The Citizen Lab and its network of cybersecurity researchers and advocates in the global South, the Cyber Stewards Network, will be participating in the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) on July 1-3, 2015, at the Macau University of Science & Technology, Macau. The conference aims to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder discussion on key Internet governance issues that are unique to the Asia Pacific region, and how solutions can be translated to the international level.

The workshop entitled “Surveillance trends, challenges and opportunities in the Asia Pacific” will explore trends in communications surveillance in the region, government responses to civil society criticisms of these practices, and the manner in which the expansion of these technologies can be managed with respect for the rule of law and human rights. The workshop will draw extensively on Citizen Lab research into information controls, such as commercial spyware software FinFisher, whose command and controls servers have been located in 36 countries, including Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Vietnam. Findings from research on Italy-based Hacking Team and Canadian firm Netsweeper, whose products are also sold to law enforcement agencies worldwide, will also inform the discussion.

Communications Officer and Researcher Irene Poetranto will be joined by Shahzad Ahmad, Country Director of Bytes for All Pakistan, Donny Budhi Utoyo, Director of ICT Watch, and Ritu Srivastava, Programme Officer at the Digital Empowerment Foundation.

In a separate roundtable workshop entitled “Online Threats to Freedom of Expression and Religious Freedoms,” Irene Poetranto will join Andrew Lowenthal of EngageMedia, a non-profit organization focused on using citizen media initiatives to influence social reforms. The workshop will discuss digital security threats to journalists, such as interception and surveillance of their communications, along with methods to cope with these threats.

Further information on conference programming and schedules can be found on the 2015 APrIGF website.