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.
Many countries today are turning to digital technologies to provide information as well as for monitoring and controlling people infected with the virus, which alerts us to the potential impact of these technologies on people’s fundamental rights.
In the last two weeks of March 2020, the government issued several directives to Myanmar telecom operators ordering them to block at least 221 websites. We believe that the government’s order to block these websites lacks an adequate legal basis and is in violation of international human rights law.
Over 100 organisations from around the world signed a joint statement stressing that digital surveillance to fight COVID-19 can only be justified if it respects human rights, and setting out conditions that must be met before the use of surveillance technology to fight the pandemic.
While governments and health workers worldwide are focused on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also busy fighting another related pandemic that cuts across all sectors of society: a massive “infodemic” equally as wide-reaching and harmful.
In these difficult and weird times, many people and organisations are adjusting to situations of remote working and working from home. Even for groups who are accustomed to online communications, the switch to full remote working may be a challenge.
The extent to which African countries are conducting technology-based disease surveillance is not fully known. While well intentioned, Covid-19 surveillance and data-based tracking interventions have been effected in haste, and with limited precedent and oversight mechanisms.
This is the third in a series of blogs about implications of the corona virus for the digital society. This week, some thoughts on future governance. Part two of these next week.
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t a purely medical issue, it entangles all aspects of human lives, including our privacy, protection and dignity.
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.