While Internet governance has global reach, it is also greatly influenced by local and regional issues. With this in mind, Cyber Stewards Network partner Professor Pirongrong Ramasoota of Chulalongkorn University, together with the Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), organized the recent Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum. Professor Ramasoota also serves as Vice President for Social Outreach and Global Engagement for Chulalongkorn University.
The APrIGF brought together over 500 participants to directly address the unique issues facing the Asia Pacific region.
The event is “…a multi-stakeholder platform for public policy on Internet and its impact on society. For almost a decade, the forum draws in discussions and incubates collaborations for the developments of universally affordable, accessible, non-discriminated, secure and sustainable internet across the region.”
Citizen Lab Senior Researcher Irene Poetranto attended the forum and participated in a number of events. “The forum directly tackled many pressing issues in Internet governance today, including online harassment, LGBTQ2+ expression and censorship, cybersecurity training, and youth-driven Internet governance initiatives,” she said.
What does it mean for technology to be increasingly reliant on biometrics? Do facial recognition practices make room for racial discrimination? With both private companies and states implementing biometric technologies, what human rights issues arise? These are some of the questions addressed in Leandro Ucciferri’s new post with Privacy International, “The Identity We Can’t Change“.
Ucciferri, who works with the Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles in Argentina and will be a visiting fellow at The Citizen Lab in Toronto this summer, investigates the intimate nature of biometrics in our everyday lives. Biometrics– the process of using biological, morphological or behavioural characteristics to identify an individual– has increasingly become integral in the modern world, including phones that open by recognizing an owner’s fingerprint. As Ucciferri points out: “Without realizing, our biometric personal identity has become fused with our most personal electronic device.”
He also seeks to delve into the nature of policy for both businesses and nations to ensure that the rights of citizens are protected:
“Biometric data is not used solely by private companies in order to make a profit. States are one of the main actors in biometrics, with large scale biometric databases of their citizens. In light of this, what are the safeguards in place to avoid manipulation and adulteration of such stored data? What type of guarantees should be established to ensure the integrity of the data obtained?”
The full report can be read here.
Cyber Stewards Network partner ICT Watch Indonesia was recently recognized at the Wold Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) for their tireless work in championing online freedom of expression.
Their winning project, “Internet Sehat” (Internet Healthy) Towards Indonesian Information Society, provides high-quality Indonesian online content. The project included a variety of approaches to fostering strong digital literacy skills, such as creating social movement documentaries, producing print literature, and running in-person workshops to develop the capacity of various stakeholders. Partners on the project included the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the Alliance of Independence Journalists, and the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network.
WSIS projects must demonstrate how they help to work towards ICT sustainable development by showing how they meet a series of 17 goals. The ICT Watch Indonesia project gained recognition by showcasing:
- Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
The World Summit on the Information Society Forum is the world’s largest annual gathering of ICT experts and advocates that work towards sustainable development. Read more about WSIS here.