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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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Democracy and Conflict and Shrinking Civic Spaces [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 12
 

9:00am

Improving Cooperation to Advance Human Rights Online
This session aims to help participants better understand the challenges and opportunities of working with diplomatic missions to advance human rights online. Speakers and participants will share their experiences, best practices, and recommendations for productive engagement. Leveraging the expertise of diplomats and civil society, this practical, action-oriented discussion will contribute to participants’ immediate work and assist in the development of a toolkit to further strengthen embassies’ Internet freedom-related engagement with civil society.

Speakers
avatar for 'Gbenga Sesan

'Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative
‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise that works on digital rights and digital inclusion across Africa, with offices in Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi... Read More →


Wednesday June 12, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Amilcar (Laico)

10:30am

Enabling Digital Civic Space: A Conversation with UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clement Voule
This session will be an opportunity for Clement Voule, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to: (a) present his findings from his report addressing the protection and promotion of the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association in the digital era, and (b) invite strategic ideas from civil society and the private sector regarding how to implement recommendations to protect these fundamental freedoms. (Special Rapporteur Voule’s report will be presented at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council.)

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Clément Nyaletsossi Voule

Clément Nyaletsossi Voule

Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, United Nations
Clément Nyaletsossi VOULE, a national from Togo, has been appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association in March 2018. Prior to his appointment, he led the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) work to support... Read More →


Wednesday June 12, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Caspian (Palais)

10:30am

Hey, That’s My Vote! The Emerging Science of Digital Election Observation
What can we do to keep elections free and fair in the age of digitization? And how can the tech rights community get involved with election observation in their own countries and around the world? This session will serve as a fast track introduction to election monitoring for a human rights and public interest audience. We’ll hear from the people who make observation missions happen and discover current solutions, emerging challenges, and innovations in each space with a focus on developing, transitional and conflict countries. We’ll then take a deep-dive into real-world case studies from each of the two communities: How has the #KeepItOn coalition been tracking internet shutdowns during elections, and how does that contrast with the work of media monitoring missions? Where has technology worked and has where it failed to serve the voting public during the last year? The audience is invited to join in and throw their own ideas and solutions into the mix.

Moderators
avatar for Christel Dahlskjaer

Christel Dahlskjaer

CCO, Private Internet Access
Christel Dahlskjaer is the CCO of Private Internet Access, a leading VPN service provider specialising in secure, encrypted VPN tunnels which create several layers of privacy and security to help users stay safe on the internet. She is keen on community, privacy and freedom of expression... Read More →

Speakers
SM

Sarah Moulton

National Democratic Institute
avatar for Alp Toker

Alp Toker

Executive Director, NetBlocks
Alp is founder of the netblocks.org digital rights initiative and award-winning Turkey Blocks collective, and Sakharov Fellow for Freedom of Thought with the European Parliament. He works on freedom of expression online, digital transparency and policy tooling for internet governance... Read More →


Wednesday June 12, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
L'Escale (Laico)

10:30am

Seeing through the rubble: using crowdsourcing, data and field work to investigate civilian deaths in Raqqa, Syria
The 6th of June marks the two years anniversary since the beginning of the “war of annihilation”, a US-led Coalition military campaign to oust the armed group calling itself Islamic State from Raqqa, Syria. Four months of relentless bombardment killed and injured thousands of civilians and reduced homes, businesses and infrastructure to rubble. Amnesty and Airwars have teamed up and conducted the most comprehensive investigation into civilian deaths in a modern conflict. The investigation, collating multiple data streams, gave a brutally vivid account of more than 1,600 civilian lives lost as a direct result of thousands of US, UK and French air strikes and tens of thousands of US artillery strikes. This session will showcase how a team of investigators at Amnesty and Airwars supported by thousands of digital volunteers from around the world pieced together evidence such as field investigations, satellite images, thousands of user-generated videos and social media reports in one of the most comprehensive accounts of the Raqqa war. The panel will discuss challenges and opportunities for using multi-dimensional investigations for advocacy and change making, as well as the importance of preserving the 'digital memory' of modern conflicts that are increasingly monitored by civilians on the ground.

Moderators
avatar for Milena Marin

Milena Marin

Senior Advisor for Tactical Research, Amnesty International
I have over ten years’ experience working at the intersection of technology, data and social good on issues like human rights, public sector transparency, anti-corruption and open data. Currently, I am with Amnesty’s Evidence Lab, where I work on complex human rights investigations... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Sophie Dyer

Sophie Dyer

Researcher and designer, Independent
#OSINT #Archives #RemoteSensing #Documentation Sophie's research focuses on open source, remote and visual investigations. Over the last two years she has worked with the conflict monitor, Airwars, to reconcile civilian casualty allegations with belligerent reporting, via direct engagement... Read More →


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

10:30am

Terrorist online content regulations in Europe and beyond: changing the platform liability paradigm?
The approximate structure of the session will be the following: - Opening remarks on the most relevant legislative anti-terrorist proposals (at the EU level and beyond) and their contrast with international standards and most important regional liability exemption regimes. - Reflection on the effectiveness of legislative measures introducing responsibility provisions vis-a-vis platforms regarding terrorist online content. This approach will be provided by anti-terrorist expert(s), using the experience of international security organizations and national law enforcement bodies. - Presentation of cases of national legislation and its effects in different regions of the world (mainly South East Asia, Europe and Latin America). After these presentations, participants in the audience will be asked to share and discuss specific cases, experiences and approaches. The panel aims at fostering a debate that shall combine a human rights and international standards approach together with a proper consideration of the adequate tools to effectively deal with terrorist online content, with the aim of defining best possible models. The debate will also identify global and regional tendencies aiming at transforming the general liability system applicable to online platforms, and possible actions and efforts to properly tackle these tendencies and adequately understand the impact on freedom of expression.

Moderators
avatar for Joan Barata

Joan Barata

Intermediary Liability Fellow, Stanford CIS
I am the Intermediary Liability Fellow at Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. As a scholar, I have spoken and done extensive research in the areas of freedom of expression, freedom of information, media and platform regulation, working and collaborating with various... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Deniz Yazici

Deniz Yazici

Adviser, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
avatar for Hadiya Masieh

Hadiya Masieh

Founder and CEO, Groundswell Project
Hadiya Masieh is an expert consultant in the area of community cohesion, interfaith relations, counter extremism, and women’s involvement in extremism and radicalisation. Her experience spans over 22 years. She has been a counter extremism consultant for various Governments and... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Dheere

Jessica Dheere

Founder/Executive Director, SMEX
I'm the co-founder and executive director of the Beirut, Lebanon–based SMEX (smex.org), the Middle East and North Africa’s leading digital rights research and policy advocacy organization. I'm also a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and the Carr Center... Read More →
avatar for Virginia Pérez-Alonso

Virginia Pérez-Alonso

President, Plataforma en Defensa de la Libertad de Información (PDLI)
Chair of the PDLI, deputy editor-in-chief at Spanish news website Público and a member of IPI’s Executive Board. Happy to talk about journalism innovation, newsrooms managing, newsrooms integration and transformation, digital first, transparency in journalism, freedom of speech... Read More →


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

12:00pm

Access No_! Voices from conflict zones
The Access No_! session will allow excluded digital and social activists from around the globe to tell RightsCon attendees in their own words why internet access matters in the midst of conflict. The panel will feature vlogs from individuals whose physical movement is restricted due to conflict or persecution by permits, bringing voices to the conference that would otherwise not be present. The panel will raise awareness of the importance of access to internet in conflict areas and engage session participants in a facilitated discussion on improving protections to safe and accessible internet for activists. The 60-minute panel will include three segments: 1- Internet Freedom Fighters: Where are they now? An update from the Syrian internet freedom fighters featured in the 2018 RightsCon. 2- Messages from activists with restricted movement: Profiles of activists in conflict areas who are unable to travel due to active conflict or persecution by permits (lack of status or documentation). 3- Discussion: The session participants will be engaged in discussion with a panel to address the most prevalent and emerging threats to safe internet access for individuals in conflict zones and the role of the broader internet freedom community to support these individuals.

