Monthly Digest: November 2022

Ibrahim Batambuze Dec. 5, 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, stories, and events and community updates


Must-read Articles of the Month

Here's a round-up of the past month's most interesting articles and stories.

Across East Africa, Big Brother is watching your every move.

Uganda is just one of the countries in the region ramping up surveillance of public spaces. Kenya has, since 2015, had a Huawei-supplied surveillance network of 1,800 cameras and 195 monitoring centers across Nairobi and major roads. In 2019, then-President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a plan in which Huawei would expand the project to include a $173m data center and surveillance hub in Konza City. The company has also supplied and installed similar surveillance infrastructure to Zambia, Egypt, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Algeria, among others.

How hackers stole billions from Airtel Money in Uganda.

New details emerged about how black hats used the website of a gaming platform in Uganda to plunder money from the systems of Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited (AMCUL).

Digital safety tips to navigate the Musk takeover.

With reason, activists around the world are wary about using Twitter. Whether you decide to stay on Twitter, migrate to another site, or have accounts on numerous platforms, it is critical that you take actions to improve your digital safety and safeguard your community. Here's Access Now’s guide to the fundamentals of the Digital Security Helpline, along with connections to reliable resources for more information.

EdTech needs Schooling

Students shouldn’t have to trade their right to privacy in order to access their right to an education. The use of technologies in education has been expanding rapidly and accelerated even more as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. During 2020-2021 lockdowns, in particular, states around the globe tried to replace in person classrooms with digital solutions allowing virtual participation using pre-existing tech solutions, such as Zoom. More often than not, that expansion hasn't been accompanied by appropriate safeguards or responsible practices to ensure respect for human rights, whether in procurement processess or data protection safeguards. Many EdTech solutions and their implementation in schools present huge issues.

How to keep scaling up movements in authoritarian contexts

How Civic Mobilizations Grow in Authoritarian Contexts is a new report from Freedom House that analyzes how civic movements organize and expand in countries governed by authoritarian regimes. The report examines 21 recent examples of these movements in authoritarian countries to determine the factors that helped or hindered their growth. These factors include whether these movements are led by new or established opposition members, how mobilization campaigns frame their cause, and the roles played by diasporas, the internet, and repression. In addition to the larger report, below you will find focused case studies on civic mobilizations in Belarus following their contentious 2020 election, Sudan in 2018-19, Ethiopia in 2015-18, and Vietnam in 2016.

How Iran uses internet shutdowns to silence protesters

This new report from multiple stakeholders tracking shutdowns sheds light on Iran's use of blackouts to repress ongoing protests, including the increased use of technical strategies to stop people circumventing the censorship.

China's protests: Blank paper becomes the symbol of rare demonstrations

Sometimes saying nothing says everything. As people continue to flood the streets in rare protests against China's "zero-COVID" policies, they're also waving blank sheets of paper — protesting the government's attempts to silence them

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.

In her episodes, Barefoot Law explains how to recognize when one is experiencing violence. They explain how the recently amended Computer Misuse Act provides protection against online violence, as well as the remedies and justice pathways available to victims of online gender-based violence. Check out these resources

A Dark Place for Women Journalists & Women Human Rights Defenders; Documenting the Experiences of Online Violence in Anglo & Francophone Countries.

This new research, Pollicy investigates the threats journalists and women human rights defenders face in Cameroon, Congo, Senegal and Uganda to fully and safely participate in increasingly digital societies. Dive into the report and learn about key findings such as misogynistic hate speech, sexists’ comments, body shaming as well as slut shaming being common among the women journalists and WHRDs interviewed. These threats go as far as extending to their families, friends, relatives and networks.

Cyber-Bullying defined

Many womxn and girls are constantly battling cyber-bullying right in front of our eyes. This resource by HER Internet is one you can refer to in case you are being bullied or witness someone being bullied online

Assessing Data Justice in Uganda

Here is a new study by Women of Uganda Network on Assessing Data Justice in Uganda: A Study Towards Advancing Data Justice Research-and Practice.

Opportunities | Tips | Resources | Events | Funding

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

Things to do together

In this guide, you’ll find a range of resources, games, and guides that you can use together with young people to equip them with the know-how and the skills to connect safely with others online.

Achom and the Online Bullies

Check out "Achom and the Online Bullies"- a creative story-guide by DefendDefenders on how women human rights defenders can respond to and resist online bullying and cyber harassment.

Key Takeaways From the 2022 African Union Data Policy Framework:

The Africa Union Data Policy Framework published in July 2022 is one of the most significant documents on data governance on the continent. The Policy Framework is an extensive blueprint to guide African countries’ efforts to establish effective data governance regimes to leverage the data and digital revolution the continent is currently experiencing. CIPESA documents key take aways

TCU Launches Policy Toolkit For Organizational Leaders Looking to Improve Team, Employee Health. Join them on December 13th for a public event where we present our new Digital Justice Everyday toolkit! Great opportunity for both managers and employees to learn about practical things they can do right now to improve the health of their teams and orgs.

Rights Con 2023

RightsCon is back and registration and call for session proposals are open. As one of the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age, Rights Con provides a platform for people from around the world – activists, technologists, business leaders, policymakers, journalists, and more – to come together and set the agenda for human rights in the digital age. Every year, the summit supports a program of 400+ sessions across 15+ program tracks, all sourced and selected from an open Call for Proposals.

Call for session proposals for the in-person #DRIF23 is still open.

Sessions can be in the form of lectures, ignite talks, pre-recorded content, and launches of key tools, publications, or organizations. Send in your submissions

The #UNTF's new Call for Proposal is now OPEN! Are you: A civil society, women-led and women’s rights organization? Led by & for marginalized women? Leading projects to end #VAWG? Apply NOW! Deadline: 11 January

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