Join us at Rightscon 2019!

Join us this year at Rightscon 2019 in Tunis from the 11th to the 14th of June 2019. We are excited to share our work towards building an evidence base for digital policy in Africa and our collaborative work with Cyber Policy Think Tanks in the Global South – Centre for Internet and Society,  Centro Latam Digital, Derechos DigitalesLIRNEasia and The Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT)

You will find Alison Gillwald speaking on the need to develop a cyber policy framework relevant to the Global South and on the impact of levies on the Internet, chat to Anri van der Spuy on cyber harm and her review of the Christ Church call and Chenai Chair on gender and technology!

Decolonising Cyberpolicy: Developing a Cyberpolicy Framework Relevant to the Global South

Host Organisations: Research ICT Africa, CIS, Centro Latam Digital (CIDE)

Thursday, June 13 • 9:00am – 10:15am

Sched link:

Venue: Limes

Session Description: Digital policy challenges in the Global South must be addressed in locally relevant ways in order to take due cognisance of the legal, political, social and economic dimensions that impact its digital environments. The main goal of this session will be to explore how grassroots research and advocacy efforts in the Global South can be used to inform, drive, contrast and compliment broader dialogues and research agendas that are often driven from the North. The session will draw upon international experiences while also reflecting local needs and challenges. It will seek to broaden this discussion to focus on research approaches and strategies to bridge the divide through local, regional, and international efforts and collaborations.

The proposed workshop will enable an interactive discussion on national, regional and global approaches the cyber policy development while focusing on priorities of the Global South. Each of the participating panelists, invited from regional cyberpolicy centres based in Africa (Research ICT Africa), Asia (Centre for Internet and Society) and Latin America (Centro Latam Digital ) respectively, will share their experiences of developing regionally- relevant research agendas that respond to cyberpolicy challenges that are globally relevant.

Does social media deserve a sin tax? The impact of Internet service levies on human rights and sustainable development in Africa

Host Organization  Research ICT Africa – South AfricaAssociation for Progressive Communications

Thursday, June 13 • 10:30am – 11:45am

Sched link:

Venue: Caspian

Session Description: This collaborative session aims to share findings about the ways in which taxes on popular Internet applications and services (especially social media) are being employed; the types of levies popularly used (e.g. licence fees, sin taxes, registration fees); the motivation behind governments deploying them; and the impact of such levies on digital inclusion. By bringing together diverse practitioners who are working on the issue in especially Africa, the session’s main goal is to drive evidence-based policymaking on the issue of taxation on Internet applications and services by illustrating how such regulations may limit the potential of digital inclusion for economic and sustainable development, social progress, and human rights in Africa.

The session will examine work by the Association for Progressive Communications and Research ICT Africa, as well as other practitioners, to understand the impact of such mechanisms on digital inclusion, sustainable development, and human rights. Stakeholders from different communities will have the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned, and to relate them to evidence from their respective regions on how taxations and deployed, and for what reasons. Finally, stakeholders will investigate the potential harms that may arise from imposing such levies in developing regions in particular, with the aim of making general recommendations for policymakers considering the use of such levies in Africa in the future.

Designing a more inclusive digital economy

Friday, June 14 2019 2:15pm – 3:30pm

Host Organisation: Research ICT Africa, LIRNEasia, CIDE and High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation

Venue: Oya 2

Sched link:

Session Objectives:

  • Establishing that the digital economy can make the most contributions to development when we purposefully take measures to ensure for inclusion.
  • Sharing research about how inclusive access and usage of the internet are today in certain regions, and where are the gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Sharing research on how women and some marginalized groups experience the online world, and how this affects their access and usage.
  • Exploring policy recommendations that can be taken collaboratively to improve inclusion in the digital economy.

Here are other sessions of interest from our network partners or sessions you will find us speaking on.

Privacy in employer-employee relationships: the gray areas in workers’ rights to privacy protection and employers’ legitimate interests   

Wednesday, June 12 12:00-1:00 pm

Host Organisation: Centro Latam Digital (CIDE)

Venue: Catharge 3

Sched link:

Session description: The use of diverse technologies as a means to improve work conditions and increase productivity has been embraced steadily by various industries and sectors all over the world. This has transformed privacy boundaries in employer-employee relationships. The right to privacy admits certain limits or restrictions, particularly when obligations are assumed within a work relationship. But this cannot be considered an unrestricted excuse to invade the private sphere of employees or to treat their personal data inappropriately. There are many grey areas, especially when the working conditions are not clear and when neither employers nor employees know the scope of its functions.

This panel will analyze challenges around these tensions, focusing on the opinions on processing personal data in the workplace issued by the European Data Protection Board, which provides a basis for reassessing the balance between the legitimate interests of employers and reasonable expectations of workers’ privacy. Speakers will analyze to the criteria that both the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have used to determine the scope and limits of employers’ legitimate interests and whether these can be translated to different contexts and local legislation in countries like Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Perú.

Data, Technology and the Global Gender Gap

Wednesday, June 12 • 5:15pm – 6:30pm

Host Organisation: The Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) – Strathmore Law School

Room: Carthage 3

Schedule link:

Session description: Many studies and reports have demonstrated that a gender gap is pervasive and persistent in areas related to data and technology. The gap is pervasive in that it exists nearly anywhere one looks, and the gap is persistent in that it continues to exist over time, despite efforts to reduce it. After a brief introduction to the problem, this session will seek to actively engage participants and speakers, in an effort to explore recent research and to suggest new research for effectively addressing the issues.

 Cyber Harm, Let’s Avoid It: Building cybersecurity capacity that protects human rights

Wednesday, June 12 • 3:45pm – 5:00pm

Venue: El Jem

Host Organisation: Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre – University of Oxford

Sched link:

Speaker: Anri van der Spuy (Research ICT Africa)

Session description: This interactive session focuses on discussing strategies for mitigating cyber harms in the context of human rights and human security. Setting the stage for discussion, the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) at the University of Oxford will explore a taxonomy of cyber harms, identifying types and characteristics of harm as well as the structural factors that hamper the detection of harms and contribute to the neglect of certain stakeholders groups. Representatives from civil society organisations, the private and public sector will provide complementary views. This exchange will be followed by an open discussion, with workshop participants encouraged to share their perspectives on cyber harm, grounding the conversation in real-world examples of different types of cyber harm. This moderated discussion will explore how human rights concerns that arise from cyber incidents or are otherwise technologically enabled can be addressed.

Business and Cyber Security: How the private sector can promote economic growth and digital rights” by the New America Foundation and the Car for Int’l Private Enterprise.

Thursday, June 13 • 5:15pm – 6:30pm

Venue: Oya 1 (Laico)

Host Org: New America  + Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


Speaker: Helani Galpaya (LIRNEasia)

Descirption: The digital economy is fostering economic growth and democratizing opportunities for emerging market businesses, but growing cybersecurity threats jeopardize long-term economic growth and customers’ digital rights. Despite this, conversations around cybersecurity best practices and policies are still relatively absent from mainstream policy discussions. This panel will invite speakers from the private sector, civil society, and government from around the world to discuss the role of business in leading engagements around improved cybersecurity policy and practices in emerging markets. Speakers will present on how their countries have engaged on related cybersecurity issues and the ramifications for growth and digital rights. This will be followed by a moderated discussion on best practices for implementing strong cybersecurity protections in emerging market businesses, common challenges, policy approaches, and advocacy strategies. The session will conclude by opening the panel for audience questions.