Skip to main content


From our Director

Long live the APC Internet Rights Charter!

APC launched the APC Internet Rights Charter in 2001 and updated it in 2006, in time for the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF), held in Athens from 30 October to 2 November.

It has been a powerful, unifying tool for us. When we first released it, the APC member community translated it into more than 20 languages within weeks. It was used as a checklist by APC members and partners for assessing national ICT policy during the “ICT policy boom” of the early 2000s. It was used by academics and activists to analyse the increasing restrictions being placed on online communications by many governments. It was used by the Brazilian Internet Steering Group ( when they compiled their principles, and by the IGF's Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition as a starting point in their work to develop a comprehensive set of internet rights and principles.

It was also used when compiling inputs for the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement adopted at the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance held in Sao Paulo in May 2014 – a statement that represents a milestone in achieving rough consensus among a large number of people from different stakeholder groups on the internet being a common public resource, which should be governed in the public interest and in accordance with human rights principles.

But there is also a certain one-dimensionality in the NETmundial statement's inclusion of human rights that reflects how internet rights discourse over the last few years has been characterised by a relatively narrow civil and political rights orientation. Internet rights discussions have not included many rights-related issues which are seen to be important by developing country actors, be they from government, social movements or civil society. In spite of the significant achievements in recognition of internet rights, most of those driving the internet freedom agenda are based in the global North. Nor have these discussions been influenced much by women's rights activists and people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.1 Many freedom of expression advocates have avoided raising concerns about the control of sexual content and expression on the internet because of fears that this would undermine their demands for freedom of political expression. Women's and sexual rights advocates remain marginal to discussions on internet rights, while internet rights and freedom of expression movements lack the awareness of crucial gender and sexuality links in their work.

And for civil society from parts of the world where access is a privilege, such as most of Africa, talking about rights is seen as inappropriate; a bit like looking a gift-horse in the mouth before you have received the gift! We believe that, quite to the contrary, it is vital that access be linked to rights.

During 2014 APC launched two new “declarations”: the Feminist Principles of the Internet (FPI) and the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms (AD). This does not in any way imply that the APC Internet Rights Charter has become irrelevant – it was used as a base document in the drafting of both the FPI and the AD.

We learned from the APC Internet Rights Charter that charters and statements of principles work if people feel that they were part of their creation. People need to feel invested in the thinking and debate that produce the document, and they need to feel that the principles contained in it speak to their experience and context. The FPI and the AD represent this approach to movement building and networking.

Initial input for the FPI was gathered through a Twitter chat in the month of April – using the hashtag #imagineafeministinternet – which reached two million people, and the principles were further developed during a meeting of women's and LGBTI rights activists and defenders organised in Kuala Lumpur in May. These activists helped to ground the FPI in local contexts and have since used the principles to do work on feminism and the internet in their respective countries.

The AD was developed in response to many African countries beginning to adopt policies, regulations or laws to regulate the internet that are aimed at controlling use of the internet and online behaviour in ways that frequently violate established human rights norms and principles. The idea for an African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms was agreed at the 2013 African Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, and a broader meeting of human rights, internet rights and media rights activists was subsequently convened in Johannesburg in February 2014 to commence drafting the Declaration. The Declaration was launched in September 2014, and since then has been through further revisions. It has been launched nationally in at least 12 countries and has found its way onto the desks of policy makers.

Our goal is to work with these two declarations to build a strong and diverse internet rights movement in the global South, that engages in internet governance and policy spaces to deepen the analysis and debate on key internet policy issues, specifically on access, privacy, the right to information and freedom of expression, approached from feminist and gender justice perspectives. Charters and declarations are tools, and tools are best used by people who understand them well, and who feel comfortable wielding them. This is the legacy of the APC Internet Rights Charter. Long live the APC Internet Rights Charter!

From our chair

In June 2014 APC members gathered together for a face-to-face APC Council meeting in Barcelona, which was hosted by our member Pangea. It was a very inspiring event where members had the opportunity to exchange their work with other APC members and colleagues. We set up a space that we named “Share and Remix Towards the Internet We Need for the World We Want”. Although we share the same vision of how to use ICTs for development, this space was an excellent opportunity to reflect on the work that APC members do locally on internet access, internet governance, transformative technology, ending technology-based violence against women, and community networking, which are the main issues of our strategic plan.

The Share and Remix space highlighted the activities developed by members all over the world related to:

  • Participation in internet governance at the local, regional and global level. 
  • Supporting organisations to collectively influence the public agenda. 
  • Participation of civil society on internet issues. 
  • Advocacy for the defence of net neutrality against transnational operators that control the network infrastructures.  
  • Internet for accountability and e-government and issues related to open data.  
  • Digital security for human rights defenders, civil society, minorities and vulnerable groups. 
  • Freedom of expression, privacy,  and digital, communication and data protection rights. 
  • Rights and access to information. 
  • Cyber security and internet freedom policies. 
  • Community access in rural areas, especially through community wireless networks using green technologies. 
  • Transforming public libraries into community change agents using ICTs. 
  • Making the work of communities visible through the use of ICTs. 
  • Protecting the environment.  
  • Strengthening and promoting women's rights and gender equity through the use of ICTs. 

The participation of APC members in this space highlighted the work that we have been doing together regarding APC's strategic priorities. Likewise, this sharing, learning and networking space opened our minds to issues that are relevant to build a better world through the use of ICTs. And all of this is possible thanks to the internet.

We know that the internet is an essential tool, which helps to bring about important changes in favour of vulnerable communities. However, the interests of big corporations that want to change the economic model of the internet are putting the internet – as we know it – at high risk. This is the reason why the work of APC and other partners who share our vision is vitally important to defend the democratic principles of the internet, in order to ensure that organisations like APC members can continue working on ICT issues in ways that are changing people's lives for the better. If we lose the internet – as we know it – then we will lose the opportunity to make important changes towards a better world for all.

I want to thank all the people who have made our work possible during all these years and it is my hope that we can continue working together for a better world.

Finally, I would like to express my thanks to our outgoing board member Andrew Garton, former secretary, for his dedication and commitment to APC, and to Shahzad Ahmad and Graciela Selaimen as well. At the same time, I would like to welcome our new executive board members Osama Manzar, John Dada, Lillian Nalwoga and Chim Manavy.

Julián Casasbuenas G.
Chair of the Executive Board

Our impact

Securing and defending internet access and rights

Advocacy in international policy spaces for public access

In May 2014 APC made a presentation on public access to the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) WSIS+10 review and launched a briefing pamphlet on public access2 in collaboration with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington (TASCHA). Other awareness-raising activities took place at the ITU’s WSIS+10 High Level Event3 and the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries workshop at the 2014 IGF in Istanbul. In November 2014, CSTD released a draft of its report on the Ten-year Review of Progress Made in the Implementation of the Outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society,4 to which APC had contributed. APC's inputs are referenced throughout the report, which is significant because this report is the only formal way that civil society has to input into the overall WSIS review that is taking place in December 2015.

Supporting digital migration in Africa

In the area of radio spectrum, APC supported civil society groups in four sub-Saharan African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda) to hold meetings and design strategies to respond to digital broadcast migration.5 In addition, a project to carry out similar activities in Latin America was launched in late 2014, as APC is now drawing on its experience in Africa to support civil society in Latin America. Since few countries in Africa will meet the digital switchover deadline set for 2015, the liberation of spectrum for mobile broadband – the “digital dividend” – will not be forthcoming in the short term. But this has also been an opportunity for APC to promote the immediate potential for spectrum sharing using TV white space (TVWS) technologies,6 which can be used even in relatively congested areas such as Cape Town, South Africa, where extensive testing of a trial with schools showed no discernible interference to TV broadcasts. Momentum is now building following further examples from the Philippines, Namibia and Botswana in supporting major TVWS implementations.

APC joins global coalition on affordable broadband

In September 2014 APC joined the recently formed Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) and provided inputs for the development of its annual Affordability Report and its national multistakeholder engagements strategy.

To watch out for

The Alliance for Affordable Internet is ramping up its country engagements, and in addition to a national workshop in Mozambique planned for April 2015, additional events are expected to take place in a number of other African countries with support from the APC Communications and Information Policy Programme (CIPP) team.

Putting internet rights on the United Nations agenda

APC continued its strategy of engagement at the Human Rights Council (HRC), supporting our members and partners to participate in each of the Council’s three regular sessions in 2014. During the year there was significant progress, including a resolution addressing human rights and the internet7 passed in June 2014, which took a broader view of human rights in the online environment, including economic, social and cultural rights, as well as aspects of internet governance. We were also involved in advocacy around a new UN resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age,8 which was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).9 APC and others agreed to use the UNGA resolution in our sustained advocacy efforts to establish a new UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy at the Human Rights Council. We also expanded our work in the HRC, as well as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),10 to include engagement on women’s rights and sexual rights, which led to new and strengthened relationships with networks in Geneva. The APC Women's Rights Programme (APC WRP) was also selected to become a member of the UNESCO Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) International Steering Committee in June 2014, to advance the intersection of work between media, gender and ICTs at UNESCO, as well as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). APC WRP is also a member of the Working Group on Broadband and Gender of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, and has contributed to online discussions and exchanges at the Working Group's annual meeting in New York.

We also integrated our regional approach into our engagement with UN Special Rapporteurs. We supported the organisation of regional consultations with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression in Africa and Latin America, and supported our members' participation in the regional consultation by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of association in Asia. The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism included internet access and rights issues in his report, and highlighted the work of APC members from the global South as best practice initiatives for combating racism and gender-based violence online. APC was invited by David Kaye, the new UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, to join his network of expertise on internet issues.

