Global Research Network
Outputs related to the global community of practice that the Citizen Lab helps to cultivate through our Cyber Stewards Network, various fellowships, and events.
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.
Cyber Steward partner organization Bytes for All (B4A), based in Pakistan, joined with ARTICLE 19 to condemn a proposal developed by the government of Sindh Province for a three-month ban on instant messaging apps Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp. The provincial government maintained that this proposed ban is part of an effort to block access to networks used by criminals and terrorists for their activities. Legal experts in Pakistan argue that the ban is legally justifiable as the 1996 Telecommunications (Reorganisation) Act allows communication services to be suspended for security concerns. However, B4A and ARTICLE 19 have criticized the proposal as incompatible with international human rights standards.
In January 2013, Cyber Steward partner Bytes for All (B4A) submitted a petition to the Lahore High Court to challenge Internet censorship in the country. This case, in collaboration with the Media Legal Defense Initiative, a non-governmental organisation which helps journalists and independent media outlets around the world defend their rights, highlighted the ongoing censorship of YouTube in Pakistan. The popular video-sharing site has been blocked since 2012 since YouTube refused to remove the controversial anti-Islamic “Innocence of Muslims” video.
While the Mexican government has long been suspected of purchasing surveillance equipment, the frequency of these purchases and the level of public funds allocated to them are rapidly increasing. Last February, New York Times published an investigative report on a USD 355 million outlay by the Mexican Ministry of Defense for sophisticated surveillance equipment. Six months earlier, Carmen Artistegui, a renowned investigative journalist in Mexico, published a report documenting five contracts from the Secretariat of National Defense for the purchase of surveillance technologies. All five contracts were confidential and granted to a single company headquartered in the state of Jalisco called Security Tracking Devices, Inc.
This blog post seeks to map out the infrastructure and governance of ICTs in the country, and explores the trends and challenges regarding the right to freedom of expression and access to information, that is grounded in the universal human rights framework.
An Indonesian translation of this post is available here.
Terjemahan dalam bahasa Indonesia dari halaman ini tersedia disini.
Building on past network measurements, legal, and policy analyses undertaken by the OpenNet Initiative, we set out to apply a mixed-methods approach to better understand the current situation. Our analysis is set in the context not only of the 2013 IGF, but amidst increasingly intense debates about free expression and access to information, and rapid technological change and development.