Category Archives: ICT Watch

ICT Watch is an Indonesian civil society organization (CSO) dedicated to building capacity of other CSOs with a focus on Internet safety, freedom of expression, and policy advocacy. ICT Watch’s project focuses on building the capacity of Indonesian CSOs to engage in Internet governance discussions and activities.

ICT Watch Indonesia wins at World Summit on the Information Society Forum

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.

Source: @fajareridianto

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.

ICT Watch project nominated for World Summit for the Information Society prize

Cyber Stewards Network Partner ICT Watch is one of 18 Indonesian organizations nominated for a World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) prize in 2017. The WSIS prizes have been organized by the United Nations since 2012, and supports the Internet community in achieving sustainable development goals by 2030.

ICT Watch was nominated for the award for their project entitled “Internet Sehat (Internet Healthy): Towards Indonesian Information Society.” The project description is as follows:

ICT Watch is committed to the online freedom of expression and aware of the emerging challenges to it, while continuing to combat online hoax and disinformation by delivering the Indonesian literacy digital, called “Internet Sehat”, to the public. Internet Sehat provides high-quality Indonesian online content under creative-common license, including a series of social media for social movement documentary videos for public screening and discussion. Also included is an updated presentation kit and how-to modules and leaflets for public education. Internet Sehat also delivered through offline activities, such as workshops, to schools, campuses and local communities, simultaneously facilitating multistakeholder engagement and developing capacity of local actors/communities.

ICT Watch has partnered with the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the Cyber Law Centre at Padjadjaran University, and other government and civil society organizations to facilitate the project.

Read information on the Internet Sehat projecta list of nominated projectsor vote for a winner for the WSIS prizes until April 30, 2017.

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.

Donny BU of ICT Watch in the Jakarta Post on Indonesia’s ITE law

Citizen Lab’s Cyber Stewards Network Partner Donny Budhi Utoyo, Executive Director of ICT Watch, spoke to the Jakarta Post in an interview about Indonesia’s Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) law. In particular, he commented on the ‘right to be forgotten’ (RTBF) clause, included in the new law as Article 26.

Though there have been concerns with the vagenuess of the RTBF, Donny said that it was “a progressive move,” but one that should be “complemented by implementing regulation.” He suggested that the RTBF should not be used as a tool of digital censorship or digital concealment, say, in suppressing important  information that should be accessible to the public like investigations of political corruption.

Other civil society organizations in Indonesia have outlined concerns with this possibility, as well as other aspects of the ITE law, such as cases relating to defamatory comments on social media. Cases prosecuted under the defamation provisions often involve comments against the politically powerful, rather than ordinary citizens. As a result, civil society organizations have suggested that this is an attempt to shield these individuals from legitimate scrutiny in matters of public interest.

Read the full Jakarta Post article.

ICT Watch wins 2016 WSIS Award

Citizen Lab’s Cyber Stewards Network Partner ICT Watch was selected for a 2016 WSIS Champion Projects Award, for their project entitled “”Internet Sehat” (Healthy Internet) Towards Indonesian Information Society.” Winners were announced at the 2016 WSIS Prize Ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland on May 3. WSIS Stocktacking documents the activities carried out by governments, international organizations, businesses, and civil society actors since the launch of the World Summit of Information Society conferences.

ICT Watch’s project was selected based on over 245, 000 votes, as well as a selection phase conducted by WSIS’s Expert Group. ICT Watch was one of five organizations selected under the “Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society” subcategory.

Project description:

ICT Watch is firmly committed to freedom of information and is keenly aware of the emerging challenge to the online freedom of expression in Indonesia. ICT Watch strategy is carefully calibrated to manage this challenge indirectly, by creating the conditions for responsible Internet use and the creation and distribution of high-quality online content, and by involving multistakeholder as partner in the program’s proliferation. Through the “Internet Sehat” program, ICT Watch have endeavored to show the multistakeholder that people can take responsibility for their online activities. For this ICT Watch released a how-to module under creative commons license for parents and teachers, and endorsed several public comic books for children/youngsters containing basic knowledge about the Internet safety. ICT Watch also participate in various offline activities, such as workshops, roadshows to schools/campuses and communities. ICT Watch communication media to public such as Facebook page with 73,000 members, Twitters with 697 thousand followers, Blog, YouTube, Flickr and Slideshare.

Visit the Internet Sehat homepage.

Citizen Lab and Cyber Stewards Network at 2015 APrIGF workshops

The Citizen Lab and its network of cybersecurity researchers and advocates in the global South, the Cyber Stewards Network, will be participating in the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) on July 1-3, 2015, at the Macau University of Science & Technology, Macau. The conference aims to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder discussion on key Internet governance issues that are unique to the Asia Pacific region, and how solutions can be translated to the international level.

The workshop entitled “Surveillance trends, challenges and opportunities in the Asia Pacific” will explore trends in communications surveillance in the region, government responses to civil society criticisms of these practices, and the manner in which the expansion of these technologies can be managed with respect for the rule of law and human rights. The workshop will draw extensively on Citizen Lab research into information controls, such as commercial spyware software FinFisher, whose command and controls servers have been located in 36 countries, including Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Vietnam. Findings from research on Italy-based Hacking Team and Canadian firm Netsweeper, whose products are also sold to law enforcement agencies worldwide, will also inform the discussion.

