRF. The panel was moderated by Senior Research Associate, DRF, Noor Waheed.

Training of Trainers (ToT) at Sukkur on 4th and 5th Feburary 2023

DRF conducted a pre and post-assessment of the participants attending the training of trainers with 33 participants, out of which 28 were trainees from the adjacent areas of Sukkur. The aim of the training was to build the capacity of the trainers so they’re able to deliver the tools and material provided to them ahead to their students as master trainers.

Twitter Space: Making digital safety more accessible in Pakistan

DRF hosted a Twitter space on how to make digital safety and security more accessible to general population in the country, particularly those communities which lack digital literacy. The space was hosted by Shmyla Khan with Noman Fareed, Digital Security Expert as speaker. A recording of the space can be heard here.

Workshop: Digital Safety at Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

DRF’s trainers conducted a workshop on Digital Safety at HRCP working with pariticipants on how to stay safe online while using social media, instilling basic digital safety tools such as strong passwords and 2FA.

WISE Virtual Cafe

Project Manager Zainab Durrani appeared in a Virtual Cafe webinar organized by WISE (Women in Struggle for Empowerment) on the 15th of February, 2023. The online session was cast live via the WISE Facebook page and focused on ‘Gender and Power in Digital Spaces’

Zainab shared the situation of the gender digital divide in Pakistan, the limited access provided to the women and girls in Pakistan and the dynamics of gender and privacy specific to the country.

The video can be found here:
‘Data Privacy in Pakistan’s Healthcare Sector’ Report Launch

DRF launched its latest report ‘Data Privacy in Pakistan’s Healthcare Sector’ on February 27th with an event that was hosted at the Parklane Hotel in Lahore. The event started off with a brief discussion on the current status quo of healthcare privacy, led by Program Manager and lead researcher Zainab Durrani. This was followed by a comprehensive overview of the main objectives, key outcomes and findings of the study.

The session remained interactive throughout with great input from the audience which included healthcare workers, public health researchers and health IT specialists. Additionally, the second half of the event focused on gathering feedback from the attendees through a session titled ‘Pathway Building for Safer Data Practices’.

The report was well received and remarked upon as ‘the need of the hour’ by the attendees. Many of them also noted an interest in any future collaboration on the issues surrounding health IT and devisement of next steps that we can all take, as members of the civil society.

Consultation: ‘Gender Digital Divide in Pakistan’

Digital Rights Foundation was invited to present their expert opinion on the consultation hosted by the National Commission on the Status of Women on the topic ‘Gender Digital Divide in Pakistan’. The contribution focused on the state of online gender based violence in Pakistan and suggestions on how all stakeholders can tackle the problem.

DRF Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 273 complaints in February with most cases being around financial fraud. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline on 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 till 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.

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.




Published by: Digital Rights Foundation in Newsletter

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