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Thursday, March 31 • 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Protest, Privacy, and the Private sector

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In August 2015, days ahead of a major rally, the Malaysian regulatory body on communications and multimedia, the MCMC, issued a request for Internet Service Providers in the country to block access to the website of the Malaysian electoral reform group, Bersih, stating that it was necessary to block information deemed threatening to national security.

The impact of this block was minimal, however, because the majority of Bersih rally participants used Facebook and Twitter to share information.

Private companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have designed online spaces that are increasingly becoming sites of dispute and negotiation of rights among a diverse network of stakeholders. What responsibility do these global corporations have to protect user rights to peacefully assembly and association online, when those rights are being restricted by national laws?

Acts of peaceful assembly online are increasingly taking place on platforms that appear public, but are owned and operated for profit. While global corporations may not be subject to the same level of restrictions experienced by local companies, they are subject to rules of intellectual property, data retention and sharing, disclosure to state enforcement agencies, and intermediary liability.

As we discover new ways to exercise our rights to peaceful assembly and association online, individuals are increasingly subject to surveillance, censorship, threats of violence, and direct attack. This workshop will discuss emerging challenges to freedom of assembly and association online, exploring trends and recommendations. This session will also consider strategies and best practices to create and maintain safe spaces for networking and engagement online.

This session will bring together human rights defenders and researchers from Asia, together with representatives from the private sector for a dynamic discussion with the following expected outcomes:

Shared understanding of the right of peaceful assembly and association, and how it operates in different online and offline contexts

Develop an understanding of some of the opportunities and challenges for the private sector to respect, protect, and promote the right to peaceful assembly and association online.

Reflections on existing and potential protection mechanisms, developed together by civil society groups and private companies.

Recommendations on how to best utilize existing opportunities to provide a more conducive environment to exercise the right to peaceful assembly and association online.

Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to continue discussion of protection mechanisms for the right to peaceful assembly and association online, focusing specifically on the role of private companies.

Researchers will use the outcomes of this workshop to build awareness and advocacy campaigns at the national, regional and global level.

avatar for Haroon Baloch

Haroon Baloch

Bytes for All
avatar for Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown

Association for Progressive Communications
avatar for Serene Lim

Serene Lim

Coordinator, EMPOWER
avatar for Ritu Srivastava

Ritu Srivastava

Senior Programme Manager, Digital Empowerment Foundation
I am working with Digital Empowerment Foundation as Senior Programme Manager. Having experience in FoE, open spectrum; and gender and access issues.

Thursday March 31, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
The Fishbowl

Attendees (47)