The Citizen Lab will be participating in the 2015 Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) conference, held in Ulaanbaatar on May 4-5, 2015, hosted by the current FOC Chair, Mongolia. The conference will explore topics under the umbrella theme of “Internet Policy Making – Best Practices for Promoting Online Freedom.”

Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert will be speaking in a plenary session entitled “Future Internet Trends,” which will discuss the development of civilian drones, artificial intelligence, robotics, and wearable technology. In particular, speakers will highlight their impacts on Internet freedom and the question of whether stakeholders are prepared for the changes to come. Deibert will be joined by Estonia Deputy Foreign Minister Mart Laanemä and Rebecca MacKinnon of the New America Foundation on the panel, amongst others.

Watch a video recording of the  “Future Internet Trends” plenary session.

Communications Officer and Researcher Irene Poetranto is involved in Freedom Online Coalition workshop called “Digital Defenders Partnership: Digital Emergencies and Response,” organized by Hivos’ Digital Defenders Partnership, where participants will discuss response strategies to digital attacks. The flash session seeks to answer questions related to protecting human rights defenders, journalists and activists, including identifying the threats facing them. Irene Poetranto will also contribute to a workshop entitled “Towards Shared Understanding to Realise a Free & Secure Internet for All,” organized by the Association for Progressive Communication (APC). The workshop explores the perspective of marginalized voices online, and will present research findings on technology-related violence against women. Freedom of expression research from India, Malaysia, and Pakistan will guide the ensuing discussion.

Watch video recordings of the “Digital Defenders Partnership: Digital Emergencies and Response” and “Towards Shared Understanding to Realise a Free & Secure Internet for All” workshops.

Senior Legal Researcher Sarah McKune will present the Citizen Lab’s research in Freedom Online Coalition workshop called “Regional Challenges to ‘Best Practice’: The Case of the SCO,” which discusses the regional security practices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Recently, the SCO has characterized the Internet as a threat, raising the potential for curtailing online freedom in the name of national security. Participants will be focusing on how the FOC can influence regional bodies for the creation of better cyber security policy.

Watch a video recording of the “Regional Challenges to ‘Best Practice’: The Case of the SCO” workshop.

Citizen Lab’s Cyber Steward Network partner Shahzad Ahmad of Bytes for All is also involved in a plenary session on “Internet Freedom Trends in Asia.” Participants will explore business, civil society, and government perspectives, with speakers from each stakeholder group present. Speakers will suggest techniques to improve and sustain Internet freedom in the region.

Watch a video recording of the “Internet Freedom Trends in Asia” plenary session.

Read the full conference program.