LabberBill Marczak

Citizen Lab at the World Movement for Democracy Eighth Assembly

The World Movement for Democracy (WMD) will meet for its Eighth Assembly from November 1-4, in Seoul, South Korea. The WMD is a global network of activists, practitioners, scholars, policy makers, and funders who work to advance democracy. Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert sits on the steering committee of the WMD, comprised of internationally recognized democracy practitioners, and chaired by the Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada. Attendance at the Eighth Assembly is by invitation only.

The WMD Assemblies, which meet approximately every two years, convenes experts to discuss the challenges they face in advancing democracy in their countries, and their responses to those challenges. This year, the theme of the Assembly will be “Empowering Civil Society for Democracy and Its Renewal.” In this vein, four main challenges leading to the decline in democracy will be addressed. These are the political and ideological resurgence of authoritarian regimes, the need for civil society to better prepare themselves to protect fragile new democracies against the danger of backsliding, the need for established democracies to regain confidence by economic and political success, and finally the need to protect cyberspace against the encroachment of authoritarian governments. Welcoming remarks will be delivered by Kim Campbell, as well as The Honourable Hwang Kyo-ahn, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.

On Monday, November 1 from 10:15 am – 1:15 pm, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert was involved in a Research Workshop titled “The Global Campaign Against Democratic Norms,” which investigates the way in which authoritarian regimes are justifying their anti-democratic norms, particularly by reshaping global institution frameworks that have been integral to the liberal post Cold-war order.

Citizen Lab is also involved in two events on Tuesday, November 2. Ron Deibert spoke at a panel discussion on “Digital Threats against Civil Society and Potential Solutions” from 10:15 am – 1:15 pm. The session builds on research conducted by Citizen Lab on the threat landscape, and attempt to connect empirical research observations with documented harm to victims. He will be joined at the panel by Citizen Lab Senior Research Fellows John Scott-Railton and William Marczak, as well as Research Manager Masashi Crete-Nishihata.

From 2:45 pm – 6:00 pm, Citizen Lab co-hosted a workshop with Google Ideas entitled “Digital Security Bootcamp: Arming against Online Threats.” Along with Google Ideas’ team of engineers and researchers, Citizen Lab’s John Scott-Railton shared his knowledge of security tools and provide personalized recommendations for improving user security. Participants will facilitate conversation to better understand threats facing participants in the field.

Read more information on the Eighth Assembly.

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Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy | University of Toronto