European Commission (EC)

The European Commission, through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), provides assistance to the development and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Kept in the dark: Social and psychological impacts of network shutdowns in India
Kept in the dark: Social and psychological impacts of network shutdowns in India 22 February 2018 Zothan Mawii, Ritu Srivastava, Shivani Lal and Bijo P. Abraham. Reviewed by Anja Kovacs

Internet shutdowns: A study of social impact in India is the second in the series of DEF’s efforts for advocacy against internet shutdowns. The previous research report, Anatomy of virtual curfews: Human rights vs national security, highlights the existing and emerging threats to fundamental rights and human rights on account of arbitrary, unnecessary, and disproportionate imposition of Internet shutdowns in India. The current research paper is an effort to understand the social and psychol...

Voice, visibility and variety of viciousness: A Malaysian study on women's lived realities on social media
Voice, visibility and variety of viciousness: A Malaysian study on women's lived realities on social media 08 January 2018

This is the fourth study on internet rights by Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER) under the APC-IMPACT project. It builds on EMPOWER’s previous research on online freedom of expression and freedom of information as well as freedom of assembly and association. It is a feminist response to increased instances of bullying and harassment on social media, seeking better understanding of how these forms of technology-related gender-based violence manifest in the Malaysian context.&nb...

Global Information Society Watch 2017 special edition: Unshackling expression - A study on laws criminalising expression online in Asia
Global Information Society Watch 2017 special edition: Unshackling expression - A study on laws criminalising expression online in Asia 19 December 2017

Freedom of expression and opinion online is increasingly criminalised with the aid of penal and internet-specific legislation. With this report, we hope to bring to light the problematic trends in the use of laws against freedom of expression in online spaces in Asia. In this special edition of GISWatch, APC brings together analysis on the criminalisation of online expression from six Asian st...

State of the Internet in Asia: The case of India, Malaysia and Pakistan
State of the Internet in Asia: The case of India, Malaysia and Pakistan 03 October 2017 APC

This report looks at current trends and challenges with regard to internet rights in India, Malaysia and Pakistan, with a particular emphasis on online freedom of expression, association and assembly. It was produced in the framework of the Advocacy for Change through Technology in India, Malaysia and Pakistan (APC-IMPACT) project, a joint initiative between Digital Empowerment Foundation (Indi...

“Let the mob do the job”: How proponents of hatred are threatening freedom of expression and religion online in Asia
“Let the mob do the job”: How proponents of hatred are threatening freedom of expression and religion online in Asia 29 September 2017 Gayathry Venkiteswaran

Much of the studies on hate speech use legal analyses and focus on the speaker. while this is important to any understanding of incitement to hatred and violence, it does not always capture the sociopolitical and historical developments that could explain why we are witnessing serious consequences of speech that does not necessarily meet the threshold or definition of hate speech, or the lack o...

Human rights and the internet: The key role of National Human Rights Institutions in protecting human rights in the digital age
Human rights and the internet: The key role of National Human Rights Institutions in protecting human rights in the digital age 21 June 2017

The internet is changing the ways in which people interact, trade, learn and communicate. For those who have got access to it, it is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine life without it. It offers us all kinds of opportunities, including exercising our human rights both online and offline, as different United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council resolutions have established. The internet als...

Anatomy of virtual curfews: Human rights vs. national security
Anatomy of virtual curfews: Human rights vs. national security 09 March 2017 Ritu Srivastava and Bijo P. Abraham

The balance between state powers and rights of citizens is a symbol of democracy. With the advent of the internet, exercising free speech, expression, association and assembly have become much easier. It has not only made communication technology affordable but has also given a platform for self-expression, which was otherwise not available through traditional media. However, most countries bui...

Shrinking Spaces: Online Freedom of Assembly and of Association in Pakistan
Shrinking Spaces: Online Freedom of Assembly and of Association in Pakistan 11 January 2017 Bytes for All, Pakistan

The rights to freedom of assembly and of association (FoAA) are among the fundamental human rights enshrined in the domestic law of Pakistan and the International Bill of Human Rights. Domestically, FoAA is outlined in Articles 16 and 17 of the Constitution of Pakistan. Internationally, FoAA is outlined in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Articles 21 and 22 of the...

What is the state of digital security and digital rights advocacy in the Middle East and North Africa?
What is the state of digital security and digital rights advocacy in the Middle East and North Africa? 24 May 2016 APC

During the “Arab Spring” of 2011, the internet was a space for mobilisation. Since then, it has become a space for oppression of activism and dissent as well, with the governments of numerous countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA, Maghreb-Machrek in Arabic) adopting or amending legislation to crack down on online speech, deploying censorship and surveillance tools in an attemp...

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