IRHR - News
When the Government of Pakistan announced that it would be filtering the internet, Bytes for All initiated a major campaign against what it called an unconstitutional decision. Supported by multiple national and international human rights organisations, news has been released that the plans to filter Pakistani internet have been cancelled.
This year, Pakistan Day, held on 23 March 2012, was marred with oppression against the people of Baluchistan in the South of the country through province-wide communications blockages. All cellular phone networks were shut down throughout the day of celebration in the name of national security. Bytes for All strongly condemns the ban.
From access-centred work to rights-based work, APC’s mission has been continually evolving in the past 21 years. In this premier edition of Digital Rights Watch’s “In Focus” series, Mark Boudreau interviews APC to find out more about the intersection of human rights, censorship and surveillance and APC’s ever-changing work.
APC welcomes the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association and makes recommendations for how these rights can be promoted and protected online.
Surprising as it may be, the internet in Iran started out as comparatively open in the region. However, censorship and internet clampdowns noticeably increased when conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005. The internet had until then given activists, journalists and political dissidents a way to get around Iran’s restrictive media laws and communicate with the outside world.
With the success of the recent expert panel on freedom of expression and the internet, now is the time to push for governments and international human rights organisations to commit to take concrete actions to promote and protect freedom of expression online.
On Wednesday February 29th 12:00-15:00 CET (11:00-14:00 UTC), the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) will convene an expert panel in Geneva to discuss the issue of freedom of expression on the internet. This will be the first time human rights on the internet has been specifically addressed by the HRC.
The government of Pakistan currently has plans to filter the internet, which will affect freedom of expression, speech and opinion in the country. Bytes for All fears the internet will be further restricted as the 2013 general elections approach. Read the public statement by Bytes for All.
Check out APC’s one-page brief on why human rights should be the main theme in 2012.
The website for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is the latest victim of censorship in Indonesia. It joins a number of other LGBT rights organisations which have been blocked by pornography filters.
A list of the significant moments for women’s rights in 2011. AWID presents a visual overview of the year through a women’s rights lens.
The first winner of the Connect Your Rights: Make the Connection contest is Charlie Parra del Riego for his hilarious SOPA Guitar Solo. To learn how you can submit your own content, check out our call for submissions.
APC welcomes the proposal, while noting that it does not go far enough in supporting developing country applicants. To be truly successful, the proposal must include provisions for greater capacity building, increased transparency and a more representative review panel which would include experts from developing countries.
Where were you when you first “connected your rights”? The Connect your rights! campaign is calling for submissions of blogs, poems, digital stories, artwork and other visuals to help others make the connection. The top submissions will be featured on rights.apc.org
“There were very strong human rights themes across the main sessions, particularly around freedom of expression and freedom of association. However it is time for human rights to be the principal theme of the Seventh IGF,” says APC as the world’s oldest progressive network reflects on the progress of the UN conference on how the internet is run.
Bytes for All, APC’s member in Pakistan, has written an open letter to the Prime Minister and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority criticising the proposed plan to filter keywords in sms messages.
APC’s submission for Ecuador to the Universal Period Review process, with support from CIESPAL and Radialistas Apasionadas y Apasionados, highlights the critical importance of the Internet for human rights, as well as social and economic development.
A recent panel on “Social movements and data security” held at the University of Costa Rica highlights the crucial importance of information security to today’s activists.
The Pakistan Telecommunications authority has issued a directive to all cellular providers to begin filtering SMS keywords, the latest in a series of restrictions to freedom of expression in the country.
The human rights records of forty-eight countries are under review this year as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. APC’s Joy Liddicoat and Henrik Almstrom explain the significance of the UPR and how APC is working for it to protect rights online.