To watch out for

At the global level, APC has continued to advocate for the establishment of a new Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. The new mandate was created in March 2015, and we intend to work with the new Special Rapporteur to address violations of the right to privacy, including those experienced by at-risk and marginalised groups like women human rights defenders. Additionally we will continue to work with members and partners to use regional and global human rights instruments to address the critical challenges they are facing in places like Malaysia, Pakistan and Sudan. We expect to share with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the initial results of research that APC is undertaking in the area of internet access and its contribution to advancing economic, social and cultural rights.

Launching of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms

APC’s internet access and rights work deepened its regional focus in 2014 in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. In Africa, APC and partners launched the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms,11 after wide consultations. The Declaration has been endorsed by 29 African stakeholders and four non-African stakeholders.

Impact of the internet in the Americas

In May, APC was invited to work with CELE in Argentina to produce a briefing note on the internet and human rights for the IACHR. Two chapters were prepared, on internet access and on the internet and discrimination. In July, APC joined with other civil society organisations in a historic petition to the IACHR, calling on Commissioners to take up internet access and discrimination online within the Commission’s mandate.12 This was followed by a hearing in October on the impact of the internet on the defence and exercise of human rights before the IACHR.13

With APC member Derechos Digitales we produced an overview of the situation of internet rights in the region, “Latin America in a glimpse: Human rights and the internet”,14 and participated in a meeting with international organisations prior to the IGF in Turkey to present the situation in LAC to them.

Internet rights in Southeast Asia

In July, APC, together with members and partners in Asia (India, Malaysia and Pakistan), initiated a three-year EU-funded project focused on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to information online. The project has already led to stronger relationships with human rights experts and target groups at the national level, increased capacity for partners for global advocacy, and stronger relationships (for example with FORUM-ASIA and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, SEAPA) and strategies around regional advocacy on internet rights, in a region where there is no clear mechanism.

To watch out for

We will continue to strengthen our regional networks and advocacy. As part of the APC-IMPACT project, our members and partners in India, Pakistan and Malaysia will release baseline research on the state of freedom of expression online in these countries in June 2015. In collaboration with SEAPA, the Women's Legal Bureau, the Foundation for Media Alternatives and the Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia, the project also supported the organising of two sessions at the ASEAN People's Forum on internet governance and human rights in ASEAN in April 2015. The project will additionally host a training of trainers event in Jakarta, ahead of a regional conference on freedom of expression and freedom of religion with several UN Special Rapporteurs in early June. A report looking at the impact of religion on freedom of expression in the region is also planned as part of the project.

Top-down and bottom-up approaches to digital security in the Middle East and North Africa

In the MENA region, in part through an EU-funded project, APC focused on new partnerships in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), working with partners in Iraq and Egypt to develop stakeholder submissions. In November 2014, APC led a workshop with our partners in Sudan, Tunisia, Iraq and Palestine to discuss the UPR and overall advocacy strategies. Our work in MENA has also supported the digital security training of dozens of human rights defenders.

To watch out for

As part of the EU-MENA project, we will continue to build the capacity of local organisations to understand, recognise and defend human rights on the internet, through a series of local consultations and digital security trainings in Sudan, Tunisia, Palestine and Iraq. The project will further complement this with two policy papers highlighting challenges facing human right defenders in the region in practising their rights online.

Watching the watchers: Reporting on mass surveillance in 57 countries

In September, we released the annual Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) report15 with the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos). This year's edition focused on the state of communications surveillance in 57 countries across the world – countries as diverse as Hungary, India, Argentina, The Gambia, Lebanon and the United Kingdom. Among the highlights of the project, the 2014 edition of GISWatch was accessed online over 10,000 times, achieving the greatest number of visits since the report was launched in 2007. In addition to the international launch, 19 contributor organisations held a total of 25 local launch events, with an estimated total of 1,700 participants. To improve dissemination, we have also translated 38 reports into languages other than English.

Sexual rights and the internet

Throughout 2014, APC continued to expand its work on the intersections between sexual rights and the internet, supporting inter-network and movement-building activities, as well as capacity building for sexual rights advocates on the issue of internet rights both nationally – through country partners in India and Indonesia – and globally.

A Twitter chat, #imagineafeministinternet, reached two million people from 9 to 19 April. The online discussion shaped APC's publication “Feminist Principles of the Internet”,16 which was further developed by more than 50 advocates and activists working on feminism, sexuality, women's rights and the internet in Kuala Lumpur in May 2014.17

APC partner Point of View (India) held discussions in five different cities across India and a digital storytelling workshop on sexuality and the internet; the Institut Pelangi Perempuan (Indonesia) concluded and published their research “Queering Internet Governance in Indonesia”.18

APC's advocacy for sexual rights online was present at several global events in 2014. Bishakha Datta from Point of View presented on a panel on sexuality at RightsCon 2014, and partners and staff participated in the 27th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) World Conference in Mexico.

Global survey on sexuality and the internet

The results of our first survey on sexuality and the internet (2013), communicated through a summary report19 and an infographic,20 continued to be shared widely online throughout 2014. The survey results were instrumental to our input into several UN documents such as the HRC resolution on Women Human Rights Defenders, the HRC resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and the Beijing+20 regional reviews.

In 2014, APC launched the second global survey on sexuality and the internet, which aims to monitor the value of the internet for sexual rights advocates, as well as the risks and threats they face online. It was translated into eight languages, and received 376 complete responses (out of a total of 946 responses) between August and November 2014.

To watch out for

In 2015, our work on sexual rights includes the participation of two new national partners in Turkey and South Africa, in addition to the continuing work with our partners in India and Indonesia. Each country partner will conduct capacity-building activities nationally, produce focused research on national issues regarding sexuality and the internet, and provide input to various national and international advocacy spaces.

The results of the 2014 survey on sexuality and the internet will be shared online in June 2015 and will be disseminated widely through our networks of sexual rights and internet rights activists. Our third global survey on sexuality and the internet will be launched in July 2015 and will be reworked to include an in-depth analysis of selected case studies with pre-identified respondents. We are also currently conducting a small survey more specifically focused on the impact of the Facebook real name policy on the LGBTIQ community and will share the results at the 2015 IGF.

Member stories

Pakistan: “Discriminate the state shall not”

Bytes for All, Pakistan studies online hate speech in Pakistan to expose it as distinct from the excuses often used to muzzle free expression such as morality, security, national interest, or obscenity. Hate speech: a study of Pakistan's cyberspace21 is a groundbreaking study of the nature of hate speech, including incitement to violence, and forms a baseline for understanding within the context of growing intolerance towards minorities in Pakistan. The study influenced a landmark judgement by the Supreme Court of Pakistan reinforcing the state's responsibility towards its minorities.22

Legal arguments aside, Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani also responded with a poem, which was adopted as the judicial anthem by the Pakistan Bar Council.

Discriminate the state shall not
Thou may belong to any religion, creed or caste.
Oh! The vision is distorted, the march is thwarted,
Castles in the sand, babes in the woods,

Recipes of fall abound in the books.

The nation is cut, the land is bled
When the message is lost, a die is cast,
The wages are loud, Beware of the clouds.
Long live the message, the Lamp and the rays
That glow The Temple, which holds the scales,
Pinning the dreams, the hopes and the oath
Of Justice for All.

Caption: Excerpt of the poem by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.

Training for equality of opportunities for women through ICT in Colombia

In 2014, a total of 8,146 women completed ICT training with a women’s and gender rights-based approach and 900 took part in political capacity-building through ICTs.23 The project also involved the production of 10 online courses aimed at learning and recognition of women’s rights, women’s role as citizens, and the use of ICTs to foster changes in their various roles. In addition, Colnodo helped set up 15 internet access centres in the Equality of Opportunities Centres run by the Bogotá local government.  

An impact assessment demonstrated the project’s effectiveness in enhancing knowledge around both ICT use and women’s rights. The participants felt that the training they received opened up more and better employment opportunities, which will contribute to improved living conditions. A full 97.4% of women reported an increase in their self-esteem, which served to boost their confidence in the use of ICTs for work and other activities. It was also observed that a large number of women who had been trained were motivated to participate in different initiatives in their communities, which demonstrates increased civic and political participation by women, one of the project’s objectives.

Freedom of expression, children and adolescents

A consultation on “Freedom of Expression, Children and Adolescents” was held by former UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, in his own country, Guatemala. It took place in Totonicapán and unlike all the other consultations that La Rue held during the six years of his mandate, all the participants were children, most of them indigenous. This was a very special event that was carried out by staff from DEMOS, who worked as facilitators with a methodology that enabled children to express their ideas and needs regarding the media and technology, but most of all, regarding freedom of expression.

“Connect Your Rights” takes root in the convergence of diverse struggles for digital rights

As APC adopted “Connect Your Rights” as a global theme, FMA similarly explored how this thrust could help renew our work for communication rights in the Philippines. As technologies evolve, we continue to face challenges in embedding human rights frameworks within “network societies” in an era of mobile communications, social media, big data, and greater controls on the free and open internet. We needed to more effectively bridge traditional defence of human rights “offline” with the emerging primacy of online rights. At the same time, empowerment of citizens and communities in the digital age also called for greater convergence of previously “unconnected” and “disconnected” sectors, advocates and activisms.

