Proposal

APrIGF 2022 Session Proposal Submission Form
Part 1 - Lead Organizer
Contact Person
Ms. Pavitra Ramanujam
Email
Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *
Association for Progressive Communications
Designation
Asia Digital Rights Lead
Gender
Female
Economy of Residence
India
Primary Stakeholder Group
Civil Society
Part 2 - Session Proposal
Session Title
Responding to changing digital rights priorities in a post-pandemic world
Session Format
Panel Discussion
Where do you plan to organize your session?
Onsite at the venue (with online moderator for questions and comments from remote participants)
Specific Issues for Discussion
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rapid migration to internet & digital spaces for existing and new activities, bringing into focus the intersection of technology with critical rights such as the right to health, education, privacy, information & expression. Stakeholders such as governments & technology companies have leveraged this situation through new policies & actions that enable more public participation on one hand while granting them more control over digital spaces on the other.

However, digital rights advocates across stakeholder groups such as civil society, academia & media have seen great disruptions in their work - changing agendas by decision-makers, truncated plans for movement building & advocacy, relevance of previous strategies and shifting priorities in resourcing. The aim of this session is to understand long-term consequences of the pandemic on digital rights and related advocacy priorities, how likely they are to continue into the future, and how digital rights advocates can leverage this changed scenario.

This session will be a panel discussion with stakeholders from civil society, media & academia reflecting on:
1. How has the pandemic shifted the digital rights agenda in your specific context?
2. What kind of shifts in strategy & approach have had to be made in efforts to advocate for digital rights as a result? What has been the impact on outcomes?
3. What efforts and actions are needed now to better protect digital rights & ensure a rights-based approach to technology related policy-making and internet governance?

The session will include perspectives from APC’s Global Information Society Watch report 2022, on ‘COVID-19: Changes to digital rights priorities & strategies’. The audience will also be able to reflect on these questions. Conclusions from the discussion will inform the work of APC's Digital Rights Collaborative, a capacity & movement building program for new entrants into digital rights in the region.
Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF
The work of digital rights advocates is crucial in ensuring that the internet and cyberspace is a safe, reliable and trustworthy space for all users. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a crackdown on freedom of expression online in many countries in the region, weakening of data protection policies, huge increase in hate speech, gender-based violence and misinformation on social media, there is a danger of everyday users losing their trust in the internet. It is important to understand what digital rights advocates must do in the coming months and years to ensure that digital rights remain a core part of internet governance and policy-making, and that the internet remains a trusted space.

This session also relates to the ‘Sustainability’ track, which is part of this year’s sub-themes. The session aims to understand the long-term impact that the pandemic has had and could have on the protection of digital rights, and its consequences on people in their use of ICTs. Building a strong regional digital rights movement which addresses our changing relationship to the internet and related technologies, and which aims to ensure that the internet is an open, free and rights-respecting space will lead to the long-term sustainability of the internet.

Finally, the session directly addresses the overarching theme of this year’s APrIGF, People at the Centre: Envisioning a community-led Internet that is inclusive, sustainable and trusted. Movement building and advocacy for digital rights puts people at the centre of decision-making on issues related to the internet and other technologies. In order to ensure that the internet is an inclusive, sustainable and trusted space, the work of digital rights advocates must be strengthened through capacity building, better cross-regional mobilisation and access to adequate resources, especially in a post-pandemic environment which has seen a downslide in human rights protections across the region.
Methodology / Agenda (Please add rows by clicking "+" on the right)
Time frame (e.g. 5 minutes, 20 minutes, should add up to 60 minutes) Description
4 minutes Introduction to session and speakers
16 minutes Q & A with speakers on: 1. How has the pandemic shifted the digital rights agenda in your specific context? 2. What kind of shifts in strategy and approach have had to be made in efforts to advocate for digital rights as a result? What has been the impact on outcomes?
10 minutes Reflections and questions from audience
16 minutes Q & A with speakers on: 3. What efforts and actions are needed right now, in this changed scenario, to better protect digital rights and ensure a rights-based approach to technology related policy-making and internet governance?
10 minutes Reflections and questions from audience
4 minutes Concluding remarks from speakers
Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)
  • Moderator (Primary)

    • Name: Pavitra Ramanujam
    • Organization: Association for Progressive Communications
    • Designation: Asia Digital Rights Lead
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
  • Moderator (Back-up)

    • Name: Bobby Soriano
    • Organization: Association for Progressive Communications
    • Designation: Southeast Asia Movement Building Coordinator
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Philippines
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
  • Speaker 1

    • Name: Gayathry Venkiteswaran
    • Organization: University of Nottingham Malaysia
    • Designation: Assistant Professor
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Malaysia
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
  • Speaker 2

    • Name: Byoung-il Oh
    • Organization: Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet
    • Designation: President
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Republic of Korea
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: Online
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
  • Speaker 3

    • Name: Fernando Ximenes
    • Organization: Association for Progressive Media and Technology
    • Designation: Founder
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Timor Leste
    • Stakeholder Group: Press / Media
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
  • Speaker 4

    • Name: Darika Bamrungchok
    • Organization: Thai Netizen Network
    • Designation: Program manager
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Thailand
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.
Gayathry Venkiteswaran is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham Malaysia, where she teaches Political Communication, Propaganda and Public Relations, and Communication Technologies. Gayathry is also a journalist and media activist for over 20 years, and is currently researching media reforms in Southeast Asia. She will share, both from an academia and media perspective, her experiences and observations on how digital rights issues are being framed and treated in the context of the pandemic, its impact on digital rights advocacies and what changes are needed to centre a rights-based approach to internet governance issues.

Byoung-il Oh is the President of the Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, based in the Republic of Korea, which advocates for human rights in the information society, especially the rights to communication, free speech and privacy. Byoung-il is the author of the country report for the 2022 Global Information Society Watch, which focuses on the introduction of surveillance technologies in light of the pandemic in South Korea. Byoung-il will share his perspectives on his country’s pandemic response through the extensive use of digital technologies, its impact on digital rights and how civil society must address the breach of rights in various related policies ahead of any other emergency.

Fernando Ximenes is the founder of the Timorese Association for Progressive Media and Technology, a youth-led organization that focuses on progressive media narratives. He is also an editor at Timoriana Association, which produces interdisciplinary action-oriented research on issues such as national economic development, democratic participation and environmental issues. Fernando’s work focuses on promoting popular democracy and people's participation through alternative media, and he will share his views on shifts in the media landscape in the context of Timor Leste.

Darika Bamrungchok is a digital safety trainer who has been involved in the social justice movement in Thailand since 2006. She currently works with the Thai Netizen Network, a digital rights and civil liberties organization focusing on access to information, freedom of expression, privacy, and participatory internet governance. Darika’s advocacy work aims to explore the alarming trends on digital rights issues which impact on civil society in Thailand and provide a long term digital safety capacity from a range of training, incident response support, to network building. She will share her perspectives working on internet freedom and incident response projects in Thailand over the last two years, and how the nature of her work has changed in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Please declare if you have any potential conflict of interest with the Program Committee 2022.
Yes
If yes, please detail the person and his/her level of engagement on your session proposal. (e.g. 1 or more of the PC members are co-hosting/moderating/speaking at the session)
PC member is organising and moderating the session.
Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2022?
No
Number of Participants (Please fill in numbers)
    Consent
    I agree that my data can be submitted to forms.for.asia and processed by APrIGF organizers for the program selection of APrIGF 2022.