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On the eve of the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul, 1 September 2014, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Tactical Technology Collective (Tactical Tech) and World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation) are hosting a peer-learning event on censorship and circumvention, problems and solutions for internet rights.

The IGF is a crucial meeting point for civil society. While the multi-stakeholder processes of the IGF itself will address the global state of internet at the policy level, civil society will act in parallel to protect human rights online from the bottom up. In light of the Turkey’s recent Twitter ban, the 2014 IGF is a particularly key event for discussing digital rights.

From elections to coups d’etat, blocking and censorship is being employed by an increasing number of states, institutions and companies with the complicity of corporate service providers, hardware manufacturers and software developers. As technical means to censor freedom of expression and information increase, so too does the proliferation of citizen-led solutions. Heavy-handed laws are met with determined resistance from civil society, through legal challenges, demands for change to policy and regulation, and adoption of technical solutions.

“From Social Media shut downs to increasingly restrictive internet legislation, it wasn’t a great year for internet freedom in the Middle East,” says Mohammed Tarakiyee, MENA-region internet rights coordinator for APC. “To have the region host this year’s global IGF at this time, and with many activists from the region attending, I believe informal spaces such as Disco-tech will enable many important voices to be heard,” he adds.

The internet is a global resource and an important enabler of human rights and development which should be managed in the public interest. From this perspective, the “Disco-tech” will encourage cross-regional networking among techies, human rights defenders and civil society advocates to share experiences and strategies for bypassing breaches to freedom of expression.

An informal evening event designed to bridge gaps between user experiences, internet policy and technological solutions, Disco-tech Istanbul will be the third edition of this event. Disco-techs were launched in Bali at the 2013 IGF in the wake of the Snowden revelations. Disco-tech Sarajevo was held in conjunction with the 2013 campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

Attendees of Disco-tech Istanbul will be encouraged to follow up new learnings at a digital security “help desk” in the exhibition hall of the IGF.


  • Amie Stepanovich, Access
  • Ahmet A. Sabancı, Alternatif Bilişim
  • Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International
  • Mohammad Tarakiyee, Association for Progressive Communications
  • Paz Peña, Derechos Digitales
  • Katitza Rodriguez, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Fieke Jansen, Hivos
  • Serhat Koç, Pirate Party Turkey
  • Bishakha Datta, Point of View
  • Jessica Dheere, Social Media Exchange

Event details

  • Date/time: 19:00 – 22:00 Monday, 1 September 2014
  • Venue: Sofa Hotel
  • Transport: walking distance from IGF venue; Osmanbey metro station
  • Attendance: Approx. 200 people
  • Food: Light snacks and drinks

About the organisers

APC is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world.

Tactical Tech is an organisation dedicated to the use of information in activism. They focus on the use of data, design and technology in campaigning through their Evidence & Action programme and on helping activists understand and manage their digital security and privacy risks through their Privacy & Expression programme.

World Wide Web Foundation was established by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and is devoted to achieving a world in which all people can use the Web to communicate, collaborate and innovate freely, building bridges across the divides that threaten our shared future.