Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tibet Action Institute publishes report on Youku video platform censorship

Cyber Stewards Network Partner Tibet Action Institute has released a report titled “Erasing Tibet: Censorship on Chinese Video Sharing Site Youku,” which documents censorship on Youku, as well as the broader trend of China-based social media platforms being required to follow regulations on content filtering. Careful testing revealed that video content related to Tibetan culture and the Dalai Lama were blocked, including content that made use of the Tibetan language.

Lobsang Gyatso Sither, who conducted the research with the support of the Citizen Lab, explained that the report was part of an effort to give Tibetans the tools to express their opinions, despite systematic censorship efforts against the community.

Read the full report.

Paradigm Initiative Nigeria releases “Digital Rights in Africa” report

Cyber Stewards Network partner Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has released the 2016 Digital Rights in Africa report, reviewing governments restrictions on Internet freedom this past year. The report analyzes 11 documented shutdowns across the continent, and a number of legislative developments that threaten digital rights.

PIN  goes on to identify common trends in the Internet shutdowns, including orders to private telecommunications companies and Internet providers to cut citizens off from the Internet. This, the report explains, is the result of very few individuals having broadband access, with most customers using mobile networks. These shutdowns often coincide with moments of political significance, including elections. These are often justified by references to national security, or even preventing students from cheating on exams.

The report provides an account of key events in over 25 countries in the continent, and concludes with strategies on mobilizing against digital right abuses.

Read the full report.

Cyber Stewards Network partners at the 2016 Internet Governance Forum

Cyber Stewards Network partners ran workshops and participated in programming at the 2016 Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara, Mexico, held from December 6-9. In addition, several Cyber Stewards Network partners launched the 2016 Global Information Society Watch publication, a report to which they had contributed. Paradigm Initiative Nigeria also launched a report at the IGF, titled “Digital Rights in Africa,” reviewing governments’ restrictions on Internet freedom on the continent in the past year.

Cyber Stewards network Partner Asociación por les Derechos Civiles (ADC) hosted a two part workshop. The first session, about Data Protection Systems in Latin America, involved participants sharing concerns regarding the practice of collecting personal data from citizens, which has been carried out by both governments and the private sector. In addition, the regulatory frameworks of the Region and international standards for the protection of personal data were examined. The second session focused on biometrics and surveillance technologies, held in tandem with Privacy International. ADC shared their work on biometrics technologies used at the state level in Argentina, and discussion followed on the different uses of the technology, whether in migration management or by security agencies. Other organizations invited, including Derechos Digitales, shared their strategies for research and advocacy, and identify potential collaboration opportunities.

Donny BU of ICT Watch also co-organized the Indonesia Open Forum in tandem with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The session investigated the effect of social media on democracy in Indonesia, and the ways it can be harnessed as a tool for strengthening civil engagement. Participants discussed ways to improve access for underrepresented groups such as youth and women. Read more information on the workshop.

Representatives from the Centre for Internet and Society and CIPESA were also in attendance at the IGF.