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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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(un)Censored: The Future of Expression [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 12


Developing New Models for Censorship: The cases of the Russian RuNet, the Great Firewall of China, and Iran’s Filternet
Three countries have notorious censorship systems that have become aptly named: the RuNet, the Great Firewall, and Filternet. Russia, China and Iran have three very different governments, systems of language, and culture, yet they are exemplary countries in create their very own unique internet cultures because of the technological and legal hurdles they have placed on their users from accessing a secure and open internet. These hurdles effect the everyday lives of their countrymen, the shape and ability for dissent, as well as the respective economies of each of these countries. While these controls have taken shape, these internet cultures have strategically remained porous. With some more effort, Iranians, Russians, and Chinese can all find ways to access -however, these regimes have kept accessibility strategically at bay to never fully threaten the power structures of these authoritarian governments. Experts working on each of these countries will discuss alongside individuals representing various companies who have a strategic presence, and opportunity to improve the situation of access to the Internet. These private companies include Telegram (Iran and Russia); Facebook (Instagram in Iran, Facebook policy in China); Google (policy on China), as well as telecoms and their roles (Vodafone and MTN in Iran).

avatar for Sarah Clarke

Sarah Clarke

Head of Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19
ARTICLE 19 supports independent media, civil society and activists across the region to exercise and defend the right to freedom of expression and access to information. We challenge restrictive legislation, as well as attacks and imprisonment of individuals that violate freedom of... Read More →


Wednesday June 12, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Limes (Laico)


Authoritarianism killed radio stars
The main objective of this session is to identify the benefits and the best ways to use traditional communication formats such as radio, print and television but in the digital field to combat censorship, authoritarianism and the communicational hegemony of the States based on the Venezuelan experience.


Wednesday June 12, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Biscay (Palais)
Thursday, June 13


Who wants to be a terrorist? The radicalisation of free speech control through measures against terrorist content online
Fear of terrorism facilitates the emergence of laws that give multiple powers to law enforcement, through de facto permanently raising threat levels in cities around the world to “code yellow”; to tackling the emergence of radical messaging online as a terrorist radicalisation tool. Civil and human rights organisations navigate a difficult landscape: on one hand, acts of terrorism should be prevented and radicalisation should be counteracted; on the other, regulatory trends conflate fighting terrorism with simply removing controversial content from before our eyes. Many projects documenting human rights violations, including terrorist activity, are already affected by arbitrary content removal decisions taken by internet platforms. In the digital rights movement we believe that the rigorous application of proportionality is the only way to ensure that laws and practices will not radically change the ways we exercise the freedom of speech online. We want to engage participants in the conversation about the global society of the near future. Do we want laws that err on the side of free speech and enable exposure to difficult realities at the risk of keeping terrorist content online? Or do we “go after terrorists” at the price of stifling citizen dissent and obscuring that difficult reality?


Dia Kayyali

Program Manager, tech + advocacy, WITNESS
Dia Kayyali coordinates WITNESS’ tech + advocacy work, engaging with technology companies and working on tools and policies that help human rights advocates safely, securely and ethically document human rights abuses and expose them to the world.
avatar for Daphne Keller

Daphne Keller

Director of Intermediary Liability, Stanford Law School
Daphne Keller is the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Her work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users' rights. She has published both academically and in popular press; testified and participated in legislative processes... Read More →
avatar for Diego Naranjo

Diego Naranjo

Senior Policy Advisor, European Digital Rights (EDRi)
avatar for Mario Oetheimer

Mario Oetheimer

avatar for Anass Sedrati

Anass Sedrati

Wikimedia Morocco
Anass Sedrati holds a Bachelor of Arts in MENA cultures and international relations (2017, Stockholm University – Sweden) and two engineering degrees in Telecommunication from Telecom ParisTech (France) and The Royal Institute of Technology (2012, KTH – Sweden). Since 2016,he... Read More →

Thursday June 13, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Oya 2 (Laico)


Fear, Friction, and Flooding: New models of censorship in the MENA region (the case of Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey)
"Fear, friction and flooding" are the three methods coined for new censorship models in oppressive regimes (Roberts, 2018), which captures the essence of new online tactics to stifle freedoms online. This session will look at how conditions have worsened in Bahrain, Egypt, Iran and Turkey in the past year. This session by Motoon will convene technical experts, leading Internet researchers, and digital rights activists working on documenting and resisting censorship in Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Bahrain. This session will aim to understand how the situation has evolved in each country. In some instances governments are learning from each other; in other instances governments are working with the private sector to control and surveil their citizens online. While these countries are not the only ones in the region to experience such turbulence in online rights, they are a diverse examples of the languages, geopolitical contexts, and economic situations that are both resounding within the wider region. We will discuss the facts amongst experts, while creating an opportunity to learn from this coalition of regional peers to come up with ways rights advocates in the MENA region can fight against these tightenings using resources of research, documentation, technology and law.

avatar for Emna Mizouni

Emna Mizouni

Emna, a Tunisian-Maghrebi, is a Digital Communications Specialist and the Lead of Digital Citizenship Organization. She is the President-Founder of Carthagina organisation, trying to promote Tunisia globally through digitising heritage. She is an advocate for Open Culture and Open... Read More →

avatar for Afsaneh Rigot

Afsaneh Rigot

Afsaneh Rigot is a researcher looking at the nexus of law, technology, LGBTQ, refugee and human rights issues.She is a research fellow at Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. She also works with ARTICLE 19 on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) t... Read More →
avatar for Mohammed Al-Maskati

Mohammed Al-Maskati

human rights activist and digital security consultant, Front Line Defenders for MENA
Mohammed Abdulnabi al-Maskati is a Bahraini human rights activist and digital security consultant with Front Line Defenders for Middle East and North Africa. He is the founder of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, a leading group in the 2011-2012 Bahraini uprising.
avatar for Isik Mater

Isik Mater

Director of Research, NetBlocks
Isik Mater is Director of Research at NetBlocks and at Turkey Blocks, and vice president of the Alternative Informatics Association. She is a digital rights activist and commentator on internet censorship, cyber-security and information warfare. Isik contributes to Turkish press agency... Read More →

Thursday June 13, 2019 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Carthage 3 (Laico)