Governments’ use of biometric systems have raised privacy concerns and the need for greater transparency and accountability. This is because these systems collect and store individuals’ physical traits such as fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scans, and other personal characteristics. Biometric identification has been criticized as being error-prone and unreliable, as well as being fundamentally detrimental to privacy, free expression, and the right to anonymity, especially with regards to vulnerable individuals such as dissidents, whistleblowers, and journalists. Members of the Cyber Stewards Network are active in efforts to raise awareness on the use of biometric systems and surveillance technologies.
Social Movements and Their Technologies analyzes the rise of low-power radio stations and radical internet projects (“emancipatory communication practices”) as a political subject, focusing on the sociological and cultural processes at play.
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) has released a trailer for its upcoming documentary DesiSec: Cybersecurity and Civil Society in India. The film will be released in December 2013. The documentary will include a series of interviews and videos on information security that CIS has produced over the past year.
Citizen Lab Doctoral Fellow Jennie Phillips attended the “Regional Consultation on Freedom of Expression for Civil Liberties” conference on 21-23 November in Bangkok, Thailand. A total of 137 participants from 26 countries attended the conference, which aimed to spark an Asia-wide movement for the protection of online freedom of expression.
Cyber Steward Network partner Walid Al-Saqaf writes about the recent launch of Yemen’s chapter of the Internet Society for Global Voices Advocacy.
On November 20, 2013, Cyber Steward Network partner Tibet Action Institute (TAI) participated in a panel discussion and tech session titled “Safe Travels Online: Tech Meet” hosted by Students for a Free Tibet Canada in Toronto. The discussion revolved around online targeted threats against activists, members of the Tibetan diaspora community, and their supporters. In attendance were Citizen Lab’s Research Manager Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Nathan Freitas, the Director of Technology of TAI & The Guardian Project, Lhadon Tethong, Director of the TAI, and Lobsang Sithar, the Field Coordinator of the TAI.
On November 21-23, 2013, Cyber Steward Network partner Bytes for All (B4A) will be participating in the “Asia Regional Consultation on ‘Freedom of Expression for Civil Liberties’” held in Bangkok, Thailand. Working in collaboration with other civil society organizations such as ICT Watch, Global Partners Digital, Association for Progressive Communications and the Thai Netizen Network, the event will focus on three issues relevant to free expression cyberspace in Asia: access to the Internet, online surveillance, and political-electoral communication.
November 20, 2013
This post is an introduction to Asia Chats a research project analyzing
information controls and privacy in mobile messaging applications used
in Asia. The project will produce a series of reports that will begin
with a focus on WeChat, LINE, and KakaoTalk. Reports will include
analysis based on our technical investigation of censorship or
surveillance functionality, assessment of privacy issues surrounding
these applications’ use and storage of user data, and comparison of the
terms of service and privacy policies of the applications.
This post analyzes the multistakeholder participation in the 2013 IGF in Indonesia, which has been lauded as a model for how different stakeholdergroups can operate at these events, and discusses developments in the country’s Internet governance agenda.