Closer than ever
APC understands that we are all dealing with unprecedented circumstances as we face the challenges, fear and uncertainty brought on by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it impacts our work, our personal lives and the lives of those we care about. Each country is tackling the situation differently, so the contexts we find ourselves in are as diverse as the ways we find to navigate shifting conditions.
In these exceptional times, we wish to send our solidarity and appreciation for connecting with us. While we are distancing ourselves physically, we continue to stay closer than ever to each other and share tools and resources as well as support. We also want to examine how we can continue to promote human rights online in the context of a global pandemic. We are all facing this problem together but we know it affects different countries and communities in different ways. Therefore, we would like to channel the strength of our network to share some important resources that we hope will be empowering, enlightening and reassuring.
Below you will find articles and insights shared by our community, which has been working on human rights and technology issues for over 30 years. We will be updating these lists on a regular basis, so please feel free to connect with us if you have some resources to share.
The Lebanese government announced on 12 March that Ogero, the national internet service provider (ISP), will double the speed and capacity for users until the end of April, but it did not clarify whether the decision includes other privately owned ISPs.
COVID-19 is revealing the extent of the digital divide in Pakistan, and it has resulted in Pakistanis mobilizing on Twitter to demand affordable and accessible Internet services.
As governments around the world attempt to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases, authorities appear to be looking towards technology for support. Chatbots, online dashboards, and mobile caller tunes are some of the digital strategies put on display by officials to raise awareness around Covid-19.
In the current corona crisis, it’s important that we focus on the future as well as on the present. The digital will play a big part in recovery.
7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media warns of Israel committing mass violations of digital rights, especially the right to privacy, under the pretext of managing the health crisis caused by the coronavirus.
"Covid-19 may be the biggest global crisis yet that many of us have ever faced, and I am not making light of the situation," says Jun-E Tan, the author of this piece. "We did not ask for destruction, but now that it is here, this may be an opportunity never seen before to build back better."
We at EngageMedia have been busy ensuring the safety of our staff and affiliates in the countries we work in: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia. This has included closing our offices and shifting to a fully remote setup, which fortunately has mostly been our default since we began in 2005.
We have always counted on personal interactions to discuss and analyze situations and plan our activities. As part of a global movement that values humanity over capital, we don’t have the resources to do things any other way; therefore, our response to this situation is vitally important.
While emergency measures like these are adopted with the aim of slowing the spread of the virus in order to protect public health, it is crucial to ensure that any use of surveillance technology for these purposes strictly adheres to the criteria of necessity and proportionality.
The undersigned organisations express their concern over the announcement of the use of satellite monitoring and georeferencing systems to track individuals as part of the disease containment measures established in Ecuador to confront the COVID-19 epidemic.