The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference will take place from 20 October to 7 November 2014 in Busan, South Korea. Read this FAQ to find out more about this meeting, its importance, the issues that will be discussed there, and why and how you should be involved.
The ninth Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul proved to be a space for activists, academics, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to stir the pot with ideas. APC played a key role in influencing internet governance around the world by leading and participating in more than a dozen workshops and side events with partners, decision makers and stakeholders. With talks on sex, rights and the internet, communications surveillance, public access and the digital age, here is a roundup of what went down at the annual global meeting in September 2014.
Güneş Tavmen is the author of the Global Information Society Watch Special Report on Turkey, launched at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2014. APC’s Elvira Truglia spoke to Tavmen during the IGF about the state of communications regulation in Turkey and what can be done to reverse the tide of restrictive policies.
Feminist activist and filmmaker Bishakha Datta of Point of View (India) helped draft the groundbreaking Feminist Principles of the Internet. An initiative of APC’s Women’s Rights Programme, this tool for advancing internet rights was launched at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2014. APC’s Elvira Truglia spoke to Datta during the IGF about the relevance of the Feminist Principles of the Internet.
Participants in Costa Rican Women's Hackathon develop software applications to solve social problems
On 30 and 31 August 2014, 39 women engineers and technologists created nine prototypes of software applications aimed at solving social problems in the north of Costa Rica, at the First Women’s Hackathon, organised by APC member organisation Sulá Batsú through its TIC-AS project, with the support of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.
In a letter from dozens of concerned civil society organisations, clear steps may improve the transparency of the upcoming ITU Plenipotentiary conference. Scheduled for 20 October – 7 November in Busan, the conference has already taken some steps to open participation. As the ITU nears is 150th anniversary, stakeholders are asking it to do more to ensure transparency and inclusion. Read the letter and the ITU’s response.
Earlier this year, the Council of Europe released a report on the application of human rights to ICANN. The Non-commercial stakeholder group (NCSG) and endorsing organisations, of which APC is one, have submitted comments on that report to raise concerns about the role of governments, ICANN’s legal status and the regulation of hate speech. Follow the link to read the NCSG report.
Tactical Tech, in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications, are organising a 7-day event for up to 50 women and trans people to learn tools and techniques for increasing their understanding and practice in digital security and privacy and to become digital security trainers and privacy advocates. When? December 1-8, 2014. Where? Berlin, Germany.
Technology based violence is exposing women to the entire spectrum of conceivable harms in Pakistan. Victims of technology based violence have suffered physical violence ranging from rape to attempted assassination, psycho-social harms and loss of development opportunities. This was revealed in a research report launched by Bytes for All, Pakistan in Islamabad on September, followed by a panel discussion that aimed to engage various key stakeholders in the discussion.
The Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Derechos Digitales, Karisma Foundation, the Association for Progressive Communications, the Center for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, and the Association for Civil Rights will participate in a thematic hearing on the impact of the internet in the defense and exercise of human rights before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The audience will take place in Washington, DC, during the 153th Period of Sessions, the 28th of October.
Within days of her highly visible and publicised speech, Emma Watson became the subject and target of violence. The threat and reality of using women’s sexualised bodies as weapons to humiliate them, shut them up or blackmail them into submission are increasingly prevalent expressions of violence against women online. Jac sm Kee, APC´s Women´s Rights Programme manager, shares her insights on the emerging reactions, and also criticises the framing of the UN #HeForShe campaign, as it seems to position women as passive subjects needing to be rescued.
Far-reaching political and social reforms are essential to confront the root causes of extremism in Iraq, Iraqi and international human rights groups said today in a joint statement.
On 1 September 2014, APC, Tactical Tech and Web Foundation brought together over 150 techies, human rights defenders and rights activists in Istanbul to attend the ninth Internet Governance Forum to a peer-learning event called Disco-tech.
On 8 June during the APC Member Meeting in Barcelona, Spain, our organisational members elected a new board of directors for the next three years. APC is proud to have a board on which the majority of directors are women and based in the global South.
Over the years, APC’s Women’s Rights Programme (WRP) has actively participated at the Internet Governance Forum in order to raise questions, issues and linkages between feminism and the internet. The participation of gender advocates in this space has grown every year and this year’s WRP delegation included 23 feminist and queer activists from diverse countries, in addition to many feminist allies from across the four sectors of internet governance. Here is a list of gender and sexuality events that took place at the 2014 IGF in Turkey.
Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition alarmed at reports of violence against Leyla Yunus in prison
The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC), of which APC is a member, is alarmed at reports of violence against Leyla Yunus in prison. Yunus has been in jail since 30 July, when she was arrested on trumped-up charges of treason and other crimes. The WHRD IC requests the transfer of Yunus’s violent cellmate to another cell and an immediate and transparent investigation into the above-mentioned assault, as well as calling for Yunus’s immediate and unconditional release. The coalition is also demanding that she be urgently provided with any medical attention she may require.
APC and other member organisations of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition sent a statement to the UN Human Rights Council’s 27th session to address the fact that women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are targeted for murder, kidnapping, torture, rape and harassment because of who they are and because of the work they do worldwide. As the Council strengthens its work on women generally, the statement notes the critical need to integrate analysis and reporting on WHRDs who demand protection, respect and fulfillment of all human rights.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) strongly condemns the Turkish government for amending a law that tightens internet censorship. The law, which now grants the Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) extensive powers to block access to websites without a court order, comes on the heels of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul on 2-5 September 2014.
APC endorses statement submitted by Human Rights Watch at the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 11 September 2014.
A+ for profits, F for women's rights: Take Back the Tech! invites users to rate Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
What Are You Doing About Violence Against Women? We invite users to join our campaign to demand answers and action. Research developed by the APC Women’s Rights Programme on internet intermediaries mapped the corporate policies of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to analyse each platform’s mechanism for identifying, reporting and rectifying incidents of harassment or VAW. These findings stress that while approaches to VAW differ between intermediaries, there are a number of overarching themes and trends.