Moderators
avatar for Deirdre Collings

Deirdre Collings

Executive Director, The SecDev Foundation
Deirdre Collings is the co-Founder and Executive Director of The SecDev Foundation, which works globally to promote digital opportunity, safety and citizenship in conflict and fragile contexts. She is a specialist in conflict and development, identity-based politics and digital change... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dima Samaro

Dima Samaro

Dima Samaro is a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Policy Associate at Access Now. She works closely with the Policy team conducting policy analysis and promoting human rights activism on the internet in the MENA region. Before joining Access Now, Dima served as a legal researcher... Read More →
avatar for Nada al-Farhan

Nada al-Farhan

Field Team Manger, SalamaTech, The SecDev Foundation
Nada al-Farhan is the Field Team Manager at The SecDev Foundation's SalamaTech project, supporting digital safety efforts in Syria. Nada builds and empowers networks of non-profit beneficiaries, particularly supporting women, youth and civil society in the Middle East.


Wednesday June 12, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Celtic (Palais)

1:00pm

False Resistance Leaders: The People Who Decry Trump While Promoting Authoritarianism
U.S. politics is easily viewed as left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican, and today, Trump vs. everyone else. But the politics of authoritarianism and surveillance are not so simply aligned. Not only are some of the strongest surveillance reformers Republicans, some of the strongest supporters of mass surveillance are also #Resistance champions. In advance of the 2020 election, when some of these people may seek higher office, it is imperative for the human rights community to identify who our real allies are, and who may be the fire to Trump’s pan. This panel will work to identify actors on both sides of that equation and discuss possible responses.


Wednesday June 12, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
L'Escale (Laico)

1:00pm

Social Media and Conflict: Research and product case studies
Understanding the use and abuse of social media is an urgent issue for rights-based organizations and social media platforms, especially in conflict vulnerable countries with transitioning politics and high-stakes elections. What lessons have researchers and tech leaders drawn from working at the intersection of these issues? What investments could improve the response to harms on social media? This discussion will examine these questions and offer suggestions, drawing on insights from researchers from South Asia, Francophone Africa and a Director of Product from Facebook. 


Moderators
avatar for Javier Pallero

Javier Pallero

Latam Lead, Access Now
Latin America Regional Lead at Access Now. I also coordinate Access Now's work on content moderation and related freedom of expression issues.I also work on: - Net Neutrality ( including zero rating, OTT regulation)- Privacy (surveillance, data protection)- Business and Human Rights... Read More →

Speakers

Wednesday June 12, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Caspian (Palais)

2:15pm

20 Years Since the Human Rights Defenders Declaration was Adopted at the UN, Over 150 HRDs Got Together in Paris to Celebrate Achievements, Discuss Current Challenges and Devise an Action Plan
Twenty years since the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, human rights defenders continue to be attacked, discriminated, criminalized, and killed at alarming levels. There is still much to work do to fully realize the commitment made by States to ensure everyone is fully able to defend human rights.

To confront this situation, in October 2018, 150 activists from all corners of the world met in Paris at the Human Rights Defenders World Summit to remind the world of the essential work they do and the need to create a safe and enabling environment for all those who actively defend human rights. At the end of the Summit, all defenders agreed on a landmark Action Plan, which was presented to the UN General Assembly in December 2018.

The Action Plan calls on Governments, corporations, international financial institutions, donors and others to take practical steps to ensure human rights defenders are recognised and protected, including by adopting national governmental action plans and legislation, and protecting defenders as a key priority in foreign policy, particularly women human rights defenders, LGBT+, indigenous rights defenders and other marginalized defenders who face the most risk and exclusion.
As participants to the Paris Summit continue to spread this message around the world, Rightscon is a key opportunity to keep the momentum going. We want the tech community to join us in our fight for human rights and demand that defenders are protected and recognised everywhere without discrimination.

The digital space has been identified by participants in the Paris Summit as another battleground in which human rights are being fought. This space has enabled defenders to reach new audiences and enable communication and advocacy, but it has also presented new means and opportunities for those who attack human rights defenders, with new weapons being used every day from malware and spyware, to the use of social media to manipulate information. The means may be new but the effects on defenders are as old as the world: delegitimization, discrimination, threats, criminalization, physical attacks, and impunity.

A delegation of human rights defenders will present their experience of taking action to defend human rights, the consequences they’ve had to face, the significance of the Summit and what states, businesses, donors and others, must do to ensure their fundamental role is protected and recognised in the digital sphere and beyond, and calling on the Tech community to join them in the struggle for human rights. The panel will welcome contributions and ideas from the floor.


Moderators
avatar for Lisa Maracani

Lisa Maracani

Research and policy advisor, Human rights defenders, Amnesty International
Human rights defenders are my bag!Have worked also at: Peace Brigades International, Christian Aid, Amnesty Italy.My last project: Targeting Solidarity: Criminalization and harassment of people defending refugee and migrant rights in Northern France, https://www.amnesty.org/en/la... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Khalid Ibrahim

Khalid Ibrahim

Executive Director, Gulf Centre for Human Rights
Khalid Ibrahim is the Executive Director of the Gulf Center for human rights in charge of management, programme development, fundraising and training. He is an Iraqi human right defender with decades of experience in the human rights field, including more than ten years in Dublin... Read More →
avatar for Meerim Ilyas

Meerim Ilyas

Deputy Head of Protection, Front Line Defenders
Protection for HRDs, gendered aspects of holistic security, LGBTI, feminist internet, intersectionality


Wednesday June 12, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Cyrene (Laico)

2:15pm

Fighting for Human Rights and Democracy in the Digital World: New tools, new actors – How to be more efficient?
Traditional way of fighting for human rights and protecting democracy are not sufficient to protect these values in the digital world: regulations from countries or international organizations are weak or non-existent; private interest are very present or even dominating; communication methods are in constant evolution and still too easy to manipulate. What are the most efficient levers today to protect Human rights and Democracy in the cyber space? There is an emergency to have concrete actions with high impact, and various initiatives have been launched. How can they unite their action to be more effective? What recommendations and expectations would the different stakeholders have from one another?

This session will start by a short introduction by each speakers on their actions and their main stakes. There will then be a dialogue with speakers to understand what they should expect from each other and identify mutual actions to reinforce global action. The discussion will then open up to all participants. In a fishbowl format, anyone can enter the circle and contribute to the discussion through comments or questions to the speakers.

Les outils et leviers législatifs utilisés par les acteurs de la protection des droits de l’Homme et de la démocratie ne sont pas suffisant pour défendre ces valeurs dans le monde numérique: la régulation des Etats comme des organisations internationales y est faible voire inexistante, les intérêts privés très présents voire dominants, les modalités de communication en évolution constante et encore aujourd’hui trop manipulables. Quels sont les leviers les plus efficaces à mobiliser aujourd’hui pour protéger les droits de l’Homme et la démocratie dans l’espace cyber? L’urgence est de disposer d’actions concrètes à fort impact, divers initiatives ont été lancées, comment peuvent-elles unir leur action pour être plus efficace? Quelles seraient les recommandations que chacun de ces acteurs auraient pour l’autre ?

