Monthly Digest: March 2022

Daniel D. Odongo March 31, 2022

Whether it's opinions on fostering digital human rights - or simply the valuable lessons learned along the way, here is the Digital Human Rights Lab's round-up of the last month's most interesting articles and stories.


Must-read Articles of the Month

Whether it's opinions on fostering digital human rights - or simply the valuable lessons learned along the way, here's a round-up of the past month's most interesting articles and stories.

Internet shutdowns in Africa: Addressing the human rights responsibilities of telecoms companies

Internet shutdowns are a growing and pernicious problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ordered by states to telecommunications companies, internet shutdowns infringe on the right to freedom of expression, disrupt online services and create losses for telecoms companies. Incidents are on the rise, despite growing authoritative guidance that internet shutdowns infringe on international human rights law.

The Data Boom Is Here — It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

Access to data is the antidote to the nightmare of a world deprived of innovation through the concentration of resources in the hands of a powerful minority. It enhances competition, enables great ideas, and ensures sustainable economic and societal progress. Mandating it will deliver an unprecedented data dividend.

How Cyber Operations could affect Humanitarian Organisations and their Work

Digitalization and new technologies have an increasingly important role in modern life, including in humanitarian work. Like many changes, this has generated both benefits and challenges for the organisations themselves and the people they serve. Humanitarian organisations need to treat cyberspace with as much, if not more, caution and awareness as they would in uncertain terrain in a country they had not worked in before.

Human Rights And Inequality In The Digital Age

The crux of the issue is that AI isn’t intrinsically biased or unfair. What is, is the world that it is learning from - and mirroring. Feed inequality, racism and sexism into AI’s algorithms, and unsurprisingly AI perpetuates - and escalates - our biases. The strangest thing one learns about the future of technology, AI and deep learning is how potentially regressive it is. Because it is built on the past. Whether you are felon or female, the next tech miracle is likely to be primed to punish you.

Community Updates

With so much going on it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening in the world of social impact. Stay informed and inspired with our handpicked content from the DHRLab Community.

Developing a data collaborative tool to enhance LGBTQI advocacy: Using the Human Centred Design as a guiding principle

With the ever advancing field of information and communication technology (ICT) has come a host of tools that avail opportunities for human rights defenders particularly of marginalised communities to carry out their advocacy in a more systemized and safer environment. This points to the crucial role a data collaborative tool would be addressing.

Feminism and the bias in tech: Spotlight on online violence

Keynote Speech by Christine Butegwa at the post-international Women’s Day Roundtable Discussion organised by Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) and Digital Human Rights Lab on 11th March 2022.

Fashioning the Way Against Violence: An Affordable Bracelet that Reports Violence Cases in Real time

What has happened since the SafeBangle Technologies team participated in the innovation program? How progressed the development of the bracelet that reports cases of violence in real time and what are the milestones for 2022?

Podcast: Human Rights and the Digital by DHRLab

Human Rights and the Digital Podcast presents voices and perspectives of Human Rights defenders in Uganda, focusing on how technology is being used to the realisation of Human Rights. This podcast is produced by the Digital Human Rights Lab.

Opportunities | Tips | Resources

Every month, we collate the very best opportunities, tips and resources for digital human rights practitioners in our community.

Ukraine May Mark A Turning Point in Documenting War Crimes

Accountability, though, requires evidence. The collection and preservation of digital media and other evidentiary material in Ukraine is a massive undertaking. It is being met by brave Ukrainian officials and local civil society groups operating in besieged cities and towns, as well as by an international coalition of human rights, open source intelligence and digital forensics researchers. This loose coalition is drawing strength from relationships formed with one another and lessons learned while investigating past conflicts, including in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar and elsewhere.

On the Digital Hook: Interview with a Victim of Phishing

For those who don’t know, phishing is when hackers send malicious emails, text messages, or links, disguised as legitimate ones, to trick people into providing their personal information or downloading malware. Most of us have found ourselves targeted by a phishing campaign at one point or another. While there are plenty of laughable phishing examples, this post is a reminder that some phishing campaigns can trick even the savviest of digital citizens.

Internet Universality Indicators

Have you ever wanted to gain a deeper understanding of your digital environment? To have a map of the Internet measuring its compliance with human Rights (R), evaluating its Openness (O) and Accessibility (A), and assessing the involvement of Multistakeholder actors (M) in its governance? If so, UNESCO’s ROAM-X Indicators are for you. The ROAM-X indicators framework is a unique and powerful resource which is relevant to all countries, whether developed or developing, to gain a holistic diagnosis of its Internet policies, digital environment and thereby the structural causes of digital inequalities.