A key task then was to strategically reorient our programmes to reflect this strategic convergence while integrating approaches to digital rights advocacy. FMA redesigned its training curriculum in 2014 and piloted multistakeholder “Connect Your Rights” workshops in key regions of the country. These were attended by advocacy partners from diverse backgrounds, which enabled the rich sharing of diverse experiences in online/offline rights. It also served to incubate common strategies and intersectoral collaboration. The new training programme engendered a more holistic understanding among diverse stakeholders of the “bigger picture” and the need for common advocacy. This represented a qualitative leap in internet rights advocacy within Philippine civil society. Isang bagsak!

KICTANet trains “Hurinets” in digital security

In recent years, the topic of human rights and the internet has attracted growing attention in internet governance discourse, both nationally and globally. The right to affordable access to the internet is itself considered a human right. It is in light of this that KICTANet collaborated with the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) to provide training for human rights networks (Hurinets) drawn from the grassroots level. One of the aims of this training was to raise awareness among the Hurinets on the legislative and policy debates that affect ICTs locally, regionally and globally. Key topics included an introduction to internet governance discourse, the legislative and policy framework for ICTs, multistakeholderism and citizen participation, and the roles they can play in ICTs as human rights defenders.

It was important to train Hurinets as they are catalysts for human rights at the grassroots level and can act as a core group to promote engagement on the ground and start sensitising citizens on what human rights and the internet concerns are all about. A total of 47 Hurinets drawn from Kenya’s 47 counties participated in the training, with the expectation that the participants will become trainers of trainers who will in turn train others back at the grassroots, leading to a multiplier effect in the long run.


Four years of reporting on the information society in Argentina

In collaboration with the local union of journalists, Nodo TAU organised a launch of the 2014 edition of the GISWatch report, which also featured the presentation of a booklet with Spanish translations of the Argentina country reports included in this annual publication from 2010 until 2014. The event was attended by journalists, representatives of civil society organisations, particularly women's organisations, members of local government, and authorities from the local public university, including the director of the department of social communication.

Of particular significance was the participation of a representative of the NAC (Núcleos de Acceso al Conocimiento) project, a network of public centres for digital access, as this is expected to lead to future projects in conjunction with Nodo TAU. The event also gave rise to discussions for the creation of a study group on ICT policies with members of the journalists union and the academic community. A platform to link research and action on gender issues, the latest project undertaken by Cooperativa Sulá Batsú, involves the development of a new technology platform dedicated to knowledge management for organisations, institutions and initiatives working on gender issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. The new platform is being developed thanks to a partnership with the BRIDGE programme at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex.

The main purpose of is to provide access to more and better information resources for social actors working on issues of gender equity in Latin America, as a way to strengthen action on the ground and advocacy. By breaking down the barriers between research and action, research results will reach those who work directly for gender equity in local, national and regional spaces.

Fostering good internet governance

Internet Governance Forum heads into its 10th year

APC contributed to the strengthening of internet governance institutions at the global, regional and local levels by engaging with partners, decision makers and other stakeholders in global, regional and national IGFs, as well as other major internet governance events, leading workshops and side events. We also coordinated the Gender Dynamic Coalition, and as part of the work, conducted the IGF Gender Report Card for the third year running. We have contributed to making the IGF more outcome oriented, which is a clear indication of the maturity of the process. We have also developed concrete proposals for ongoing work between the annual meetings.25

We have seen how regional rights streams are emerging through our engagement in regional IGFs. We contributed to diversifying the voices that shape the regional internet governance conversations in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa by promoting consultations and producing tools and research for informed engagement in the regional space. This has resulted in increased presence and participation of civil society voices from both regions in the global forum.

In MENA, as a result of APC's support, 11 women's rights activists from the Maghreb-Machrek region were able to increase their understanding of how internet governance processes operate and to attend and engage at the 2014 Arab IGF. As a result of APC's co-organisation of the Arab IGF civil society pre-event, more than 21 organisations from the region were able to compile a statement of civil society concerns that was read out at the final session of the Arab IGF.

To watch out for

APC will host a MENA internet policy camp in conjunction with the 2015 Arab IGF to bring together digital rights activists in order to creatively strategise and better engage in the regional IGF, as well as input to the global IGF. We will also develop an issue paper highlighting challenges to civic engagement in regional internet governance processes in MENA.

Advancing access, rights and gender equality in internet governance

We have also been deeply engaged in the WSIS+10 review process, identifying where there has been some progress – increased availability and use of ICTs, recognition of internet rights, and engagement of stakeholders – and where there are gaps – new digital divides emerging, especially for women, the need for renewed commitment with public access, and lack of attention to development aspects of the internet society, among others. We have been advocating for these issues to gain renewed focus in the context of the overall WSIS+10 review.

To watch out for

APC intends to continue to engage actively in the ten-year review process of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10), which will conclude in December 2015. In addition to participating in the annual Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) meetings and WSIS Forum, we were invited to attend an expert meeting on WSIS+10 alongside the UN General Assembly's first meeting on WSIS+10 in June 2015. We would like to see the outcome of the overall WSIS+10 review advance development, affordable and public access, human rights, good governance, and gender equality. APC is also advocating for the renewal of the IGF for at least 10 years, with a commitment to improve and strengthen it. We will continue to coordinate with a broad group of civil society organisations to push for more inclusive participation in the overall review process.

Transitioning NETmundial from instance to initiative

APC also played a significant role in the NETmundial meeting in April 2014. APC made inputs to the preparatory process, promoting internet as a public good and human rights as the basis for internet governance. We collaborated with other members of civil society to organise a pre-event where we coordinated interventions and strategies, and APC Executive Director Anriette Esterhuysen co-chaired the drafting of the NETmundial Principles. We also developed a reaction to and analysis of the outcomes of NETmundial.26

Opening up internet standards governance to civil society

Through our participation in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference, we advocated for more openness and inclusiveness in the institution.27 By working with others in civil society and key governments, we were able to achieve some notable gains, including increased transparency regarding ITU documentation and consultations around the Council Working Group on Internet-related Public Policy Issues. Another very positive development was APC's acceptance as a member of the ITU's Radiocommunication and Development Sectors, with the ITU waiving the high fees to join. This will enable us to increase our engagement at the ITU, as it relates to APC's work on spectrum allocation, affordable access, and other areas.

To watch out for

In 2015, APC expects to become more active in the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as a means of supporting the process to create greater awareness inside ICANN on the impact of ICANN policies on human rights as well as to contribute to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition effort and increase ICANN accountability. At the ITU, we expect to work with the ITU Council Working Group on Internet-related Public Policy Issues, through government delegations, to attempt to open up mechanisms for multistakeholder transparency and participation in the ITU. We will continue working with other civil society groups to coordinate sustained engagement with ITU work. We also plan to increase understanding and give guidance to human rights enablers and disablers in protocol and architecture design by proactively engaging with the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) work on this area.

Towards African civil society participation in internet governance

APC capacity-building and networking activities have helped bring new voices to internet governance debates and enrich the quality of internet governance discussions in regions where governments tend to dominate the discussion. The African School on Internet Governance produced 37 alumni, of whom 20 went on to participate in the ICANN meeting in Singapore, one was employed as a fellow at the IGF Secretariat, and others have become more engaged in civil society discussions, for example, around the WSIS+10 review. Additionally, 16 blog posts28 were produced, adding fresh ideas to the internet governance debates in the region.

To watch out for

The third edition of the African School on Internet Governance will take place in 2015, to bring new voices to internet governance debates and follow up on the latest developments in internet governance in Africa.

Sexual rights at the Internet Governance Forum

The APC sexual rights pre-event at the IGF 2014 in Istanbul supported the participation of four LGBT organisations from Turkey and three LGBT organisations from Indonesia in the forum, as well as six women's and LGBT organisations from South Africa, India, Dominican Republic, Uganda, and Jordan. As a result, the group prepared interventions and statements for various panels on the Feminist Principles of the Internet, including at the Gender Dynamic Coalition meeting.

To watch out for

We will continue working on capacity building for women’s organisations, so that they can develop their own contributions through the regional IGFs, as well as in the global IGF.  Between June and September 2015, APC will hold three exchanges prior to each regional IGF in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean with women’s rights, internet rights and sexual rights activists from each region to discuss and build awareness and understanding of the relationship between gender, women’s rights and internet governance. Skills and knowledge acquired during the event will be put into practice immediately afterwards as participants will go on to participate in the regional IGFs.

Feminist principles of the internet

In 2014, APC organised its first global meeting on Gender, Sexuality and the Internet, which produced the Feminist Principles of the Internet and contributed to a better understanding of the intersections between internet freedoms and gender and sexuality. The Principles received strong support at the 2014 IGF and other global and regional events, including the Gender and Privacy Institute in Berlin, organised by Tactical Tech Initiative in collaboration with APC, and have been translated into different languages.

To watch out for

In July 2015, APC is organising a second global meeting to deepen the work on the Feminist Principles with 30 women's rights, sexual rights and internet rights advocates. Participants in this meeting will be able to strengthen their capacity to engage with debates on internet rights from a feminist lens. The updated version of the Feminist Principles of the Internet will support advocacy undertaken by APC and its partners in different internet governance and human rights spaces.

Multistakeholderism in Latin American and the Carribbean

New multistakeholder collaborations are developing at the national level as well. In Ecuador, APC was a key organiser of a national internet governance encounter, which fostered a constructive alliance of civil society organisations to bring government delegates to the table to discuss why internet governance matters in the national context. In Argentina, APC participated in a workshop organised by CELE, which was a good opportunity for debate and networking with participants from Argentina and other LAC countries, mainly from civil society, academia, the technical community and the private sector.

