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Since early 2015, the Local Action to Secure Internet Rights (LASIR) project has focused on empowering national and local actors in their defence of human rights on the internet, in countries as diverse as South Korea, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Jordan, Uganda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Kenya and Tunisia. All LASIR partners are strong local organisations, with ongoing work on internet rights. They are developing, together with APC, integrated strategies of policy research, context analysis, coalition building, media outreach and popular engagement.

Now that the project has reached its final stage, APC is sharing a series of interviews to highlight the participants’ experiences and conclusions. Today, we want you to meet the Instituto de Tecnologia e Sociedade (ITS-Rio).

Infographic on privacy in public consultations. Source: antivigilancia.orgInfographic on privacy in public consultations. Source:

What was your goal when you joined the LASIR project?

The main goal was to have more capacity to contribute to public debates about privacy rights in Brazil. The issue is currently particularly highlighted by two public consultations held by the federal government: one for the regulation of the Marco Civil da Internet (the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet), which deals with data retention and access to user logs; and another to draft a bill on personal data.

Through the release of visual policy briefings on the regulation of privacy rights, fostering debates with civil society representatives and convening meetings with policy makers and industry representatives to understand the conflicting viewpoints, we hope to enlighten the debate with public interest concerns and empower civil society for participation.

Anonymity infographic. Source: antivigilancia.orgAnonymity infographic. Source:

Our platform is the main resource point for our advocacy strategies. It had previously organically grown as a wiki, and through LASIR it could be reformed and better organised to become a reference on privacy and surveillance in the country and, hopefully, in the region. For regional outreach, after the reform of the platform, we released our first newsletter available in Spanish as well as Portuguese, with regional content.

How was the process? What would you highlight?

We learned several things in the process. Mapping the contributions from other stakeholder groups, particularly through the data visualisation, proved to be very useful. It helped us evaluate the methods of the final systematisation. We are convinced, more and more, that advocacy strategies should be enhanced with good visual content. There is a lot of information circulating on the web and in social networks, and people are more likely to pay attention to visual and fun content. We made some progress on the visual element, with the support of LASIR, while we still need to improve the fun element. :)

On another note, we can highlight that meetings with the government were ultimately productive to understand the characteristics and political implications of the current texts vis-a-vis previous versions. Meetings with industry, although more difficult, are also very important, because, ultimately, dialogue is needed to reach a common ground in the negotiations with governments. Looking at the consultations, we could see that different sectors of the private sector have contributed to the debate, which points to the fact that the political battle surrounding the last version of the texts will be fierce.

Where can we follow your work and activities?