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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.

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

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

RightsCon is brought to you by Access Now.

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Privacy and Surveillance and Individual Security [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 12


When Two Rights Make a Wrong: Finding a way forward when competing rights fail to protect the most vulnerable in our society
The importance of respecting and upholding human rights in a digital age is clear; the route to achieving this, sometimes less so. Particularly challenging are those occasions where fundamental rights find themselves somewhat in tension. This is often visible when navigating the parameters of inappropriate surveillance versus legitimate crime fighting; where tools used by activists to protect their identity are the same tools that are misused by criminals to evade detection; where measures that are in place to protect citizens’ right to privacy, make investigations of criminality – sometimes the worst kinds of criminality, such as crimes against children – challenging for law enforcement. Our strategic roundtable will bring together stakeholders from industry, civil society, academia and law enforcement. It will seek to take advantage of the range of experts at RightsCon to respectfully discuss this paradox within a specific context – child sexual exploitation and abuse - and seek greater mutual understanding, as well as looking for options to work through the challenges experienced on each side. To ensure coverage of a range of perspectives, expert speakers will formally open the conversation by summarising the issues their stakeholder group faces and potential opportunities for overcoming them.

avatar for Natasha Jackson

Natasha Jackson

Head of Public Policy & Consumer Affairs, GSMA

avatar for Victoria Baines

Victoria Baines

Principal, Cartimandua Insight
Former Facebook executive and Europol officer. Independent researcher on cybercrime, online safety, public policy and security. Co-host of the Cyber Warrior Princess podcast.

Bjørn-Erik Ludvigsen

Criminal Intelligence Officer, INTERPOL
avatar for Marianne Díaz Hernández

Marianne Díaz Hernández

Public Policy Analyst, Derechos Digitales
Marianne Diaz is a Venezuelan lawyer, digital rights activist and fiction writer, currently based in Santiago, Chile. Her work focuses mainly on issues regarding online freedom of speech, web filtering, internet infrastructure and digital security. She founded the digital rights NGO... Read More →

Wednesday June 12, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Elydhafa (Laico)
  • Host Organization GSMA


2018 Human Rights Heroes Awards
Every year, Access Now celebrates heroes of human rights in the digital age from around the world who have made a unique contribution to the fight against overreaching surveillance and defending privacy. The award started as a way to celebrate the impact of the Necessary and Proportionate Principles — a set of guidelines governments must follow to ensure any electronic surveillance program fully respects human rights — and is now in its fifth year.

In recognition of their amazing work in 2018, we are very proud to honor:

  • Mohammed Al-Maskati, Digital Security Trainer, Bahrain
  • Lizzie O'Shea, Lawyer, Australia
  • Zaituni Njovu, Zaina Foundation, Tanzania
  • Dr. Usha Ramanathan, Researcher & Activist, on behalf of Aadhaar Petitioners and Litigators, India
  • Marianne Díaz Hernández, Lawyer & Researcher, Derechos Digitales, Venezuela

We are also pleased to welcome special guest U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to join us in recognizing our 2018 Human Rights Heroes.

You can learn more about the award, its history, and each of this year's recipients here.

avatar for Brett Solomon

Brett Solomon

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Access Now
Brett is the Executive Director of Access Now, defending and extending the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining innovative policy, global advocacy, and direct technical support, RightsCon and grant-making, Access Now fights for human rights in the digital... Read More →
avatar for Marianne Díaz Hernández

Marianne Díaz Hernández

Public Policy Analyst, Derechos Digitales
Marianne Diaz is a Venezuelan lawyer, digital rights activist and fiction writer, currently based in Santiago, Chile. Her work focuses mainly on issues regarding online freedom of speech, web filtering, internet infrastructure and digital security. She founded the digital rights NGO... Read More →
avatar for Amie Stepanovich

Amie Stepanovich

U.S. Policy Manager, Access Now
avatar for Lizzie O'Shea

Lizzie O'Shea

Board members, Digital Rights Watch
Digital Rights Watch Australia
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 Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet

On September 1, 2018 Michelle Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1993 and Ms. Bachelet is the seventh Commissioner.Ms. Bachelet was elected President of... Read More →

Wednesday June 12, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
The BeeHive (Palais)
Thursday, June 13


One size does NOT fit all: Diverse threat models across North Africa call for more refined digital security training and tools
This session will provide a platform for grassroots activists - facing distinctly different digital threats across North Africa - to highlight their need for more tailored and context specific digital security training and tools. While digital security becomes an increasingly talked about and important part of human rights protection, and new training opportunities and tools become widespread, grassroots human rights groups across North Africa still struggle to access resources that are tailored to their precise needs. This panel will allow frontline groups to delve into the threat models they operate within, and share their digital security needs with the larger human rights technology community.

avatar for Bahaa Nasr

Bahaa Nasr

Information Security Manager, ISC Project

Thursday June 13, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Elyssa (Laico)
Friday, June 14


Surveillance Tech and Oppressive Governments: Exploring cases of abuse and avenues for global cooperation going forward
For years, the digital rights community has known that protecting dissidents from surveillance is of paramount importance. In October, we were given a clear example of how dangerous the threat really is with the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It has since been revealed that the Saudi government used state of the art spyware developed by a private company, NSO group, to collect information on Khashoggi through other dissidents’ phones. 

This session, co-organized by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Access Now, and the Human Rights Foundation, investigates the sale of surveillance technology to authoritarian governments like Saudi Arabia by private companies and state-backed export programs like China’s Belt and Road Initiative. We will do this by (1) exposing the problem and explaining how it manifests in different regions, and (2) discussing ways to address this problem through international institutions, legislation, litigation, and regulation. What has already been done, and are there new avenues for change? We also hope to gain insight on this topic by consulting the experts, activists, journalists, and others in the audience by leading a fishbowl-style conversation. Our ultimate aim is to organize around this issue and push for change at the highest level.

avatar for Prachi Vidwans

Prachi Vidwans

Research Associate, Human Rights Foundation
A research associate at the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), where I work on the intersection between authoritarianism and tech, drug policy, human trafficking, and more. I work closely with activists and have a special interest in authoritarianism in Asia. Let's talk!

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 Megha Rajagopalan

Megha Rajagopalan

International correspondent, BuzzFeed News
International correspondent, BuzzFeed News. I write about tech and society including mass surveillance, accountability for social media platforms, cybersecurity and more. Email me or connect on social media if you want to talk!
avatar for Lucie Krahulcova

Lucie Krahulcova

Policy Analyst, Access Now
Policy Analyst for Australia and Asia Pacific at the Access Now. Working on export controls, surveillance, government hacking, encryption, law enforcement, Internet of Things, vulnerability disclosure... Let's talk!

Friday June 14, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Carthage 1 (Laico)