Member stories

Opposing threats to online privacy in Mexico

In 2014, Derechos Digitales provided technical and strategic support to local organisations in Mexico in their opposition to the Telecommunications Act ("Ley Telecom"), which posed a significant threat to human rights on the internet by establishing measures that affect freedom of speech and online privacy.

These efforts resulted from a key step taken by Derechos Digitales in 2014: after eight years of increasing institutional stability and recognition in Chile and establishing formal networks at the international level, we decided to branch out from being a local organisation to becoming a Latin American one. Mexico was one of our priorities because it has a major agenda regarding internet regulation that could potentially collide with public interest.

While the efforts of civil society failed to prevent the Ley Telecom bill from becoming a law, we believe that this intense campaign, by both local and international activists, managed to gain global attention on the situation of human rights and technologies in Mexico, and we are proud to have been involved from the very start of the whole process.


Fighting mass surveillance in the United Kingdom

Despite proof of the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) attacks on Belgian ISP Belgacom and SIM card maker Gemalto, unregulated sharing of intelligence data with other countries was wrongly excused by a parliamentary oversight body (ISC).

The international technical community responded. GreenNet, along with fellow APC members May First/People Link, Jinbonet and other groups, filed suit against GCHQ and the UK Foreign Office in the "Investigatory Powers Tribunal" to investigate the breach of fundamental rights involved in attacks against ISPs.

The court case is only one of several new challenges to secretive surveillance practices. Due to the media coverage of these cases, the UK government has attempted legal cover. Cedric Knight of GreenNet commented, “The more official documentation we read, the more we realise that total secrecy means not only do governments not know what their own security agencies are doing, but GCHQ and NSA themselves don't understand the implications and find it difficult to engage with legal and ethical considerations.”

GreenNet's case is still in progress and their campaign against mass surveillance in the UK is ongoing.

Movement to reform national identity system in South Korea

Since 1991, 400 million leaked Resident Registration Numbers (RRN), or national ID numbers, have been reported – a figure eight times the population of South Korea. On January 2014, another massive leak sparked wide concern over excessive collection and use of national ID numbers.

Widespread use of RRNs is the biggest threat to the protection of personal information in South Korea. While limits to RRN collection have existed since 2013, there are over a thousand laws which allow the collection of these numbers.

Since 1998, Jinbonet has been fighting indiscriminate collection of RRNs and demanding the following reforms: 1) to issue serial numbers, which avoids disclosing personal information, 2) to allow one to be able to change his/her number if necessary, and 3) to limit RRN collection and use to administrative purposes only.

In 2014, Jinbonet carried out an online campaign for RRN reform, filed a legal suit demanding a change in RRN for victims of the leak, conducted research on ID numbers in foreign countries, and proposed a revision to the “Resident Registration Law” bill." title="Online campaign banner: “Let’s change now your RRN which is exported all over the world”. Photo: Jinbonet" />

Brazil's civil rights framework for the internet

2014 was a very relevant year for Brazilians with regard to ICT-related legislation and regulations. “Marco Civil da Internet” was approved in April, and entered into effect in June. Marco Civil was the result of long and intense consultations with civil society and other sectors. While contributing to efforts for the development and consolidation of detailed regulations for the Marco Civil, Nupef continued to participate in advocacy against transnational operators that control the network infrastructure in Brazil, in defence of net neutrality and against the media oligopoly (which, on the grounds of defending intellectual property, seeks to impose rights violations without due process of law).

Nupef also had significant involvement throughout the process that culminated in the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial) held in April in Sao Paulo and at the meeting itself, as a member of the executive committee responsible for drafting the key documents to be approved at the event.

Digital impact for human rights defenders after Thailand coup

During the second half of 2014, the Thai Netizen Network played an active role in setting up Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), which emerged right after the coup on 22 May 2014. We also worked with activists, giving them advice on communications and information security during the first weeks after the coup, when a lot of anti-coup activities were still going on and many people were at risk of being arrested and having their communication devices searched. The Thai Netizen Network took part in the initial operation of the TLHR hotline, where we helped with filing reports on suspected violations.

Towards the end of 2014 and continuing into 2015, we were more involved in the movement and campaigns to express concerns over the introduction and amendment of a number of “digital economy” bills and acts, including the Cybersecurity Bill and the amendment of the 2007 Computer-related Crime Act.

Promoting right to privacy and data protection though new legislation in Bangladesh

In 2014, as part of its ongoing work to actively promote privacy and data protection rights in Bangladesh, VOICE headed up the drafting of a Privacy Protection Rights Act in order to make lawful provisions for ensuring protection of personal information and maintaining privacy. The draft act was presented at a national convention organised by VOICE on 31 December 2014. Essentially, the draft act was the outcome of a two-year research project, “Surveillance and Freedom: Global Understandings and Rights Development”, supported by Privacy International, UK.

The right to privacy is a growing concern for citizens in Bangladesh, where the existing legal framework does not fully recognise the right to privacy and data protection. The draft law focuses on defining privacy rights, in accordance with article 43 of the Bangladesh Constitution, which says: “Every citizen shall have the right to be secured in his home against entry, search and seizure and to the privacy of his correspondence and other means of communication subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the security of the state, public order, public morality or public health.” The draft law also recommends establishing a Privacy Rights Protection Commission. 

Gender responsiveness of Ugandan internet policies in the digital age

On 11 December 2014, WOUGNET brought government, civil society and private sector representatives together to discuss internet freedom and cyber security issues from a gender perspective, something that was missing from Uganda’s debate on internet governance.

The event drew from WOUGNET's policy brief “Cyber Infrastructure: A women’s issue too! Advancing a gender-sensitive approach to ICT policy in Uganda”.29 Mr. Patrick Mwesigwa, director of licensing at the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and vice chairman and Africa region representative of the ITU Study Group on Telecom Security, made a keynote address on “Cyber Security and Internet Freedoms in Africa: What way forward?”, which provided recommendations and highlighted the importance of gender in internet governance discourse.

This event was planned in conjunction with the launch of the GISWatch 2014 country report,30 launched by Ms. Stella Alibateese, director of regulation and legal services at the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U). Dr. Dorothy Okello, WOUGNET's director, moderated a panel of top experts: Alibateese, Lillian Nalwoga of CIPESA, and Geoffery Ssebagala of Unwanted Witness Uganda.

Strengthening use and development of transformative technology

Disco-tech Istanbul remixes advocacy, tech responses to censorship

In 2014, Turkey became infamous for its attacks on freedom of expression, in particular for blocking Twitter during and after the Gezi Park protests became global news. On 1 September 2014, APC, Tactical Tech and Web Foundation brought together over 150 techies, human rights defenders and rights activists in Istanbul for the IGF to the second in an annual series of peer-learning events called Disco-techs. The evening featured talks from Ahmet A. Sabancı of Alternatif Bilişim, Andrew Gardner of Amnesty International, Bishakha Datta of Point of View in India, Fieke Jansen from Hivos, Jessica Dheere from Social Media Exchange, Katitza Rodriguez of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Michael Carbone of Access, APC's Mohammad Tarakiyee, Paz Peña of APC member Derechos Digitales in Chile, and Serhat Koç of the Turkish Pirate Party. Organic conversations and short lightning talks focused on censorship and circumvention, presenting both problems and solutions for internet rights.

Future work

The third Disco-tech will be held at the global IGF in Brazil in November 2015. The thematic focus will be on anonymity, both online and offline, and what human rights advocates and defenders need to know about anonymity on the internet.


Opt-out! Take Back the Net! event calls for human rights advocates to adopt transformative technologies

In June 2014 APC hosted a two-day convergence of more than 100 activists from around the world at an event called “Take Back the Net!” in Barcelona, Spain. The event generated ideas for how civil society organisations can restore trust in communications infrastructure. Participants were a mixture of APC members, human rights advocates and transformative technology providers from dozens of countries. The event took place at BarcelonaTech during APC's triennial membership meeting.

Take Back the Net! was held on the anniversary of the revelations by Edward Snowden, which revealed an unprecedented level of mass surveillance of internet users. Participants shared knowledge and built consensus around tactics to mitigate unchecked mass government surveillance and "free" corporate services that trade off user privacy. Over the two days, 25 workshop sessions were collectively proposed and organised into a schedule, which allowed for participants to use the time in a variety of ways, including installing free/libre and open source (FLOSS) software and applications, developing software, strategising around upcoming civil society events, brainstorming global activities, sharing experiences, and identifying gaps for future exploration. In addition, two plenary sessions bookended the final day where facilitators and participants took collective action by sharing their experiences and pledging to change their own personal behaviour.

This convergence came at a critical time when private service providers have little accountability to users, governments are engaging in mass spying and nearly everyone has a persistent connection to a digital device. In short, we no longer know how much privacy we are giving up. As The Economist recently put it, "We no longer know how to calibrate our paranoia." Take Back the Net! helped participants not only “calibrate their paranoia” but discuss real, bottom-up solutions to digital society's greatest challenges.