Cette session débutera par une brève introduction de la part de chaque intervenant sur ses actions et ses principaux enjeux. Il y aura un dialogue avec les intervenants pour comprendre ce qu'ils attendent les uns des autres et identifier des actions mutuelles pour renforcer l'action mondiale. La discussion s'ouvrira ensuite à tous les participants. Dans un format fish bowl, tous les participants ont la possibilité d’entrer dans le cercle et contribuer à la discussion en faisant des commentaires ou en posant des questions aux intervenants.

Moderators
avatar for Amélie Banzet

Amélie Banzet

Head of open government, Etalab
Amélie Banzet is in charge of Open Government for Etalab and is the French State point of contact for the Open Government Partnership.Etalab is part of the French Direction for State Digital, Information system and communication, within the Prime minister office, where it carries... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Deirdre Collings

Deirdre Collings

Executive Director, The SecDev Foundation
Deirdre Collings is the co-Founder and Executive Director of The SecDev Foundation, which works globally to promote digital opportunity, safety and citizenship in conflict and fragile contexts. She is a specialist in conflict and development, identity-based politics and digital change... Read More →
avatar for Elodie Vialle

Elodie Vialle

Head of Journalism and Technology desk, Reporters without Borders
Identifying new threats that undermine the freedom of information l Knight-Wallace Fellow’20. Working on countering online attacks against female journalists.
avatar for Rauno Merisaari

Rauno Merisaari

Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Ambassador at-large on Human Rights and Democracy Mr. Rauno Merisaari (b. 1957) is a Finnish diplomat and has a long career in the human rights policy and foreign relations both in the government and in civil society. He is a leading expert in the international human rights policy... Read More →
avatar for Fanny Hidvégi

Fanny Hidvégi

European Policy Manager, Access Now
Fanny (@infofannny) is Access Now’s European Policy Manager based in Brussels. Previously, Fanny was International Privacy Fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C. where she focused on E.U.-U.S. data transfers. For three years Fanny led the Freedom... Read More →
avatar for Peggy Hicks

Peggy Hicks

Director. Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Since January 2016, Peggy Hicks has served as director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division at the UN's human rights office. From 2005 to 2015, she was global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, where she was responsible for coordinating... Read More →
avatar for Henri Verdier

Henri Verdier

Ambassador for Digital Affairs, France
Henri Verdier was born in 1968. Currently, he is Ambassador for Digital Affairs for the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Previously, he was the interministerial director for digital information and communications systems (DG Dinsic) of France; and director of Etalab... Read More →


Wednesday June 12, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Village Stage (Laico)

2:15pm

3:45pm

International Protocol for Open Source Investigations
In recent years, war crimes investigators and human rights defenders have come to increasingly rely on social media and other open source information to build cases for prosecution, advocate for international action in the face of human rights violations and combat mis/disinformation. The growing volume of publicly available information on the internet provides, in many situations, a first-hand point of view of what is happening on the ground in armed conflicts around the world. Such content could support the findings of commissions of inquiry or serve as powerful evidence in legal proceedings. However, in order to be admissible and given proper weight in court, investigators must be able to show that the information was collected and preserved in line with accepted international standards and demonstrate the integrity and veracity of the information based on a set methodology. When the International Criminal Court issued the first arrest warrant based primarily on open source videos in August 2017, no such standards or methodologies existed. That is why in late 2017, the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center launched an important initiative to develop an international protocol on open source investigations. In this strategic roundtable, drafters and collaborators on this protocol will speak about the process and goals of this project, as well as the needs it addresses for investigators working in a number of different contexts.  

Moderators
avatar for Lindsay Freeman

Lindsay Freeman

Senior Legal Researcher / Project Manager, Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley
Lindsay Freeman is an international criminal and human rights lawyer based in The Hague, Netherlands. As a researcher for the Human Rights Center, she leads the drafting of the International Protocol on Open Source Investigations. Her research focuses on the use of technology and... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Raquel Vazquez Llorente

Raquel Vazquez Llorente

Senior Legal Advisor, eyeWitness
Raquel Vázquez Llorente is a Senior Legal Advisor at eyeWitness, where she helps bridge the gap between human rights defenders on the frontlines and investigators or prosecutors by providing guidance on the application of technology to investigations. eyeWitness has developed award-winning... Read More →
avatar for Yasmine Chubin

Yasmine Chubin

International Legal Consultant
Yasmine Chubin is an international legal consultant with over ten years of international criminal law, transitional justice, and rule of law experience. She currently serves as the Sexual and Gender Based Violence investigations expert with the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre... Read More →
avatar for Stephen Rapp

Stephen Rapp

Distinguished Fellow, US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Stephen J. Rapp is a Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide. He also serves as Chair of the Commission for International Justice & Accountability (CIJA) that has collected and analyzed more than 750,000 pages of documentation from... Read More →


Wednesday June 12, 2019 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Amilcar (Laico)

5:15pm

If you keep suggesting blockchain, I swear to God I will f—ing scream
Promoting technologies like blockchain as a seemingly simple solution to complex humanitarian and development challenges oversimplifies these issues and celebrates tech as a "silver bullet" solution that will solve everything from poverty to the refugee crisis. This has led to many projects seeking technical solutions first without analyzing the challenges and opportunities, understanding the limits, potential, and threats that come with the technology in question, or including beneficiaries in decision-making. When we make decisions in humanitarian and development projects based on solutions we want to use, instead of user needs, we could be exposing beneficiaries to bigger risks, by leaving them out of decision-making process. Our panel of experts will discuss the following points: *What is technosolutionism and how to avoid it in projects? *How organizations and individuals can deal with technosolutionist demands from funders and partners. *So, what is blockchain and when *should* it be used in projects? *In praise of low-tech or no-tech solutions: How to shift media focus from shiny new toys in tech, to the mundane, consentful, and trusted solutions--and the complexity of the development work, participation, and research necessary that leads to successful and sustainable projects.

Moderators
avatar for Dragana Kaurin

Dragana Kaurin

Founder & Director, Localization Lab
Dragana Kaurin is a human rights researcher and ethnographer working at the intersection of technology, human rights and migration. She is the founder and executive director of Localization Lab, a non-profit organization that works on technology adoption with local communities, research... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Jon Camfield

Jon Camfield

Director, Global Technology Programs, Internews
Tools, training, threats, organizational security, SAFETAG.org, usability and our https://usable.tools project, and more!
avatar for Mallory Knodel

Mallory Knodel

Head of Digital, ARTICLE 19
avatar for Tara Tarakiyee

Tara Tarakiyee

Program Manager, Open Tech Fund
Talk to me about all things censorship circumvention and privacy enhancing technology!
avatar for Neal McCarthy

Neal McCarthy

Sr. Manager, ICT4D Programme, Oxfam
Neal McCarthy leads the ICT4D team at Oxfam America: supporting humanitarian, development and campaign teams in the adoption of technology in the service of program objectives, with the goal of increasing efficiency and amplifying impact. He espouses a rights-based approach to information... Read More →


Wednesday June 12, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Oya 1 (Laico)

5:15pm

Indian elections, disinformation, and the state of Indian Social Media
This session will explore the issues of hate speech and disinformation during the 2019 Indian Elections. We will discuss the primary actors of disinformation, as well as the tactics and platforms used most heavily in the elections. We will also discuss the themes of disinformation, and the physical violence that resulted from the weaponization of these platforms. The session will feature examples as well as an open dialogue for participants that would like to know more about how these issues have global ramifications.

