This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
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.

Important note: Whether you’re a session organizer, speaker, or participant, you’ll need to login to Sched or create an account in order to get the most out of the program (including creating a profile and building your own customized RightsCon schedule).

Be sure to get your ticket to RightsCon first. You can visit rightscon.org for more information.

RightsCon is brought to you by Access Now.
Back To Schedule
Friday, June 14 • 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Corporate Transparency and Digital Rights: Perspectives from Iran and the Wider Middle East

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

In this session, Small Media will unveil a new report on the state of transparency among tech companies whose services are used in Iran. Although the case studies we will use will be Iran-specific, our main objective in this session will be to kick-start a wider conversation about the need for greater transparency on the part of technology companies to safeguard the security of users in closed and semi-closed societies. We will also present a set of transparency standards for tech companies working in closed and semi-closed societies to adhere to, developed in partnership with other regional civil society organisations.

Many discussions about corporate transparency are grounded in the experiences of civil society organisations working in the Global North, and do not take into account the practices of corporate entities as they operate in some parts of the Global South, including Middle Eastern contexts. Our objective in this session will be to bring the needs of MENA-based civil society organisations to the foreground of these discussions, and to outline a set of clear demands for tech companies operating in MENA contexts.

We feel this discussion is important to open up, given that the Iranian government so frequently relies on a lack of transparency among tech companies to provide cover for their policy decisions. Iranian ministers have repeatedly made vague statements about contacts and negotiations with foreign tech companies – claims that have never been confirmed or denied by the companies in question. As a consequence, Iranian Internet users have been left in the dark about the nature of Iran’s demands from these companies, and are only made aware of the negotiations once there is evidence of closer cooperation, for instance in the case of Telegram’s relocation of distribution network servers to Iran.


James Marchant

Director of Research & Learning, Small Media

avatar for Afef Abrougui

Afef Abrougui

Advox Lead Editor, Global Voices
avatar for Wafa Ben-Hassine

Wafa Ben-Hassine

Global Policy Counsel, Access Now
Wafa Ben-Hassine is a New York qualified attorney specializing in international law and technology. She is currently a Global Policy Counsel for Access Now, an international non-profit organization defending and extending human rights in the digital age. In her current role, she manages... Read More →

Kaveh Azarhoosh

Senior Researcher, Small Media
I am the Senior Researcher at Small Media. I focus on Internet policy developments in Iran and digital rights.

Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm BST
Elyssa (Laico)