Access Denied

In August 2013, APC was left without technical infrastructure of any kind for one week due to a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. As a result, APC members convened a meeting to discuss risks and mitigation of DDoS using the Member Exchange and Travel Fund in June 2014. May First/People Link (US), GreenNet (UK), Econnect (Czech Republic), Jinbonet (South Korea), JCAFE (Japan), Access (US), (Canada), Digital Empowerment Foundation (India), Colnodo (Colombia) and Pangea (Spain) shared knowledge and came to a common understanding of risks. New organisations joined the APC Rapid Response Network. Organisational representatives made concrete commitments to further the work of the network, particularly by increasing the resilience of members' servers through these follow-up activities:

  • GreenNet renegotiated their service provider contract. 
  • GreenNet moved their at-risk client behind Deflect. 
  • Member staff learned the Deflect code and made improvements to it. 
  • May First/People Link installed Deflect for their client, Sahara Reporters. 

APC Chris Nicol Prize awarded at APC Council Meeting

The APC Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize recognises initiatives that make it easy for people to use free/libre and open source software. The Prize was established to honour Chris Nicol, a longtime FLOSS advocate and activist who for many years worked with APC and its Barcelona-based member organisation Pangea.

The 2014 winner was Our Network LaLoLib for their outstanding work in improving access to and the popularity of free/libre and open source software, their engagement with the community, and their efforts to ensure peer learning and replication of their model. Their USD 4,000 prize will go towards improving the software and project. The winner of the 2014 APC Member FLOSS Prize for an individual or organisation within the APC membership is the initiative Insight – ICT for the Differently Abled, implemented by SPACE Kerala. APC rewarded the initiative with USD 1,500 as it was highly appraised by the reviewers for its achievements not only in terms of the number of users with disabilities that it reached, but also for what it achieved in terms of policy changes in Kerala’s educational system.

Future work

Each year, APC recognises achievements with an annual prize. Awards are given globally and within the APC network in the area of social justice and ICTs. In 2015, we will award the Betinho Prize for achievements in social justice in ICTs in the LAC region at the IGF in Brazil. In 2016, the Nancy Hafkin Prize will be awarded to recognise socially meaningful ICT achievements in Africa.

Member stories

DSS216: Digital security school grows throughout MENA

Within its first year the training hub known as Digital Security School (DSS216) has trained scores of human rights defenders (HRDs), particularly women HRDs, journalists, lawyers, media, civil society and vulnerable groups to circumvent online censorship and increase the security of their digital communications. Although prioritising HRDs in Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia and Syria, the hub has also reached Egyptian HRDs and its next phase will invite journalists and media activists from Algeria and Morocco as well.

In addition to digital security trainings, the project increases understanding of the links between democracy and internet freedoms. And through its small grants mechanism, DSS216 has disbursed several grants to HRDs in the target countries for digital emergency and preparedness proposals.

The consortium is formed of the following organisations: Alternatives (lead agency), Canada; Aalag Press Services (Sudan); National Association for Defence of the Rights of People (NADRP), Iraq; Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI/Un Ponte Per), Italy; Teacher Creativity Center, Palestine; and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). (Available in "French":…)

Mobile telecentres bring digital literacy to domestic workers in Paraguay

As part of its ongoing efforts to expand digital literacy among the Paraguayan population, and especially among those with fewer opportunities due to low income levels, Asociación Trinidad Comunicación, Cultura y Desarrollo created a Community Mobile Telecentre project targeted to female domestic workers in the capital, Asunción, aimed at enhancing their social and economic integration through ICT training and access.

The mobile telecentre was set up in a refurbished bus, equipped with 17 computers, which moved around different neighbourhoods in the city. It was staffed by a team of instructors who developed a training programme and used the airwaves of community radio station Radio ViVa FM to invite domestic workers to participate. A total of 278 women received training through the project during 2014.

During the project, it was discovered that a considerable number of the domestic workers' employers, particularly female employers, are also lacking in ICT skills. This has led Asociación Trinidad to envision a new project for the future which would involve an exchange of skills and knowledge, implying a significant change in the typical relationship between domestic workers and their employers.  

Leveraging open data and right to information in Uganda

In August 2014, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) launched the Ask Your Government (AYG) portal31 in partnership with the Africa Freedom and Information Center (AFIC) and the Ministry of Information and National Guidance in Uganda.32 The portal runs on Alaveteli, an open source platform for making freedom of information requests to public bodies that was developed by mySociety. In November, a training session was conducted for government information officers from over 40 ministries, departments and agencies, in order to increase the number of information officers registered on the portal and encourage them to respond to information requests within 21 days as required by the law. This was followed by another session in which 16 journalists from 16 print and broadcast media houses were trained in using the Access to Information Law and the AYG portal to address challenges related to accessing information for reporting.

These initiatives formed part of the Leveraging Open Data and the Right to Information to Promote Service Delivery project, which also included the publication of a briefing paper on the state of right to information in Tanzania and a survey to assess the capacity, needs and attitudes of non-state actors in Uganda in the use of ICT to make access to information requests, as well as another among government information officers.

Deflecting online attacks against human rights organisations' websites protects hundreds of sites from attacks throughout the year and takes on new clients who are in dire need of protection, those who think they just might need some, and also others who simply need a content distribution network. The last year has seen us deploy the Deflect Dashboard,33 which greatly improves how users can sign up for protection against DDoS attacks, speeds up the process and offers greater customisability. As this development has progressed, we have also worked towards open sourcing our tooling as it becomes ready.

Throughout the year we have seen a variety of attacks and while we are constantly working on improving our protection systems, we saw some particularly notable attacks related to opposition to the voices we protect, notably in relation to Israel and Palestine, and Ukraine.34 A large number of sites have come on board with the Deflect network in the wake of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with many independent journalists and media outlets coming under heavy attack for publishing information opposed by one side or another. (Available in "French":… )

Computer-based education in Nigeria

Computer Based Testing (CBT) is the new requirement for Nigerian students who are writing university entrance examinations. CBT centres are usually found in urban centres where it is easier to meet the needs of adequate power back-up and reliable internet access. Rural students are usually allocated to the nearest urban centre, but sometimes they get allocated to centres far away from their homes. The logistics of road travel, accommodation and feeding to attend the CBT on designated days is an additional burden on poor students.

It is to address this challenge that Fantsuam Foundation is bracing up to offer its facilities for CBT. We are in the process of building up the number of our systems to the minimum of 150 as required for a CBT centre. Thanks to a small grant from Friends of Nigeria (FON) we now have 80 systems, and we are working closely with our partners at Dadamac-UK to source for the remaining 70 systems. We are also in discussions with Winrock International, the supervisory organisation for USAID’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (REEEP). Students will also benefit from our proposed partnership with Commotion Wireless Mesh network, which will make it possible for us to host local applications that will help them with their examination preparations and civic engagements.

Forums, trainings streamed to support labour justice internationally

LaborNet worked throughout 2014 to support labour communication rights in the United States and internationally. It supported forums on journalists' communication rights and the effects of communication technology on media workers and information rights.

We also helped support trainings on how to use streaming technology for working people and worked toward the development of an international labour streaming channel for workers around the world.
LaborNet is now preparing for a LaborTech conference35 to be held in 2015 at Stanford University that will look at the transformation of the global economy with apps and the use of the smartphone as a tool both for greater exploitation of workers and also for solidarity and education.

SPICE programme selected as best mobile solution for development in Asia

Structuring Partnerships for an Innovative Communications Environment (SPICE), a programme operated in Cambodia by Open Institute, was awarded the Mobile Solutions for Development in Asia Award at the Mobile Solutions Forum in Bangkok, Thailand on 6 January 2014.

Through the SPICE programme, Open Institute helps Cambodian civil society organisations develop interactive voice response (IVR) applications that allow them to provide information and services to improve the lives of their beneficiaries via mobile phones. One application is being used to decrease infant mortality by keeping mothers informed of potential risks during the first month of life of their newborns; another service was designed to act as an early-warning system for farmers facing natural disasters. The International Labour Organization uses the platform to inform Cambodian garment workers of their legal rights, and more services are being developed that will educate migrant household workers about the risks and opportunities of migration.

During the award ceremony, SPICE programme director Javier Sola announced that the award would be used to help Cambodian ethnic minorities with unwritten languages hear the land law in their native languages, so that they will be able to better understand their land ownership rights. The SPICE project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development Aid (USAID). Reusing technology for social change and electronic waste management

The electronic reuse project initiated several years ago by Pangea and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (UPC) aims at creating an open community around the reuse of digital devices – extending their lifetime before recycling – for social, economic and environmental benefit. A set of software tools and online websites assist along the life-cycle of digital devices: from registration and labelling of new devices, to preparation for reuse (data clean-up, pre-installation), to matching supply and demand and tracking reuse until final recycling. This way public and private organisations can reuse their electronic devices. The project involves teams of volunteers, activists, companies and public organisations, including waste management agencies, manufacturers' associations, social enterprises that repair and refurbish equipment, and consumer groups, guaranteeing the final recycling of the computers that are reused.

In 2014 we have seen widespread adoption of the initiative, with revised tools, increasing interest, the involvement of several local social enterprises, and support from the European Commission. As a result, we have registered over 2,200 computers, with more than 1,500 PCs already reused in 891 social initiatives. The project can be replicated by other APC members and partners, and several already expressed interest at the 2014 APC member meeting in Barcelona.