Wednesday June 12, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Cyrene (Laico)

5:15pm

What(went)'sApp at the Brazilian elections?
Since the use of digital communication technologies (particularly social media platforms and mobile apps) are increasingly transforming political processes and influencing in the political debate, this session aims to take the case of the Brazilian electoral process of 2018 in order to critically analyze and hopefully prevent the abuse of economic and political power in elections without jeopardizing FoE or enhancing censorship. By mapping such problems from cases analyzed for ARTICLE19’s publication on the matter (available at desinformacao.artigo19.org, in Portuguese), our goal is to understand new practices of political uses of the Internet and draft best practices and principles for securing FoE within democratic processes.

Speakers
avatar for Alfredo Velazco

Alfredo Velazco

Director, Usuarios Digitales
C

Christen Dobson

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre


Wednesday June 12, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Oya 3 (Laico)
 
Thursday, June 13
 

9:00am

Returning Protest to the People: A campaign to destigmatise protesters
Historically, protests have often inspired positive social change, improved protection of human rights, and continue to help define and protect civic space in all parts of the world. They enable individuals and groups to express dissent and grievances, to share views and opinions, to expose flaws in governance and to publicly demand that the authorities and other powerful entities rectify problems and are accountable for their actions. The current political climate in Kenya and Brazil gives rise to fragility and limited guarantees to human rights. The purpose of this session is to build awareness and stimulate discussion around the negative perceptions on protest. This session is a great opportunity to showcase credible research conducted in Kenya and Brazil and mark the importance of coalition campaigns to change attitudes and behaviours in support of protests. We will use this opportunity to actively engage participants in the discussion, provide lessons learned and hear from others how to devise strategies to expand campaigns in other countries where the right to protest is not protected. Based on our experience, we will invite participants to explore this market research approach to advocacy in other regions of the world and on other topical issues.


Thursday June 13, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Village Stage (Laico)

10:30am

Coffee and Democracy: Let's talk about the EU elections results and what it means for digital rights
Come join us with your coffee for a chat about elections, democracy and human rights defenders, we will provide the cookies :) The session will be a casual chat between the three policy staff of the Access Now Brussels team discussing the results and impact of the EU elections which takes place on May 24-26. We seek active participation of the audience to hear from experiences from different regions. With the rise of populism in the EU and around the world, civil society increasingly has to operate in restrictive environments and adapt its work to not only advance human rights and protect users but also to fight for its existence.

Speakers
avatar for Fanny Hidvégi

Fanny Hidvégi

European Policy Manager, Access Now
Fanny (@infofannny) is Access Now’s European Policy Manager based in Brussels. Previously, Fanny was International Privacy Fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C. where she focused on E.U.-U.S. data transfers. For three years Fanny led the Freedom... Read More →


Thursday June 13, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Jelsa (Laico)

10:30am

Separating human rights activism from regime change
This session promotes reflection by activists on how their efforts risk being co-opted by nation states pursuing regime change. Panelists will review ways that governments have used civil society activism to advance geopolitical goals (in state-to-state rivalry.) Then participants will discuss whether that background relates to today's experiences. The first part, on deep background, is multidimensional. It will be historical (e.g. examples of "political warfare" dating back to the Trojan War,) conceptual (e.g. notions of "unconventional warfare," "protest potential," "strategic narratives," etc.), and political (episodes of Internet-empowered activism that led to regime change but not to obvious increases in democracy.) In the second part, attendees will be invited to relate these histories and concepts to their own experiences or to those of their peers. Activists may explore whether today's situations bear any resemblance to past experiences and, if so, what that means for practice. The goal of the session is to make human rights activism more effective in achieving its goals of advancing human rights, social justice, and good governance.

Moderators
avatar for Hans Klein

Hans Klein

Assoc. Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Political science research on Internet governance.

Speakers

Thursday June 13, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Cyrene (Laico)

12:00pm

Defending Democracy from Foreign Interference in a Digital Age
There are increasing efforts in the international community to challenge the value of democratic principles and states. At the same time, emerging technologies have created a new environment for foreign interference operations to support these narratives, particularly in the form of disinformation campaigns. As a result, democratic states have begun to identify, analyze and share information on disinformation, increasingly relying on open source social media analysis. However, one of the technical challenges in identifying disinformation campaigns is establishing those emanating from a foreign source (e.g., state-led or transnational interest group) and those initiated domestically. This distinction, among other ramifications, has significant implications on the type of response that will be undertaken, and by whom, as well as on the effectiveness of the response. With this in mind, this session will offer examples of legal, NGO and government/multinational responses to foreign interference in the form of disinformation.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Sam Gregory

Sam Gregory

Program Director, WITNESS
In short....video, human rights, citizen participation, role of companies, AI and deep fakes/content moderation, live video and experiential activismIn long...Sam Gregory is Program Director of WITNESS (www.witness.org), which supports anyone anywhere to use video and technology to... Read More →
avatar for Joan Barata

Joan Barata

Intermediary Liability Fellow, Stanford CIS
I am the Intermediary Liability Fellow at Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. As a scholar, I have spoken and done extensive research in the areas of freedom of expression, freedom of information, media and platform regulation, working and collaborating with various... Read More →
avatar for Rauno Merisaari

Rauno Merisaari

Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Ambassador at-large on Human Rights and Democracy Mr. Rauno Merisaari (b. 1957) is a Finnish diplomat and has a long career in the human rights policy and foreign relations both in the government and in civil society. He is a leading expert in the international human rights policy... Read More →


Thursday June 13, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Caspian (Palais)

12:00pm

Lightning Talks: What technology can('t) solve
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 

Speakers
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.
DB

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
The BeeHive (Palais)

2:15pm

#DigitalPolitik and the Internet's Warring States Period
The global internet continues to fragment. Governments, in particular, are using their influence to shape the ways that digital companies, markets, and rights connect us online. This new form of realpolitik, which we call “digitalpolitik,” is an emerging tactical playbook for how governments use their political, regulatory, military, and commercial powers to project influence in global, digital markets. This session will, building on an early, initial effort, begin a conversation on identifying, categorizing, and tracking the strategies and tactics, and their divergence, among the world's most influential digital actors.

Moderators
avatar for Rohinton Medhora

Rohinton Medhora

President, Centre for International Governance Innovation
Rohinton P. Medhora is president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), joining in 2012. He served on CIGI's former International Board of Governors from 2009 to 2014. Previously, he was vice president of programs at Canada’s International Development Research... Read More →

Speakers
DM

David Mark

Adviser, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
I manage ODIHR’s programs focused on supporting Human Rights Defenders and human rights education in the OSCE region. My main interest is in tech solutions to scale up capacity building programs and to enable a wider reachout and sustainable interventions. I also provide advisory... Read More →
avatar for Sean McDonald

Sean McDonald

Co-Founder, Digital Public
Sean McDonald is a co-founder of Digital Public, a public interest data governance firm. Digital Public pioneered Civic Data Trusts – legal frameworks that enable groups to build fiduciary, purpose-driven management of the rights to data, code, and other digital assets. He's also... Read More →


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

2:15pm

#GazaLightMessage: Opening the blockade
Children are going hungry in the Gaza Strip. The economic situation in Gaza, already in ‘free-fall’ since September per World Bank analysis, is now in crisis as over 55% of the population is unemployed, >75% for youth. For months, the largest union in Gaza and a group of Non-Governmental Orgs have been organizing #GazaLightMessage, a safe way for families in Gaza to reach out to the world. They are helping Gaza families use light to show what life is like now, after the U.S. cut all humanitarian aid to Palestinians. They want citizens throughout the world to use the #GazaLightMessage to press their elected officials to lift the blockade, restore trade, jobs, schools, medical care, travel, — and self-sufficiency. This workshop will show participants how to organize their own weekly #GazaLightMessage, open an essay contest at universities, schedule Sunday conference calls to connect 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students with children in Gaza, and show constituents how to press their elected officials to lift the blockade and restore direct aid. Starting at sunset on Wednesday night in Tunis, Rights Con participants are asked to join in a #GazaLightMessage to show they care about children and families in Gaza.

