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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.

Press Coverage:
Geo TV
Samaa TV
We News
Voice pk
The Express Tribune
The Nation
Arab News
The News
Dunya News
Pakistan Observer
Yahoo Finance
Business Plus
Associated Press of Pakistan
Bol 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
Voice PK
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
The Nation

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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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