Urban agriculture programme in Cameroon

With the joint support of the Louise Grenier Foundation and Alternatives, a Canada-based NGO and fellow APC member organisation, PROTEGE QV carried out a project to promote urban agriculture in Biyem-Assi, a working-class neighbourhood in Yaounde, Cameroon. The project involved capacity building for improving backyard gardening, the creation and maintenance of school gardens, and an introduction to basic agricultural skills for primary school pupils. The overall aims of the project, carried out with the assistance of Canadian interns, were to address the issue of food insecurity in Biyem-Assi and to assist women within the community to turn to urban agriculture as an income-generating activity. (Available in "French":

Breaking down barriers through tech training for girls and women in India

Technology is a long-held male bastion that poses barriers to inclusiveness all over the world. SPACE has endeavoured to address this lacuna right from its inception, with a women-friendly recruitment policy, as well as through initiatives aimed at increasing access to technologies for women and girls.  

In December 2014, SPACE initiated a two-month-long training programme in the Python programming language, which eight girls successfully completed. Training in Python will enhance skills and opportunities for these girls from underprivileged backgrounds, as well as benefit potential employers seeking this particular skill set. ZestyBeanz Technologies provided financial support for the programme, while training was led by Dr. Lalitha Prasad, former head of the Corporate Learning Centre, Tata Consultancy Services at Trivandrum. Experts from ZestyBeanz and SPACE also gave lectures.

Building connections in northernmost territory of Canada, Nunavut

As part of an ongoing effort to support the development of the ICT industry in Nunavut, the northernmost territory in Canada, the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC) organised a free introductory workshop on web development using the Drupal content management system. NBDC partnered with Pirurvik and Web Networks to deliver the two-day, in-person workshop on 25-26 March 2013 to 11 participants.

The workshop had over a dozen representatives from local businesses, artists, and others interested in learning about building websites. We covered all aspects of web development, from scoping out the extent of their projects, choosing a theme, creating and organising content, and translating said content into multiple languages including Inuktitut.

These members were given free hosting with Web Networks for their websites through 2014 and were provided with support, training and advice during that time. This relationship continued to grow as new members from Nunavut joined throughout 2014. This is an ongoing project and we will continue to provide technological assistance to people in the region in 2015 and beyond. (Available in "French:…)

Ending technology-based violence against women and girls

Towards recognition and rejection of online violence

2014 was a remarkable year for APC’s work on ending technology-based violence against women and girls. The outcomes throughout the year show its leadership in ensuring recognition of technology-related VAW and responses by states and other actors to end it.

In the area of capacity building, 1,022 people participated in policy advocacy capacity-building activities on technology-related VAW that took place in seven countries during 2014.

Partners in seven countries collected 217 reports on technology-related VAW and recorded these via the Take Back the Tech! map.36 APC also produced a report analysing the trends observed in the cases reported until June 2014.37

To watch out for

APC will develop a new training module on online VAW to support APC's Internet Rights Are Human Rights training curriculum.

Take Back the Tech! campaign wins ITU-UN Women award

APC's Take Back the Tech! (TBTT) campaign received global recognition for its “efforts to reduce threats online and building women’s confidence and security in the use of ICTs,” winning first place out of more than 360 nominations and 37 finalists from over 70 countries in the Gender Equality Mainstreaming-Technology (GEM-Tech) awards. GEM-Tech is an annual special ITU-UN Women joint achievement award for outstanding performers and role models in gender equality and mainstreaming in ICTs.38

The campaign also received an honorary mention in the 2014 Prix Ars Electronica Awards in the “digital communities” category, which focuses on the wide-ranging social and artistic impact of internet technology. More than 36,953 people participated in online activities as part of the 2014 TBTT campaign, which has become a reference point for feminists, journalists and women’s rights activists globally in using technology to end VAW.


Seats at the table

APC built the leadership and capacity of women’s rights activists to influence internet governance and other policy processes to respond to technology-related VAW. A number of our partners were nominated and selected in key policy bodies including the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum, the Executive Committee established to plan the first roundtable dedicated to Southeast Europe at the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG), and the State of Morelos Permanent Commission for the Elimination and Prevention of Human Trafficking in Mexico.

To watch out for

In 2015, APC will hold two-day exchanges prior to each regional Internet Governance Forum in Asia, Africa and LAC with women’s rights, internet rights and sexual rights activists from each region to discuss and build awareness and understanding of the relationship between gender, women’s rights and internet governance. Skills and knowledge acquired during the exchanges will be put into practice immediately afterwards as participants will go on to participate in the regional IGFs.

Asking the right questions to the private sector

APC's and its partners' interventions also influenced the agenda and language of other groups at the global IGF, such as the Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility, which integrated issues on technology-related VAW into their debate on terms of service and solid mechanisms to protect platform-users’ human rights. The shift in framing of the debate on internet intermediaries' role from non-liability to responsibility, as well as highlighting the topic of redress and transparency for victims of technology-based VAW, are very significant and direct results of our advocacy.39

APC also successfully raised awareness on the accountability and responsibility of private sector actors (specifically social media platforms) in addressing VAW online, solidifying our position as a leader in this area.40 This impact can be seen at a number of levels, including globally, as APC's Women's Rights Programme (WRP) was invited to join the newly formed independent Safety and Speech Coalition designed to improve women’s safety and rights on Facebook and Twitter.

Networking and advocacy activities are another highlight of 2014. The Take Back the Tech! private sector campaign took place at the end of July 2014, engaging 16,814 users in seven countries who participated in online campaign actions – such as sharing digital stories and completing an online course in digital rights – and another 1,140 who attended on-the-ground events. Additionally, radio programmes, television shows and billboards reached an estimated audience of at least 15 million. Through the global campaign, an additional 5,579 users engaged in online actions, such as sharing a report card infographic41 based on the research on social media intermediaries undertaken as part of the “End violence: Women’s rights and safety online” project, and tweeting questions and demands to Twitter.

To watch out for

In 2015, APC's “End violence: Women’s rights and safety online” project will further disseminate its research findings on the private sector and intermediary responsibility. APC is also part of the organising committee for RightsCon Southeast Asia in April 2015, and will be sharing the research and engaging with key private sector actors as well as other civil society members interested in the internet and human rights at this event. The research findings were also used to inform our input into the development of the Manila Principles on Internet Intermediary Liability. Additionally, WRP will continue working on the Safety and Speech Coalition, a coalition of women's rights advocates engaging with social media actors on issues of VAW online.

Opportunities for women to speak up against online violence

As part of the yearly Take Back the Tech! campaign that took place from 25 November to 10 December 2014, 8,617 participants took part in 89 offline actions in 16 countries and 14,528 participants in online actions around the world. To change the perception that calling for actions to prevent technology-related VAW is at odds with promoting free expression, the campaign focused on how online VAW restricts women's freedom of expression.

To watch out for

The 2015 16 Days campaign will focus on sharing survivor strategies. Take Back the Tech! will work with allies from around the world to lead a collaborative campaign that tells women's stories of how they confronted online violence and took back technology. In addition, TBTT will launch a digital storytelling site.

Influencing the way we think and talk about online violence

On the regional and global level, APC staff engaged in diverse policy advocacy spaces during 2014.

WRP's lobbying contributed to ensure that language on women’s rights, gender and ICTs was included in the Final Agreed Conclusions of the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.42

APC and partners successfully advocated for language on women’s rights, online VAW and technology in the Asia and Latin America regional processes for Beijing+20, contributing to global efforts to ensure that Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action, on women and the media, remains relevant in the post-2015 development agenda.

Other relevant spaces used for advocacy to end technology-related VAW during 2014 were the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Human Rights Council, the global IGF and regional IGFs, and the LAC Feminist Encounter. The APC WRP was also selected to serve on UNESCO's Global Alliance on Gender and Media.

On the national advocacy level, in 2014, 720 people participated in national policy advocacy consultations and events organised or supported by APC in seven different countries.

One highlight in the engagement with private sector companies in advocacy spaces in 2014 was our participation in RightsCon, an international conference geared towards multistakeholder debate on internet rights, where APC hosted a session on technology-related violence against women. also developed two special thematic editions as part of the “End violence: Women’s rights and safety online” project: “Back and forth in the advancement of women’s rights at CSW 58”, which received 53,275 visits during the month of distribution,43 and “9th IGF: Feminist talks scale over the wall of internet governance”, with 78,912 visits during the month of distribution.44

Digital as synonym of secure

In 2014, APC WRP trained 674 trainers and activists in secure online communications,45 contributing to building and sustaining resilient networks of activists and organisations who are aware of potential threats and are better able to respond and secure themselves. Trainers have gone on to conduct digital safety and security trainings in their own countries, thereby extending the reach and impact of the initial training. APC partners and members are also increasingly recognised as experts in this area and receive frequent requests to conduct further training amongst different constituencies in their countries.

In the capacity building area, three online safety roadmaps were developed – focusing on cyber stalking,46 hate speech47 and blackmail48 – as part of the toolkit on digital security and technology-related forms of violence against women, which is used to support Feminist Technology Exchange workshops and digital security trainings.

Between June and July, the APC communications team worked with The Engine Room, Tactical Tech and Front Line Defenders on specifications for the development of an organisational security policy, while the APC WRP worked with Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA), a South African organisation for LGBTI culture and education in Africa, to develop a digital strategy for the organisation.49 Additionally, APC, Women'sNet and Just Associates (JASS) Southern Africa have partnered to produce an ICT toolkit to support women’s organising in Southern Africa.

Another outcome in capacity building was achieved when the Take Back the Tech! report card campaign in Mexico partnered with the university extension unit at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos to train over 150 secondary school and university psychologists, computer teachers and campus focal points in social networking security and privacy.

