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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon 2019, the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age.

Together at RightsCon Tunis, our first summit hosted in the Middle East and North Africa, more than 2500 expert practitioners will come together across over 400 sessions to shape, contribute to, and drive forward the global agenda for the future of our human rights.

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Thursday, June 13 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lightning Talks: What technology can('t) solve

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Reach OUT: A case study on an online queer-friendly health and legal services locator in India (Identity and Rights Researcher and Activist) 

Description: This session seeks to explore every individual’s fundamental right to access healthcare and legal services irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation or any other disability. This will be understood by way of a case study of an online queer-friendly health and legal services locator in India. As a means to address the challenges faced by queer people in accessing health and legal services, Varta Trust, (India) in collaboration with Grindr For Equality, (U.S.A) and SAATHII, (India) has developed an online locator for queer friendly sexual health, mental health and legal aid service providers across India. What are the health concerns and rights violations faced by the queer community in India, what are some of the key aspects to be taken into consideration to assess the capability of a service provider to be queer-friendly, among others will be addressed in this session. This session will explore the possibility of using the digital space to enable a marginalised community like the LGBTIQA+ community in accessing their rights.

Speaker: Brindaalakshmi K

The Use of Social Media Information in Immigration Adjudications (Center for Democracy & Technology) 

Description: This lightening talk is about the use of social media data in immigration adjudications in the United States. I will describe the problem of using social media data to inform consequential decisions like whether an individual receives an immigration benefit. I will also describe current efforts to use this data including in an ad hoc manner in individual court cases, as well as possibly through larger more systemic processes such as in extreme vetting. I will highlight known examples using social media data in immigration cases, and workshop possible safeguards to prevent abuse.

Speaker: Mana Azarmi

How online civil disobedience can fight back Vietnam's cybersecurity law (Viet Tan) 

Description: The Vietnamese government passed a cybersecurity law in June 2018 which impacts both tech companies and everyday users in Vietnam. The law calls on internet companies to set up offices and store local user data in Vietnam while defining what information is prohibited online. Furthermore, the cybersecurity law has defined prohibited online content and uses similar language which has been used to arrest bloggers, social activists and government critics. This talk will present various campaigns by civil society organizations in Vietnam and around the world as a means to push back against the cybersecurity law and a form of online civil disobedience.

Speaker: Don Le

The Revolution Will Not Be Livestreamed: An Argument Against Connectivity (Freedom House) 

Description: From the Arab spring to the #MeToo movement, many in our community have assumed that the internet would serve as the great equalizer, uniting and liberating people around the globe. The rapid ascension of digital authoritarianism has forced us to reconsider this assumption. Freedom House’s own Freedom on the Net report shows that “events of this year have confirmed that the internet can be used to disrupt democracies as surely as it can destabilize dictatorships.” So how do we engage this new battlefield in the fight for democracy, freedom, and human rights? At Freedom House, we believe in the power of human networks, focusing our programmatic efforts on building the capacity of civil society to advocate for human rights regardless of the level of online operating space. We are aware that the turn to sexy, technological fixes is not without merit. In communicating to mass audiences or collecting hard-to-reach data, technology has proven life-saving and incredibly cost-effective. But with authoritarian regimes becoming savvier in how they monitor and use our connectivity, we cannot become reliant upon technology to solve our problems. We must remember that it is the user, not the tool, which has the power to change the world.

Speaker: Daniel Brown 

avatar for Mana Azarmi

Mana Azarmi

Policy Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology
I'm on the Security & Surveillance team, formally titled the Freedom, Security & Technology Project. I work on government electronic surveillance.

Daniel Brown

Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Freedom House
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, I began my career in social impact as a community organizer in Baltimore, Maryland. After Baltimore, I spent 5 years working in West Africa on USG development programs. I then moved back stateside to be closer to friends and family, which brought me to... Read More →

Thursday June 13, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm BST
The BeeHive (Palais)