Moderators
avatar for Donna Baranski-Walker

Donna Baranski-Walker

Founder and Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance
I'm an MIT engineer who believes deeply in human rights, justice, and peace. I began my work in the Middle East in 1990 with a New York Times op‐ed, “Small Lights in the Darkness,” which asked my neighbors to join in a message of light to stop the build-up to the first US-Iraq... Read More →

Speakers

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

2:15pm

Collective Intelligence Approaches to Expanding Violations Monitoring in Conflict Zones
Despite periodic excitement about human rights applications of social media, most coverage of human rights violations on social media is unusable by UN human rights mechanisms and inadmissible in court. This session will strategize the expansion of civilian-led monitoring of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa. The experience of a major pilot of civilian-led monitoring in Iraq and numerous civil society initiatives in Syria have shown that a combination of machine and traditional learning techniques is required, but that it is highly context-dependent. Drawing on both human rights and tech experts, the session will discuss different collective intelligence approaches to delivering high-quality violations monitoring in different conflicts. Can civilian-led monitoring fill the dearth of information on human rights violations in high-intensity conflict situations or other no-access zones? Which combination of digital tools, crowd-sourcing, data-mining, training and other support is required to empower civilians to produce human rights documentation of sufficient quality? What best practices can be identified around inclusiveness, quality, verification and security and which impact measures used? The session will be primarily in English but with contributions/questions taken in both English and Arabic.

Moderators
avatar for Miriam Puttick

Miriam Puttick

Head of Middle East and North Africa Programmes, Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights
Miriam Puttick is currently Head of Middle East and North Africa Programmes at the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights, an international initiative to develop civilian-led monitoring of violations of international humanitarian law or human rights; to secure accountability and reparation... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Wendy Betts

Wendy Betts

Project Director, eyeWitness to Atrocities
Wendy Betts is the Director of eyeWitness to Atrocities, an organisation that combines law and technology to promote accountability for serious international crimes. The eyeWitness system allows human rights documenters to capture photos/videos of human rights violations that can... Read More →
avatar for Scott Edwards

Scott Edwards

Senior Adviser, Amnesty International
Scott Edwards is a Senior Adviser at Amnesty International. He has written and worked extensively on complex humanitarian crises, protection, and armed conflict. His current professional activity focuses on innovations in human rights compliance monitoring, and the human rights implications... Read More →
avatar for Arez Mohammed

Arez Mohammed

Arez Mohammed Sediq is a Human Right activist who works as the Deputy Director at Asuda for Combating Violence against Women in Iraq, an independent NGO for combating violence against women based in Sulaimaniyah with offices in Erbil, Duhok, and remote work across Iraq. He is also... Read More →


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

3:45pm

Co-designing and Threat-modeling Accountability Tools for Restricted Civic Spaces: the Egypt Social Progress Indicators platform
During this session, the organizers will share the learnings they gathered and challenges they faced over the multi-year process of designing the Egypt Social Progress indicators (ESPI), a rights-based accountability tool, with members of the tech and human rights community. Participants can expect to learn about the stakeholder-driven design that centers threat-modeling priorities at its heart, the needs and solutions put in place to ensure ESPI’s sustainability and partners security in the difficult political climate of Egypt. Participants can also expect to learn about working with economic and social rights measuring methodologies, and data visualization. The session will invite participants to interact with the team behind ESPI, its technology, risk and methodology advisors, and the national actors that were the driving force behind its creation. The session aims to stimulate reflection, open discussion and to collect audience feedback to improve ESPI’s data processes and advocacy efforts in its forthcoming phases, and explore opportunities for regional (and global?) collaboration. The organizers believe both participants and presenters will benefit from exploring and evaluating the ESPI model alongside with CSOs and social movements from other countries facing similar thematic and structural challenges, and using such tools to work in effectively restricted civic spaces.

Moderators
Thursday June 13, 2019 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Biscay (Palais)

3:45pm

Data-Dialogue-Decisions: Creating alternative civic spaces for youth
Across the developing world, and the Middle East and Africa in particular, young people typically make up 70% of the population. Yet they are largely excluded from public discourse. In this session we will explore ways to create alternative civic spaces in the digital realm that give young people a platform where they can freely express their needs and views. Participants will discuss how feedback can be channelled to decision makers and influencers in some of the most fragile settings, with our case studies from Yemen, Libya and Burundi. We will highlight best practices, discuss challenges and brainstorm ways to overcome them. These examples will provide context for conversation with the participants on how they approach the problem of shrinking civic spaces. Through interactive dialogue with the audience, we will develop a set of specific suggestions to inform strategies going forward. These strategies will include implementing methodologically sound surveys, adopting ethical codes to govern data collection and publication, and developing evidence on youth needs, aspirations, and behaviours for advocacy with influencers.

Moderators
avatar for Nigel Pedlingham

Nigel Pedlingham

Programme Manager Citizens' Voice, RNW Media
Nigel is Programme Manager of Citizens' Voice at the Netherlands based INGO RNW Media.RNW Media uses media for change. With innovative approaches to building digital media platforms and large scale inclusive digital communities RNW Media enables young people to make informed choices... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Pavithra Ram

Pavithra Ram

Content Strategist, RNW Media
Pavi is an international development specialist focused on the intersection of internet, media and social change. Currently a strategist in RNW Media’s social inclusion program- Citizens’ Voice, she helps build digital communities and create alternate/digital civic spaces in countries... Read More →
avatar for Taruni Kumar

Taruni Kumar

Campaigns Strategist, Change.org Foundation


Thursday June 13, 2019 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Oya 1 (Laico)

3:45pm

Elections and Public Discourse in Africa: Do social media platforms level the playing field?
This session is about democracy in Africa and the significant and expanding role that social media is playing. According to the National Democratic Institute, 31 general/parliamentary/presidential elections were scheduled to be held between 2018-2019 in Africa, with 19 of those elections to be held in 2019. A few years ago, many people trusted social media as a space where everyone has a voice and an audience. Social media was hailed as the leveler. Recent trends, however, throw doubts on these assertions, as powerful forces seem to be increasingly taking over the most important platforms for inclusive civic engagement The session will be a moderated roundtable with panelists including colleagues who are conducting focused research on how algorithms impact democracy and human rights in Kenya and other African countries who have observed this trend in their countries, sharing observed patterns while experts who already are working around the issue will provide insight into best approaches for civil society to engage and work together to not just interrogate the trend in their respective countries or the country where they work but to also share effective advocacy strategies that can clearly define and address the problem.