Building evidence on gender-based violence in Congo to demand action

As part of the project “Holding governments accountable to gender-based violence in the Republic of Congo”, which finished in 2014, APC collaborated with member organisation AZUR Développement to map domestic violence in the Republic of Congo through an online mapping platform that tracked cases between December 2011 and March 2014.50 A publication was produced in English and French51 which gathers the learnings and challenges identified by all actors involved in the project, and reflects on the next steps to be taken in holding governments, police, health facilities and courts of law accountable in their commitments to eradicate violence against women and offer support to survivors.

Defending the defenders around the world

In addition, as part of APC's work to strengthen the ability of the women’s movement to respond to technology-related VAW and also to use ICTs in their work to end VAW, APC is an active member of the Executive Committee of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC), where we contribute to providing support to WHRDs experiencing violations around the world.

Member stories

Women Rock IT!

OWPSEE's Women Rock IT, the first ever regional training on ICT and violence against women (VAW), was held in mid-December in Sarajevo. During five full days of training, the 26 participants learned about tools for online personal safety (including the creation of strong passwords for the protection of personal data and privacy), tools for secure communication (alternative software), methods of encryption of documents and emails, and in general about the dangers of the internet and how to recognise and prevent them.

Women Rock IT also addressed the complexity and depth of violence against women on the internet, but five days was viewed as “just enough to scratch the surface” of the problem. It was agreed that these types of events are essential to design and organise concrete actions that should have started long ago in the region, where OWPSEE is currently the only organisation actively tackling technology-related VAW. After returning to their everyday lives, the Women Rock IT participants reported that they are working hard to raise awareness and advocate for a free, open and secure internet for women in their countries, communicating online, meeting offline – and Rocking IT!

Strengthening APC community networks

Towards the internet we need for the world we want

The 12th face-to-face APC Member Meeting was held at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona on 3-8 June, and was attended by 35 organisational and two individual members. This represented a key opportunity for network learning and exchange for the APC community. The meeting consisted of a capacity-building event focusing on internet rights, a public Take Back the Net! event, described earlier, an APC sharing and learning day, and the APC Council Meeting.52

The theme for the sharing and learning day was “Share and Remix Towards the Internet We Need for the World We Want”.53 Members, staff and partners learned about each other's work, and members talked about their regional priorities and proposals for joint action. APC's triennial Council Meeting capped off the series of events, and focused on APC's network development, strengthening of collaboration and member engagement in the network, plans for APC's 25th anniversary in 2015, and key policy and political issues. Members also elected a new APC Board of Directors,54 a key activity for the network's institutional strengthening.55

An engaged network of local voices in global spaces

In 2014, APC member meetings were organised during NETmundial, RightsCon, the LAC IGF, African IGF and global IGF, the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin, and the Regional Conference on Media and Internet Freedom in Kuala Lumpur, with the participation of a total of 25 members.

Throughout the year APC members and staff shared information and requests for input and consultation regarding APC positions on various issues and developments. This included, for example, consultation on APC's input to and position on the 2014 IGF, the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms, the NETmundial meeting and the WSIS+10 process, as well as participation in a global conversation to Imagine a Feminist Internet, planning for the Take Back the Tech! July campaign, and APC's participation in HRC 26 and 27. Member initiatives organised with the larger membership include the National Digital Migration Workshop in Uganda, petitioning against the UK's surveillance programme, the democratisation process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a study on hate speech in Pakistan’s cyberspace, and condemnation of the conviction of Egyptian activist and APC partner Alaa Abd El Fattah,56 among others.

Collaboration between members is the network's foundation

APC programmes collaborated with at least 31 members on more than 20 specific projects and initiatives,57 including the Cyberstewards Programme, University of Toronto; advocacy around the UN Human Rights Council; the global and regional IGF processes; the APC-IMPACT project; the EU-MENA project; the End violence: Women's rights and safety online project; the Take Back the Tech! campaign; the Rapid Response Network working group; the Digital Migration Project in Africa and LAC; the Africa Technology and Transparency Initiative project; the Chris Nicol FLOSS prize; the UPR process; the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference; the Internet Regulation in LAC Workshop;58 the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms; and the UNGA resolution on the right to privacy.

The 2014 edition of Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch),59 launched on 5 September at the IGF in Istanbul, included 57 country reports, of which 24 were authored by APC members.60 In addition to the launch at the IGF, APC supported 23 local launch events of country reports, of which half were organised by members and another two by partners, in addition to supporting the translation of their reports to local languages.

Two members and one partner joined APC's work on internet rights in Asia. Also, one APC member and six strategic partners collaborated with APC on the African Digital Migration research and advocacy initiative.61 Other research collaborations included the development of a Beijing+20 LAC NGO report.62

Research activities for APC's “End violence: Women's rights and safety online” project included participation from the following members: FMA, OWPSEE, Bytes for All Pakistan, Colnodo and KICTANet. APC member in Chile Derechos Digitales supported a research paper on domestic legal remedies in Chile.

Member exchanges foster engagement and collaboration

A total of 20 Member Exchange and Travel Fund (METF) applications were received and processed, and 15 of the applications received METF support in 2014. This was by far the highest level of support since the METF's inception, both in terms of the number of supported organisations, as well as in terms of total financial support.

Regarding capacity-building activities during 2014, APC was involved in organising and facilitating five Feminist Technology Exchange (FTX) workshops in partnership with women's organisations. These included digital storytelling training workshops on the new V-Female Condom, conducted with eight participants, in collaboration with WISH Associates, South Africa, in January 2014; on sexuality and the internet for 15 participants in Mumbai on 4-8 April, in partnership with EROTICS partner Point of View; and for 12 male and transgender sex workers, in June 2014, in collaboration with the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task Force and Sonke Gender Justice in South Africa.

While the FTX Toolkit for Southern African women's rights activists is in its final stages, APC, Just Associates (JASS) and APC member Women'sNet hosted a toolkit testing workshop in Johannesburg on 15-16 September with 12 women's rights and internet rights activists from Southern Africa.  

Celebrating our achievements, together

The APC network also celebrated successes within the APC community, such as with Ermanno Pietrosemoli, from APC member EsLaRed, winning LACNIC's Lifetime Achievement Award, and Avri Doria being chosen as the first winner of the ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos Award.

Growing our membership

Four new organisational members and two individual members joined APC, representing the biggest increase in new members in the past few years.

Thai Netizen Network

The Thai Netizen Network is a leading non-profit organisation in Thailand that advocates for digital rights and civil liberties. Founded in December 2008, it grew out of a group of netizens who had concerns about limited internet freedom during post-coup governments. It publishes the Netizen Report, an annual situational report of internet freedom and online culture in Thailand.

Based in Montreal, Canada, the six-person team at EQ develops free/libre and open source software that focuses on privacy, online security and information management for activists, journalists, NGOs, non-profit organisations and grassroots groups.


Bytes for All, Pakistan

For many years, the team of Bytes for All Pakistan (B4AP) was active in APC within the regional network Bytes for All, an existing APC member represented in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. In 2014, B4AP, based in Lahore, emerged as an independent organisation.

B4AP works with civil society and uses ICTs as an essential part of its work. Oriented on working actively with ICTs for development, B4AP improves community access to the internet and its anti-censorship and anti-surveillance work contributes to the defence of civil liberties. B4AP's approach is rights-oriented and contributes to gender equality and to the improvement of conditions of minorities. It also works with community media, information dissemination and capacity building – particularly for women and women human rights defenders.

Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios para la Democracia Social (DEMOS)

DEMOS is based in Guatemala. Its mission is to promote, strengthen and accompany women, youth and indigenous organisations committed to democratic development processes at the local, national and international level.

Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, building the “information commons” and linguistic diversity

APC’s 2013-2016 strategic plan includes three cross-cutting goals that are prioritised in all aspects of our work: promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, building the “information commons”, and linguistic diversity.  

APC is an undisputed civil society leader in gender equality and women's empowerment. All of our publications are licensed under Creative Commons. Much of what we produce is available in English, Spanish and French. A smaller portion of content is localised and disseminated in additional languages.

APC's communications team developed a content production agenda in collaboration with Nodo TAU, APC member in Argentina, which resulted in a total of three in-depth articles in Spanish published between October and November 2014, touching on issues that are crucial for the region.

Member stories

The fourth estate in young hands: BlueLink's watchdogs unleashed

On 14-16 March, 25 young Bulgarian journalists took part in an editorial workshop organised by to develop practical skills in investigative reporting and feature story writing on issues of public interest, such as nature protection, law enforcement, good governance, public participation and corruption. The workshop, held in the town of Samokov on the border of Rila National Park, was facilitated by a team of international journalists and trainers: former BBC and Financial Times reporter Kieran Cooke of the Climate News Network, UK; Arctic Monitor editor John Bennet, USA; and BlueLink’s executive editor Pavel P. Antonov, formerly a chief editor of Green Horizon in Hungary. Participants were selected from among journalism students of two universities in Sofia, as well as practicing journalists from across Bulgaria.

The trainers and journalists worked together to establish the best practices, techniques and ethical principles of quality public interest journalism.

A separate hands-on component of the workshop devoted to environmental reporting involved field investigation of an existing environmental issue: the ongoing construction of a micro hydropower plant on the Levi Iskar River, just off the National Park’s border.