Communications Officer and Researcher Irene Poetranto will be joined by Shahzad Ahmad, Country Director of Bytes for All Pakistan, Donny Budhi Utoyo, Director of ICT Watch, Pirongrong Ramasoota, Professor at Chulalongkorn University, and Ritu Srivastava, Programme Officer at the Digital Empowerment Foundation.

In a separate roundtable workshop entitled “Online Threats and Chilling Effects to Journalism in the Asia Pacific,” Irene Poetranto will join Andrew Lowenthal of EngageMedia, a non-profit organization focused on using citizen media initiatives to influence social reforms. The workshop will discuss digital security threats to journalists, such as interception and surveillance of their communications, along with methods to cope with these threats.

Further information on conference programming and schedules can be found on the 2015 APrIGF website.

ICT Watch, SAFENET, and EngageMedia hosted discussion and movie screening

On May 16, Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFENET), an organization initiated by ICT Watch, and EngageMedia hosted a discussion on digital rights issues and screened Citizenfour movie in Jakarta, Indonesia. Citizenfour, a documentary film released in 2014, outlines the events surrounding Edward Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing. The film investigated the NSA’s mass collection of public data, and the lack of oversight and transparency in the process. Discussion following the film focused on how everyday citizens can safeguard themselves against privacy intrusions.

Members of the public focused on state sponsored surveillance in the Asian cultural context, where privacy often takes up a different meaning than Western conceptions of the term. Participants cited different parameters for privacy as shedding light on the manner in which users interact with social media platforms such as Facebook.

Read more about the event.



Cyber Stewards at RightsCon 2015

The Citizen Lab will be hosting two sessions, “Asia Chats” and “Filtering Free Expression,” at the RightsCon 2015 conference in Manila, Philippines.

(1) “Asia Chats: Security and Privacy of Asian Messaging Apps”

Abstract: “In Asia, mobile chat apps like WeChat, LINE, and KakaoTalk are hugely popular and rapidly expanding into new markets. The growth of these applications and strategies from the companies behind them to attract an international user base raise questions regarding the kind of pressures they may face in specific jurisdictions to censor or monitor communications and provide governments with user data and how they will respond to these demands. The Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto has been actively researching privacy, security, and censorship in popular Asian chat apps. Join Citizen Lab and partners to share latest findings on these apps and explore strategies for helping users make more informed decisions about the apps they use and engaging companies to improve privacy and security.”

The “Asia Chats” session will discuss the Citizen Lab’s analysis of information controls and privacy in mobile messaging applications used in Asia, with a focus on WeChatLINE, and KakaoTalkRead the background information regarding the project. This session will take place on Tuesday, March 24, at 11:30-12:45 in room Ruby A.

(2) “Filtering Free Expression in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities”

Abstract: “Governments have increasingly sought to impose information controls (e.g., censorship and filtering) on the Internet as more and more people are seeking and sharing information, running campaigns, and engaging in political discourse online. Information controls can be applied in highly dynamic ways that respond to events on the ground—particularly around major events such as elections or transfers of powers, global conferences, and armed conflicts—and may include multiple actors, such as states, private companies, criminal or militant groups, and civil society organizations. In this session, ARTICLE 19, the Citizen Lab, and a number of civil society representatives from the Southeast Asian region will engage in discussions about the legal and technological forms of information controls, and the instances in which they have been applied.”

A joint event between the Citizen Lab and ARTICLE 19, the “Filtering Free Expression” session will discuss the two organizations’ research and advocacy on censorship and filtering in the Southeast Asian region. The event is part of the Citizen Lab’s study into event-based information controls, in which we’ve examined information controls during the 2014 coup in Thailandin Iraq in reaction to ISIS insurgency, and during the 2013 Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia. This session will take place also on Tuesday, March 24, at 17:00-18:15 in room Emerald C.

Other sessions of interest at the RightsCon 2015 conference

Citizen Lab Senior Security Researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire will be presenting a session entitled “Real World Threats for Human Rights Workers, Activists, and Journalists,” which will examine the commercialization of offensive technologies and the targeting of journalists, human rights workers, and activists.

Citizen Lab partner organization ASL 19 will host a “lightning talk” on the issue of restrictive controls implemented during politically or socially sensitive periods (e.g. right before an election) in Iran in a session called “Responding to Iran’s ‘Just-in-time’ Information Controls.”

Cyber Stewards Network member Paradigm Initiative Nigeria will also host “a lightning talk” in a session entitled “Positive Rights in Africa: The Nigerian “Digital Rights and Freedom Bill” Example,” which will discuss the process that led to this positive rights campaign, provide information on work done so far (especially lessons from the campaign) and discuss positive rights in Africa.

Cyber Stewards Network member Bytes for All will give brief introductions and practical demonstrations to introduce the key tools for secure mobile and web communication, such as basic PGP encryption, ToR, Text Secure, and using proxies among other tools, in a session entitled “Digital Tools to Evade Surveillance.”

Cyber Stewards Network member ICT Watch will conduct a tech demo to illustrate the operation and end use of OpenBTS for community run telecom in a session called “OpenBTS for Grasroots Telco Infrastructure.”

View the draft schedule and program highlights.