Moderators
avatar for Adeboye Adegoke

Adeboye Adegoke

Program Manager, Paradigm Initiative
I work at the Intersection of technology, innovations and human right as well as the Implications for the digital economy. I work around the subject of privacy, freedom of expression and other human rights online. I monitor Internet/technology related policies in Nigeria and across... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Chenai Chair

Chenai Chair

Research Manager: Gender and Digital Rights, World Wide Web Foundation


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

3:45pm

Europe's Whistleblower Directive: Building an international consensus around public interest disclosure
This session will focus on developments in the field of whistleblower protection, particularly the new EU Whistleblower Directive, which was passed by the European Parliament in April 2019 and will become law sometime in the autumn. The culmination of a three year campaign by pan-European platform of civil society organisations, the Directive promises to be a breakthrough moment for public interest disclosure across Europe. New responsibilities for SMEs will give the Directive wide visibility. We will provide an overview of the new legislation - how it came about, what's in it and what issues need to be looked at when the Directive's provisions are transposed into national law. Elsewhere, protections for whistleblowers and journalists' sources is patchy. In Latin America, whistleblower protection has not kept pace with technological advances in journalism. Whistleblower protection as a field also has important links to the broad digital rights agenda. Regulations and ISO standards are embedding privacy enhancing technologies in law. Whistleblowing legislation also offers opportunities for protecting security researchers, who currently face significant legal jeopardy for trying to responsibly disclose important information in the public interest. We'll outline these issues and then open the session out for discussion about ways forward.

Moderators
avatar for Naomi Colvin

Naomi Colvin

Program Director - UK, Blueprint for Free Speech

Speakers
avatar for Bruno Galizzi

Bruno Galizzi

Research and Assessment, Spain, Blueprint for Free Speech
Graduated in Sociology at Buenos Aires University, currently passionately working in Spain for the defense of human and civil digital rights. From a research-oriented background, guided by curiosity, conviction and values, to promote social change.


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

5:15pm

Complicit or Neutral? Social media content moderation in conflict areas
Social media companies take pride in their self-proclaimed neutrality: they are free and open platforms for all. Despite such claim, we -digital rights advocates- know it is often not the case. Yet, their mishaps and ill-designed policies are discussed among activists, journalists and policy-makers in either in the context of democracies or authoritarianism. But how do social media and tech companies behave in the context of conflict and occupation? The session questions the position of social media companies, most notably Facebook, by examining their content moderation policies in conflict areas and how they affect politics on the ground, become complicit in human rights violations, and deepen oppression and political asymmetries. Sharing examples from the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Myanmar, the session further discusses how to establish an accountability framework and mechanisms for social media companies when they become complicit in political conflicts.


Thursday June 13, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
L'Escale (Laico)

5:15pm

Election Watch: Addressing information freedom on the internet and the dangerous trend of internet shutdowns
Technology and politics are now connected more than ever. Elections around the world, from Bangladesh, Nigeria, India, to Ukraine, have revealed a status quo of information control and attempts to manipulate the online environment. Governments, politicians, and foreign actors are increasingly violating digital rights ahead of elections in order to control the media narrative, censor critics, and deny citizens access to information.

In this session, we will bring together research groups, activists, and human rights organizations who seek to understand and address the ways internet restrictions negatively affect electoral integrity. We will explore some of these mechanisms, including internet shutdowns, information controls and blocks, and misinformation and propaganda, while evaluating the economic and political cost of undermining the transparency, fairness, and legitimacy of elections. 

In addition, we will consider how to develop advocacy strategies that raise the profile of internet freedom concerns ahead of elections and respond to specific needs in diverse  countries and regions. The goal of such advocacy is to prevent the normalization of connectivity disruptions and digital rights violations during elections.

Thursday June 13, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Carthage 2 (Laico)

5:15pm

It Takes a World to Save a Village: Recognizing Palestinian planning rights
There are so many good reasons not to demolish a village. This is especially true for the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al Khan Al Ahmar. The West Bank village, located near Jerusalem and sandwiched between two settlements, worked with the best planning experts in he West Bank to develop its own master plan and it’s a good one. If approved, their eco-village, built to code, would be a source of pride, providing fresh goats’ milk and cheese to the neighborhood. Instead, the recent elections saw ever fiercer calls for the forced relocation of the village even though the people of Al Khan al Ahmar have been there since the ‘50s, well before the settlements surrounding them. The land, which they lease, belongs to Palestinians in the town of Anata and is not State land (hence the temp appropriation orders issued by the IDF for roads in the area. Come hear the many good reasons for the village’s continued existence and learn what you can do to help keep the peaceful village of Al Khan al Ahmar safe and standing. Our guests will present in English and Arabic. The audience is welcome to ask questions too.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Donna Baranski-Walker

Donna Baranski-Walker

Founder and Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance
I'm an MIT engineer who believes deeply in human rights, justice, and peace. I began my work in the Middle East in 1990 with a New York Times op‐ed, “Small Lights in the Darkness,” which asked my neighbors to join in a message of light to stop the build-up to the first US-Iraq... Read More →


Thursday June 13, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Oya 2 (Laico)
 
Friday, June 14
 

9:00am

An Innovative Equation for Improved Local Governance: Behavioral sciences + digital tools = new meaningful civic spaces
More often than not, efforts to improve governance and improve transparency are guided by a supply-side assumption by which institution strengthening leads to increased citizens’ satisfaction. While this model has shown its limits, we are struggling to change the way we think of and approach governance and transparency shortcomings. This discussion will showcase a tangible example of innovation and explore alternative avenues to foster transparent local governance utilizing social and behavioral sciences driven solutions to address both supply and demand-side priorities.

Moderators
avatar for Eguiar Lizundia

Eguiar Lizundia

Senior Governance Manager, International Republican Institute
Eguiar Lizundia is an international development professional with public, private and non-profit experience. Currently, Eguiar works as a Senior Manager for Governance at the International Republican Institute. Prior to IRI, Eguiar helped design, implement and evaluate public sector... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Hassen Gharbi

Hassen Gharbi

Assistant Professor, ENSI-University La Manouba
I am an Assistant-Professor in Computer Sciences at ENSI, University of Manouba Tunisia. I was a Fulbright visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University, PA, USA in 2014-15 and a Postdoctoral Associate Researcher at Northeastern University, Boston, USA in 2015-16. I am also an elected... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Leptis (Laico)

9:00am

Connected investigations: Building an adaptive ecosystem for human rights documentation
This hands-on workshop invites a mix of human rights practitioners, lawyers, archivists, usability experts and software developers dedicated to human rights investigations. Their common aim: to hold perpetrators of abuses to account, to preserve stories of what happened to victims, and to record histories of change for communities.  With old tools being retired — the sunset of Martus was announced in 2018 after 15 years — and the technological landscape developing at a rapid pace, this session will provide an opportunity to define the way forward in an inclusive and collaborative manner. What is more, new initiatives like Digital Evidence Vault, Uwazi, OpenArchive, Check, Montage and ELMAP are already being developed with an eye for interoperability, so that human rights defenders and investigators can bring together suites of tools when and as they need them.  This workshop will model how this interoperability can be actualised by focusing on collaborative work in four scenarios: mobile documentation and cross-border analysis, evidentiary requirements for information management tools, verification tools and long-term preservation, source analysis and case-building.

Moderators
avatar for Friedhelm Weinberg

Friedhelm Weinberg

Executive Director, HURIDOCS
Friedhelm Weinberg is the Executive Director of HURIDOCS, an organisation that helps human rights defenders utilise information and technology to shine a light on abuses and advance justice for both victims and perpetrators of human rights violations.