Researching open data for open government in Bangladesh

While government filtering and surveillance carry the risk of privacy infringement and civil rights violations, releasing government data in the public domain offers opportunities for collaboration, engagement and better citizen services. After conducting research on online filtering and internet rights, Bytes for All Bangladesh decided to turn its attention to open data issues, since no such research had been done in the country. Our research looked at case studies and scenarios in other countries, in order to determine the prospects and opportunities of open data in Bangladesh. In October 2014 we organised a roundtable in Dhaka to present research that highlighted the conceptual framework of open data, what it includes technically and legally, what other countries are doing, what models are available, and the step-by-step processes involved, among other issues. The roundtable also emphasised the need for a readiness study to look into both the demand and supply side of open data. On the demand side, this would include the areas where data is most needed, what type of data is frequently accessed by common people, and how it can be delivered; on the supply side, it would examine the legal framework, availability, accessibility and interoperability of data.

Transforming public libraries as community change agents using ICTs in India

Through the Integrated Public Library Development Programme (IPLDP), Digital Empowerment Foundation aims to provide technical, management and knowledge support to transform district public libraries into access and resource centres, by strengthening existing capacities and activities and providing ICT tools to benefit community members with critical information resources, knowledge support and capacity-building interventions.

Through a combination of technology and training support, the IPLDP is helping three district public libraries in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to bring positive changes by equipping them with capacities to strengthen, organise and deliver existing and new services, like computers connected to the internet, training and capacity building of library staff and citizen users, skills programmes for youth and women, and resource facilities for children and senior citizens, among others.

People have begun to visit libraries to fulfil various needs using library resources, including the internet. More significantly, there has been unique development in social inclusion in engaging women to visit the libraries and use their resources. The libraries involved in the IPLDP serve as examples for the governments of both states and local organisations of how libraries can support development goals through the provision of locally relevant content and services.

Papuan Voices II: The inspirational Dr. Mia

The second edition of Papuan Voices, a video advocacy project by EngageMedia which aims to bring the everyday stories of West Papuans to a wider audience, features eight amazing stories, but perhaps the most significant would be that of Dr. Mia, the main character in the film, “Mutiara Dalam Noken” (Pearl in the Noken), produced in 2014.

The film tells the story of Dr. Maria Rumateray, a Papuan woman who was fortunate enough to get a higher education and become a doctor. She has devoted her life to treating the ill and disenfranchised in very remote areas in West Papua, in order to carry on the legacy of her parents, who did the same when they themselves were young health officers.

After watching “Pearl in the Noken” at a screening on 12 and 13 December 2014, Papuan students discussed the video with admiration of Dr. Mia's efforts and strength. They felt inspired to apply her noble qualities in their own lives, especially the notion of going back and contributing to Papua. It can be viewed, along with the other stories in the collection, at the Papuan Voices website.63

Open education in Macedonia

The Metamorphosis Foundation launched the Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiative in 2012 to contribute to the development of critical thinking and democratisation in Macedonia, through the constructive use of new technologies as tools for increasing the quantity and quality of educational, scientific and academic e-content.

In pursuit of the project’s specific goal to raise the awareness and build the capacity of the academic community for creating and using open educational resources, in 2014 Metamorphosis established the OER Alliance of Macedonia. More than 370 individuals and 19 institutions/organisations have joined the Alliance and signed the OER Declaration. We also created the website where people can find OER-related information, news and events, upload OER, or share and download OER created by other users.

In addition, the Alliance has developed an OER strategy to define the plan of work for OER. An expert analysis is being conducted to determine the possibility for legal systematisation of OER in the Law on Textbooks and the Law on Primary and Secondary Education, and to provide recommendations for the best implementation of the OER concept in Macedonia’s educational system.


1In a survey conducted by APC in 2013, 98% of women's rights and sexual rights activists cited the internet as a crucial space for organising, community building, and disseminating critical information. At the same time, we have witnessed an increase in online violence against women and LGBTs: while 51% of activists reported online attacks, threats, blackmail or targeted hacking in 2013, that figure rose to over 60% in 2014. Activists also battle online content regulation and censorship on the basis of sexuality.

2 APC, IFLA, & TASCHA. (2014). Public access: Supporting digital inclusion for all. (Available in English, Spanish and French.)

3 APC et al. (2014). Joint statement on WSIS+10 high-level event.

4 APC et al. (2014). Statement on the Ten-year Review of Progress Made in the Implementation of the Outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.

5 Jensen, M., & Grupo Tritón. (2014). Infographic: What is digital migration? APC.

6 Jensen, M., & ICTP. (2014). TV white spaces: A pragmatic approach. APC.

7 APC. (2014). APC welcomes Human Rights Council resolution on human rights and the internet. (Available in English, Spanish and French.)

8 APC et al. (2014). Call to support a strong UNGA resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age.

9 APC. (2014). APC statement on UNGA resolution “Right to Privacy in the Digital Age”.

10 APC. (2014). APC's submission to the Committee on the General Recommendation on Girls'/Women's Right to Education.

12APC. (2014, 29 September). The IACHR hosts thematic hearing on internet and human rights. APCNews.

13 Roveri, F. (2014, 10 November). Audiencia de la CIDH marca hito en promoción y protección de derechos humanos e internet en ALC. APCNoticias.

14 APC & Derechos Digitales. (2014). Latin America in a glimpse: Human rights and the internet.

16 APC. (2014). Feminist Principles of the Internet. (Available in English, Spanish and French.)

17 APC. (2014). What does it take to create a feminist internet?

18 Institut Pelangi Perempuan. (2014). Queering Internet Governance in Indonesia.

19 APC (2013). Survey on sexual activism, morality and the internet.


21 Bytes for All Pakistan. (2014). Hate speech: a study of Pakistan's cyberspace.

22DAWN. (2014, 9 June). Hate speech gains acceptance. DAWN. and

25APC. (2014). IGF 2014 shares messages on right to privacy in the digital age at Human Rights Council.

26APC. (2014). Association for Progressive Communications (APC) statement on NETmundial. (Available in English and French.)

27 APC. (2014). Remarks from the Association for Progressive Communications on the occasion of the ITU's 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference.


30Okello, D., Kanyunyuzi, C., & Mbabazi, W. (2014). Gender dynamics need to be addressed in communications surveillance in Uganda. In APC, Global Information Society Watch 2014. Johannesburg: APC and Hivos.

32CIPESA. (2014, 14 August). Uganda Launches Portal to Support Citizens’ Right to Information.


34Dmitri. (2014, 16 September). Standing strong in August.


37Read the key findings at:

38Fascendini, F. (2014, 28 October). Take Back the Tech! campaign wins ITU award for gender equality in tech. APCNews.

39Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility. (2014). Report of the “inception” meeting at the 2014 IGF.

40 APC. (2014). Press brief: What are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube doing about violence against women?


42For example, in reference to actions to [aa] “Guarantee women's and girls' full and equal access to and control over assets and other productive resources … including the same right as men … to science and technology …. and information and communications technologies and markets” and [dd] “Ensure non-discriminatory access for women of all ages to gender-responsive, universally accessible, available, affordable, sustainable and high quality services and infrastructure including …. information and communications technologies.”



45Of these, 337 were trained through APC' s “End violence: Women's rights and safety online” project.




49This builds on a successful digital storytelling workshop hosted in November 2013 for GALA.

50 Niombo, S. (2014). Online mapping to end sexual and domestic violence: Report on research in the Republic of Congo. APC.; Niombo, S., & Mbengou, R. (2014). Use of ICTs to improve access to justice and health for women and children victims of sexual and domestic violence in the Republic of Congo: A survey report. APC. (Available in English and French.)

51 Higgs, K. (2015). Congo’s online domestic violence map: Building access to justice, health care and social rehabilitation for survivors. APC.

52APC Member Meeting 2014 - link no longer active

53See a video from the Share and Remix day at:

54Fascendini, F. (2014, 19 September). New APC Board of Directors elected for 2014-2016. APCNews.

55A total of 72 people, consisting of 30 members, 24 staff and 18 partners, participated in APC's learning day and council meeting.

56 APC. (2014). APC condemns conviction of Egyptian activist and APC partner Alaa Abd El Fattah.

57Details on these collaborations can be provided upon request. This listing does not include members' involvement in the APC-wide GISWatch project, nor joint development of project proposals that have not been supported.

58Organised by CELE, Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, 20-22 October.

59 APC & Hivos. (2014) Global Information Society Watch 2014:Communications surveillance in the digital age. (Full report available in English; sections available in Spanish, French, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Japanese.)

60Nodo TAU (Argentina), Andrew Garton (Australia), Bytes for All (Bangladesh and Pakistan), OWPSEE (Bosnia Herzegovina), (Bulgaria), PROTEGE QV (Cameroon), Alternatives (Canada), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Colnodo (Colombia), AZUR Développement (Congo), Sulá Batsú (Costa Rica), CIPESA (East Africa), ArabDev (Egypt), DEF (India), JCAFE (Japan), KICTANet (Kenya), Jinbonet (Korea), APC (New Zealand), Fantsuam Foundation (Nigeria), StrawberryNet (Romania), Thai Netizen Network (Thailand), WOUGNET (Uganda), EsLaRed (Venezuela).

61Sekelekani Media Research Centre and MISA (Mozambique), WOUGNET and the Uganda Communications Commission (Uganda), Nnenna Nwakanma (Cote d'Ivoire), Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, and Russell Southwood/Balancing Act (UK).

62Representatives of two APC members, Nodo TAU and Colnodo, contributed to the Section J chapter in this report as part of a LAC WRP team effort. The team of researchers and writers was coordinated by APC's Dafne Plou and worked together for three months to produce the report, which was presented at the LAC Beijing+20 meeting in November, in Santiago, Chile.