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.
The event will feature Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. One of the objectives of the consultation will be to assess ways in which participants can best push forward the recommendations of the La Rue’s report on digital surveillance. The report urges states to strengthen existing laws on privacy and regulate the commercialization of surveillance software. The event will also highlight progress made on recommendations stemming from the La Rue’s previous report on access to information, which urges states to eliminate barriers to Internet access, discourage blocking and other means of filtering content, and encourage digital literacy. As an output, the event will produce and collect recommendations from participants on the concept of political-electoral communication for presentation to the UN General Assembly in 2014.