Speakers
avatar for Natalie Cadranel

Natalie Cadranel

Founder & Director, OpenArchive
Natalie is the founder and director of OpenArchive, a free, open-source mobile--archive project for those managing sensitive mobile media. Leveraging the efforts of the Internet Archive, Tor, the Guardian Project, and Creative Commons, this media ecosystem gives history's first responders... Read More →
avatar for Carmen Cheung

Carmen Cheung

Legal Director, Center for Justice and Accountability
Carmen Cheung is the legal director of the Center for Justice and Accountability. CJA's mission is to deter torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious human rights abuses around the world through innovative litigation and transitional justice strategies. Until... Read More →
avatar for Tom Trewinnard

Tom Trewinnard

Programs & Partnerships, Meedan
Tom Trewinnard (UK) is Director of Programs at Meedan, a social technology non-profit working on the Check project to develop collaborative verification tools and open training curricula. He is a co-founder of Pop-Up Newsroom, which has led major collaborative reporting initiatives... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Utique (Laico)

9:00am

9:00am

Knocking Out Impunity for Violence: Defending civic space in a time of conflict
During active conflict, a country’s leadership often struggles to balance national security interests while simultaneously cultivating respect for fundamental freedoms. More often than not, national security will stand paramount to fundamental freedoms, while the activists who defend those freedoms will fall into the line of fire. In Europe and Eurasia, and the obsoletely named ‘post-Soviet’ context in particular, countries struggle with the unique challenge of artificially constructed conflicts. Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia are important examples of environments beset by conflict where activists are taking a variety of measures and developing intersectional and forward-thinking partnerships with a wide range of civil society actors, including journalists, the IT community, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and others to address threats to civic space. This session will focus on effective measures that Ukrainian, Moldovan, and Georgian civil society have taken to protect civic space and fundamental rights in this context, particularly through effective partnerships and coalitions, emergency response, public outreach online and offline, evidence-based approaches to systematically, securely, and professionally monitor and document rights abuses, and avenues for advocacy at the local, national, and international levels to effect change.

Moderators
avatar for Gina Lentine

Gina Lentine

Senior Program Officer, Freedom House
Gina Lentine (she/her/hers) is the team lead for Eastern Europe programming (Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey) at Freedom House, with a thematic focus on freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of association and assembly. Talk to her about all things human rights and Europe... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dumitru Tira

Dumitru Tira

Managin Director, Institute for the Prevention of Hybrid Threats
Dumitru TIRAManaging director, Institute for the Prevention of Hybrid ThreatsBoard member, Association for Development and Cooperation MoldovaCEO Realitatea Media Dumitru TIRA is the CEO of Realitatea Media and member of the Integrity Council of Moldova. 2016-2018 was an active member... Read More →
avatar for Daria Sydorenko

Daria Sydorenko

Advocacy menage, The Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Attorney, expert for civil society development with a thematic focus on the establishment of the best European practices in the field of taxation of public and charitable organizations, reporting, implementation of transparent public finance competitions of civil society organizations... Read More →
avatar for Svitlana Valko

Svitlana Valko

Executive Director, Truth Hounds
The Truth Hounds Office Director in Georgia, field work manager for an extended period of time in Ukraine. The qualified coach on war crimes documenting, defending defenders and advocacy. For more than 8 years Svitlana has been coordinating the various projects in Eastern Europe... Read More →
avatar for Victoria Bucataru

Victoria Bucataru

Executive Director, Foreign Policy Association of Moldova
Victoria Bucătaru is the Executive Director with the Foreign Policy Association of Moldova. She holds a BA and MA degree in international relations, political and administrative sciences from the Moldova State University. Between 2005-2010, Victoria worked as a lecturer at the International... Read More →
MB

Marc Behrendt

Director Europe and Eurasia Programs, Freedom House


Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Carthage 2 (Laico)

9:00am

Online Dissidence in the Global South
The session seeks to foster discussion and collaboration between activists and human rights defenders in the global south around the issue of shrinking spaces on social media in the face of increasingly authoritative digital governance. As the move for greater state surveillance and censorship of social media continues to be met with the increasing compliance of social media companies to content restriction and user data requests, the fundamental rights of internet users in developing countries are increasingly threatened. It seeks to foster the development of innovative strategies, policies and solutions that can balance the need to regulate social media and respect cultural relativity online without obstructing freedom of expression and the global
flow and exchange of information.

The session will first give digital rights activists from countries such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Turkey and Malaysia the opportunity to highlight and document context specific concerns and instances of online repression within global policy dialogue. The second half will focus on the dynamic relationship between governments and social media companies so that they can better position themselves to combat this emerging nexus. This includes discussing strategies to strengthen accountability and transparency of tech companies, and how legislation can be reformed to protect the rights of citizens, particularly the disenfranchised.

Moderators
avatar for Saleha Zahid

Saleha Zahid

Researcher, Bolo Bhi

Speakers
avatar for Nighat Dad

Nighat Dad

Founder, Digital Rights Foundation
Nighat Dad is the ​Founder and executive director of the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), Pakistan, She has run the DRF since it was established in 2012, and has been a practicing lawyer since 2007, where she worked on civil​,​ criminal​ and now cyber​ litigation... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
El Jem (Laico)

9:00am

Testing New Methods for Social Media Monitoring by Civic Groups in Elections
Over the past few years, social media have transformed the way political campaigns and elections are run. 2018 has seen a flurry of initiatives by civil society groups aiming to monitor online public discourse before, during and after elections. Using very diverse methods, they aimed to sample and analyse social media contents relevant to electoral observation. This roundtable organised by 'Supporting Democracy' will explore the ways in which election observers can analyse social media coverage of political campaigns and assess attempts to manipulate voters' choices through deliberate disinformation. 'Supporting Democracy' is a technical assistance project working for the European Commission. Through its working group on social media monitoring, it brought together recent work in this field by its consortium member organisations, Democracy Reporting International (Germany) and the National Democratic Institute (US) and enriched it with input from similar initiatives. This working group has been assessing and testing the methodological tools that may help civic groups design their own tailor-made monitoring projects. Roundtable participants will discuss some lessons learned in recent elections (using concrete examples), present building blocks for a joint methodology, and sketch out possible plans for cooperation among civil society groups that wish to monitor social media in elections.

Moderators
Speakers
RG

Rafael Goldzweig

Research Coordinator, Democracy Reporting International
Rafael is the Research Coordinator of Democracy Reporting International, where he monitors the impact of social media on elections and referenda around the world. His work entails the development of methodologies and data analysis & visualisation to assess how social media impacts... Read More →
avatar for Rasto Kuzel

Rasto Kuzel

Executive Director, MEMO 98
I am a media & election expert with over 20 years of international experience. Since 1998, I have been running MEMO 98, a proficient media institution with extensive experience of delivering media monitoring on behalf of international institutions as well as technical assistance... Read More →
avatar for Mohamad Najem

Mohamad Najem

Executive director, SMEX
Executive director at the Beirut-based digital rights organization SMEX (smex.org), the Middle East and North Africa’s leading digital rights research and policy advocacy organization. My work includes local and regional advocacy campaigns, research on privacy, data protection... Read More →
avatar for Khadeja Ramali

Khadeja Ramali

social media and data analyst
currently working on social media analysis, focusing specifically on Libya and the current political discourse. Would love to chat to others so come find me, focus: social media, data analysis, online spaces, misinformation, sm collection tools


Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Amilcar (Laico)

10:30am

Aligning cybercrime laws with international human rights standards
Countries around the world are adopting cybercrime laws which seriously fail to respect international human rights law. Many such laws problematically duplicate existing rules, use vague or overbroad language and/or fail to provide for appropriate intent requirements. This session will identify relevant standards and better practices for ensuring that cybercrimes laws respect international human rights.

