IRHR - News
The 7th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) just drew to a close. Many views and analyses were published, most of them adopting a technical point of view. If you are interested in a slightly different take on the world’s most important internet governance encounter, consider reading up on GenderIT.org’s reports on gender peripheries of the IGF…
In edition 4 of the MIND magazine, which questions human rights in internet governance, Joy Liddicoat of the Association for Progressive Communications makes the point that freedom of expression only takes its full force for democratic change when we can exercise it together with all of our other rights and freedoms. She argues that human rights must be a main focus of all discussions at the IGF.
A survey of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) conducted as part of APC’s Connect Your Rights! campaign revealed some interesting practices and perceptions in terms of their use of information and communications technologies in their work. Read an analysis.
APC stands in solidarity with the Expression Online Initiative, which expressed serious concerns regarding violations of UN principles currently taking place at the 7th annual Internet Governance Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan. The violations include restrictions on freedom of expression and association and failure to guarantee equal rights for every participant. Read Expression Online’s open letter.
The Internet Society and APC are working on a paper which explores human rights and internet protocols, comparing the processes for their making and the principles by which they operate. The draft document takes a look at the parallels and differences between the open internet model of development and the exercise of human rights online, with the objective to foster discussions between the respective communities to advance an open human rights-fostering internet.
Current ITRs date from 1988 and considering the changes in the telecoms sector since then it is not surprising that they are up for review. The question is whether the upcoming WCIT poses a ‘threat’ to the internet. See APC’s perspective on the revision of the ITRs.
The Association for Progressive Communications has started a project called Connect Your Rights! in early 2011. Meant to make the links between fundamental human rights offline and online, it published an infographic in mid-2012 to offer a visualization of the impact that the internet provokes on the human rights regime. After a successful first run in social media and at events worldwide, the infographic was translated to Portuguese by Brazilian group NUPEF.
This edition of GenderIT.org explores the online safety of women human rights defenders from the perspective of national security and counter-terrorism. While online & offline security measures adversely impact on women’s and sexual rights, women and sexual minorities are still two of the most invisible stakeholders in national security debates.
One of the first steps to address violence against women is documenting the problem. APC’s Connect Your Rights! Campaign has conducted a survey of 40 women human rights defenders from across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, on their online experiences, their security concerns and their training needs.
“South Africa has adopted some of the more problematic elements of the new post-9/11 surveillance regime, many of which have been authored in supposedly liberal democracies, while failing to incorporate key safeguards that may have been incorporated in these democracies,” says Jane Duncan in an interview for the forthcoming Global Information Society Watch.
“Unfortunately I hold a pessimistic view with regards to content regulation in Saudi Arabia. That said, I think a good starting point is demanding more transparency with regards to blocked content,” says Rafid Fatani in an interview related to a forthcoming report he wrote for the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch 2011 Update I).
“Both the issues of human rights and the rights of internet expression are still in the margins of the mainstream political stage in Indonesia,” says Ferdiansyah Thajib in an interview related to a forthcoming report he wrote for the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch 2011 Update I).
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan – of which APC is a member – has made a coalition submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review of Azerbaijan. The report, for which APC has contributed its expertise on “restrictions on freedom of expression online” is for consideration at the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council’s working group in April/May 2013.
During three days at the end of September, the Colombian capital Bogota was host to the Latin American and the Caribbean fifth preparatory meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). A tale from the Latin American and Caribbean preparatory meeting to the Internet Governance Forum.
On October 9, the Supreme Court of the Philippines will decide on the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. This cyberlaw has been contested from day one, after internet activists had pointed to truly problematic provisions incompatible with internet rights.
Since the outbreak of the Arab Spring in 2011, government has shown much desire to regulate the internet. The uprising in the Guba district in March 2012 has shown the pivotal role that social media can play in Azerbaijani political life, Vugar Gojayev told APCNews, in an interview for the forthcoming Global Information Society Watch report.
The media in Pakistan has been tardy to address threats to internet freedom – especially Urdu media. There is little to no coverage of internet rights violations and censorship the electronic media, Bytes for All told APCNews about in an interview for the forthcoming Global Information Society Watch report.
“The main issues that should be focused on in Argentina today are freedom of expression, access to information and free circulation of culture,” says Nodo TAU in an interview related to a forthcoming report they wrote for the Global Information Society Watch.
It’s been a year of increasing debates about the internet and human rights among governments in the UN. Read this account of the main developments since 2011 and the challenges ahead.
Bytes for All, Pakistan, strongly condemns hate speech on the Internet, however banning channels of communication, limiting access to information platforms, and steps to curtail free expression only serve to pave the way for politics-based control systems that curb the voices of individuals.