Snapshots from day zero of the #IGF2013

Human rights on the internet
Before the IGF officially started there was already a lot going on. Day zero was a day of pre-events, and APC organised a training session on human rights online. Besides giving an overview of the international human rights system, and instruments and legal framework of specific rights such as freedom of expression, right to association and peaceful assembly online, trainers shared actual stories.

Nadine Mowad, from APC’s women’s programme, talked about the #Women2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia, where women reclaimed their right to mobility and space. Avri Doria, APC affiliate, shared her work with the DotGay top level domain; especially in terms of the tensions of creating a safe place that at the same time ensures visibility for the community.

We selected some of the best tweets from the session here on a storify (see below)

To shed light on the practical steps that members of civil society can take to protect themselves and their activism, APC and Tactical Tech hosted a peer-learning session on the night before the IGF officially started.

Ian Peter, one of the founding members of APC, presented a video on their first connections:

Miss Internet
The presence of Miss Internet at the Indonesian Association of Internet Providers (APJII), did not go unnoticed. Indeed, APJII, one of the main local organising partners, had recently appointed Miss Internet to “inspire other young women to benefit from advanced technology in positive and responsible ways.” According Bali Daily, jurors’ criteria “the participants’ activities in information technology, their intellectuality and beauty.”

Several participants denounced this initiative as sexist and stereotypical. Nighat Dad, an APC partner from Pakistan, criticised this “Outright attempt to objectify and commodify women’s bodies by the IGF organisers in the form of Miss Internet Bali” on Twitter.

Insecure registration
Another issue that circulated on Twitter on day 0 was the lack of security of the IGF registration process. APC partner Alex Comninos showed how the confirmation email by the IGF secretariat included a link with participant’s passport numbers and email addresses. If they were using an insecure network, this very personal information was could be potentially accessed.

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