Moderators
avatar for Toby Mendel

Toby Mendel

Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy
I have been a freedom of expression/right to information lawyer and activist for over 20 years with a lot of experience working at the international level and in countries in regions around the world. Perhaps my most important area of expertise is in terms of standard-setting where... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for 'Gbenga Sesan

'Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative
‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise that works on digital rights and digital inclusion across Africa, with offices in Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Carthage 3 (Laico)

1:00pm

Landmark: Voter Beware! - Microtargeting in Political Elections and Campaigns
Landmark sessions cover the core trending issues that have emerged from the RightsCon Program. These sessions elevate issues that deserve greater attention to support creating the most impactful programming possible. Landmarks are hosted in the RightsCon main stage at the Palais and benefit from greater production support, including translations.

Digital media ecosystems increasingly influence every aspect of our lives, from the education of our kids to the purchases we make. One feature of our modern information diet is a practice known as microtargeting a marketing strategy that uses people’s data to segment them into small groups for content targeting. In elections around the world, microtargeting is changing the landscape of national and global politics and campaigning. Further, the collection and use of data for commercial purposes remains largely unregulated, leading to the rise of the surveillance capitalist system.  The responsibility rests squarely on our shoulders as citizens and as voters to understand these dramatic shifts in the nature of our digital media ecosystems and protect ourselves from manipulation and exploitation.

This Landmark session will explore the risks, effectiveness, and impact of microtargeting on political processes, elections, and human rights, with discussion in its role in global campaigning and the challenges in securing evidence via social media and other ephemeral platforms to support regulatory change. 

Moderators
avatar for Tom Trewinnard

Tom Trewinnard

Programs & Partnerships, Meedan
Tom Trewinnard (UK) is Director of Programs at Meedan, a social technology non-profit working on the Check project to develop collaborative verification tools and open training curricula. He is a co-founder of Pop-Up Newsroom, which has led major collaborative reporting initiatives... Read More →

Speakers
DC

David Carroll

Director, Democracy Program, Carter Center
David Carroll is director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program and leads the Center's work on developing and building consensus on international standards. He also coordinates a Carter Center team working to develop a methodology and related tools to assess the impact of social... Read More →
avatar for Varoon Bashyakarla

Varoon Bashyakarla

Data Scientist, Tactical Tech
Varoon Bashyakarla is a data scientist at the Tactical Technology Collective, a Berlin-based NGO that works globally at the intersection of civil society and technology. For the past two years, he has been studying how personal data is becoming a political asset, influencing elections... Read More →
avatar for Katarzyna Szymielewicz

Katarzyna Szymielewicz

Cofounder and president, Panoptykon Foundation
Lawyer, activist, performer. Still believing that reclaiming control and power over data is possible. Fighting this battle for last 10 years.
avatar for Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Liang

Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Liang

Participant, g0v.tw
I am...- A web developer that works at an Internet company as a day job.- An open-sourced civic tech supporter, participated & founded several projects that facilitates civic participation of democracy.- Going to present Cofacts, the voluntary project I have founded in mid 2016Cofacts... Read More →
avatar for Peggy Hicks

Peggy Hicks

Director. Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Since January 2016, Peggy Hicks has served as director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division at the UN's human rights office. From 2005 to 2015, she was global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, where she was responsible for coordinating... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
The BeeHive (Palais)

2:15pm

Protecting digital communities in democracies from the global reach of authoritarian countries
The session will be divided into four parts. The first part will be dedicated to an examination of case studies where censorship of one country has been applied abroad. These case studies will be matched with potential solutions proposed by the panel members and audience. The second part will proceed similarly and explore what kind of surveillance countries have instituted most commonly. How can we prevent equipment built by China from being exported globally and used for human rights abuses? Shall countries impose sanctions on companies? Thirdly, the panel will explore how to approach information influence operations abroad. Many countries have experienced Russian and Iranian propaganda. However, it has been difficult to counter this subtle kind of information controls. While the audience is encouraged to interject remarks or ideas at any point of the session, the last part is particularly designed to stimulate their interaction. The moderator will encourage the audience to voice their opinion and give examples that the panel may have missed or deserve attention. The audience will be also invited to introduce the platforms, channels or organisations that they work for if any of them can contribute to tailoring counterstrategies and make a lasting impact.

Moderators
avatar for Lisa Garbe

Lisa Garbe

Research associate, University of St.Gallen
Our research team maps and analyzes all African ISPs and their shareholders; ISP involvement in shutdowns; and consequences thereof

Speakers
avatar for Arzu Geybullayeva

Arzu Geybullayeva

Journalist, Freelance
Regional analyst, correspondent, and columnist. Former Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL) and Central Asia Azerbaijan Fellow at George Washington University. Main areas of interest include human rights, advocacy, press freedom, and more recently... Read More →
avatar for Arthur Gwagwa

Arthur Gwagwa

Senior Research Fellow, Strathmore University (CIPIT)
Arthur is currently working on a project funded by the Open Technology Fund. The project will detect, document, and analyze current and emerging cyber threats with a long term goal to mitigate their impact on users at risk in specific Sub-Saharan African countries especially around... Read More →
GL

Gabrielle Lim

Researcher, Data & Society Research Institute
avatar for Valentin Weber

Valentin Weber

Research Affiliate, Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, University of Oxford
Valentin is a DPhil Candidate in Cyber Security at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security and a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, University of Oxford. He is also an Open Technology Fund Fellow in Information Controls at the Berkman... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Oya 1 (Laico)

2:15pm

Voter Beware! Lessons from the ground
This roundtable discussion will build on the themes and ideas explored in the Landmark Session “Voter Beware: Micro-targeting in Political Elections and Campaigns.” Lessons learned from Myanmar, Poland, Taiwan, South Africa and elsewhere will be shared as we take a dive into the real-world implications of micro-targeting in different political and human rights contexts.

Moderators
avatar for Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson

Associate Director, The Carter Center
avatar for Tom Trewinnard

Tom Trewinnard

Programs & Partnerships, Meedan
Tom Trewinnard (UK) is Director of Programs at Meedan, a social technology non-profit working on the Check project to develop collaborative verification tools and open training curricula. He is a co-founder of Pop-Up Newsroom, which has led major collaborative reporting initiatives... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Billion Lee

Billion Lee

Cofacts
Fact-checking, fight against disinformation.
avatar for Varoon Bashyakarla

Varoon Bashyakarla

Data Scientist, Tactical Tech
Varoon Bashyakarla is a data scientist at the Tactical Technology Collective, a Berlin-based NGO that works globally at the intersection of civil society and technology. For the past two years, he has been studying how personal data is becoming a political asset, influencing elections... Read More →
MB

Michael Baldassaro

Digital Threats Project Lead, Carter Center
avatar for Katarzyna Szymielewicz

Katarzyna Szymielewicz

Cofounder and president, Panoptykon Foundation
Lawyer, activist, performer. Still believing that reclaiming control and power over data is possible. Fighting this battle for last 10 years.
avatar for Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Liang

Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Liang

Participant, g0v.tw
I am...- A web developer that works at an Internet company as a day job.- An open-sourced civic tech supporter, participated & founded several projects that facilitates civic participation of democracy.- Going to present Cofacts, the voluntary project I have founded in mid 2016Cofacts... Read More →
avatar for Beatriz Busaniche

Beatriz Busaniche

President of the Vía Libre Foundation, Argentina.Master in Intellectual Property. Professor at the University of Buenos Aires and FLACSO Argentina.She is a professor of Human Rights and Intellectual Property in FLACSO and of Right to Culture in the Faculty of Economic Sciences of... Read More →


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