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What do we mean by a rights-based approach to cybersecurity? Is a rights-based approach to cybersecurity a pipe dream or a critical means to a secure and stable internet? On Sunday 17 December 2017 from 9:00 to 14:00, APC and partners will host a pre-event at the Internet Governance Forum. You can download APC's briefing document on cybersecurity and human rights.

If you are interested in deepening your understanding of how cybersecurity policy impacts on human rights, reviewing major developments in the field of cybersecurity that impact on human rights, and mapping out future opportunities for collaboration to advance rights-based approaches to cybersecurity that bridges technical and policy approaches, this event is for you.

Panel presentations and facilitated discussion will advance the development of shared, human rights-based cybersecurity policy strategies. We expect this event to:

  • Arrive at a common understanding of what the characteristics are of an approach to cybersecurity policy, norms and standards that is rights-based.

  • Develop an agenda for research and analysis that would inform a rights-based approach to cybersecurity and stability.

  • Outline possibilities for joint and coordinated efforts towards consolidating a rights-based and inclusive approach to cybersecurity.

The pre-event will take place at the Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG) in Salle 4, Geneva.

  • 09:00-09:15    Registration and welcome: Deborah Brown (APC)

  • 09:15-10:15    Framing: What do we mean by a rights-based approach to cybersecurity? Is such an approach a pipe-dream, or an essential means to a secure and trusted internet?

    • Panelists:  Chinmayi Arun (CCG), Kathy Brown (ISOC), Marietje Schaake (European Parliament), Francisco Vera Hott (Privacy International)

    • Moderator:  Peggy Hicks (OHCHR)

  • 10:15-11:45    Year in review: Overview of current initiatives in cybersecurity and stability.

    • A panel will provide basic outlines of current initiatives including the following: Group of Governmental Experts (GGE); London process (GCCS); Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC); Microsoft’s “Geneva Convention”, among others. Panellists will be asked to reflect on the extent to which these initiatives are or are not, adopting a “rights-based” approach. 

    • Panellists: Mehwish Ansari (ARTICLE 19), Madeline Carr (Cardiff University); Lea Kaspar (GPD),  Kaja Ciglic (Microsoft); Markus Kummer (IGF Best Practice Forum on Cybersecurity), and Chrystiane Roy (Government of Canada)

    • Moderator: Irene Poetranto (Citizen Lab)

  • 11:45-12:15    Tea/coffee break

  • 12:15-13:15    Deep dive on cybersecurity and human rights issues: What are the obvious risks and challenges? How do policy and norms impact on the human rights and security of people? What are the ‘not-so-obvious’ issues at stake? Who controls the mainstream cybersecurity narrative? Does this need to be challenged, and if so, how? 

    • Panellists: Maarten van Horenbeeck (Technical community); Maryant Fernández (European Digital Rights Initiative); Maria Paz Canales (Derechos Digitales); Luis Fernando García (Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales)

    • Moderator: Lucie Krahulcova (AccessNow)

  • 13:15-14:00    Closing remarks from event convenors outlining possible approaches towards consolidating a rights-based and inclusive approach to cybersecurity.

    • Speakers:  Sunil Abraham (Centre for Internet and Society) and Matthew Shears (GPD)

    • Moderator: Anriette Esterhuysen (APC)

If you are interested in participating, please register following this link. If you have questions, please contact Mallory Knodel ( or Deborah Brown (