APC and Hivos launched the 2012 edition of the Global Information Society Watch during the second day of the Internet Governance Forum that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in a joint presentation with the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Internet & Society Co:llaboratory.
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.
The internet allows women to access critical information, enables them to make decisions about their selves, lives and bodies, and to exercise autonomy and self-determination. Follow the APC WNSP and @genderITorg at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) forum in Istanbul: #ftxawid to learn more about how the internet is a feminist issue.
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.
The intersection between the internet and human rights is increasingly important as the internet starts to affect more aspects of society, economy, politics and culture. This report maps this intersection and raises a number of questions to be considered by those concerned with internet, rights and wider public policy.
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.
APC welcomes the success of the Human Rights Council expert panel on freedom of expression that took place in Geneva on 29 February as an important step towards promoting and protecting human rights online. Anriette Esterhuysen, APC’s executive director and panellist said, “It was extremely encouraging that states agree that the same rights that apply in the offline world also apply online.”
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.