Since early 2015, the Local Action to Secure Internet Rights (LASIR) project has focused on empowering national and local actors in their defence of human rights on the internet, in countries as diverse as South Korea, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Jordan, Uganda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Kenya and Tunisia. All LASIR partners are strong local organisations, with ongoing work on internet rights. They are developing, together with APC, integrated strategies of policy research, context analysis, coalition building, media outreach and popular engagement.
Now that the project has reached its final stage, APC is sharing a series of interviews to highlight the participants’ experiences and conclusions. Today, we want you to meet Article 19 Kenya (A19 Kenya), which works to ensure that freedom of expression remains at the core of the new government and its policies.
What was your goal when you decided to be part of the LASIR project?
Our biggest goal is to equip NGOs and civil society organisations with adequate knowledge of online censorship, so that they can challenge the relevant authorities’ stance on online censorship.
What has the outcome been so far?
A19 Kenya participated with a member of KICTANet in the LASIR inception meeting held in Cebu City, Philippines, in January 2015, which was very useful. After that, we worked on installing four ISP subscriptions: Safaricom, Access Kenya, Faiba and Orange. The fifth would be Airtel. Three of these are telecommunications providers and subscription to them is strategic, as access to the internet in Kenya is primarily through mobile phones.
We have also developed web content to fight online censorship and to encourage online users to test services and applications in the country, and held discussions for bloggers, techies, private sector actors and activists to identify instances of content blocking and to share principles of freedom of expression online.
What would you highlight about the process?
It has been a very interesting process and learning experience. An exciting thing that happened was being identified by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) as a key partner with whom to do awareness raising activities on freedom of expression online. We feel like we have already gained a lot of credit and trust in the online censorship realm.
Source: Article 19 Kenya
Where can we follow your work and activities?