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Monday, December 5 • 09:00 - 10:00
Mapping digital rights in the Middle East and North Africa: A new visual tool for comparative analysis

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The rapid development and early expansion of the Internet created a relatively unregulated digital space in which the freedoms of expression and assembly flourished around the world. The Internet enables quick dissemination of information and relatively anonymous communication, which has proven to be a great asset for civil society, especially in countries that restrict the freedoms of expression, association, and/or assembly. As the Internet becomes an integral part of daily life for many people around the world, governments are adopting a broad array of laws to govern the digital space. These laws can have a dramatic impact on human rights and the ability of civil society to operate effectively online.

Some laws directly regulate online content, while others contain provisions that create a chilling effect on free speech. Cybercrime laws, for example, may contain vague provisions and harsh penalties intended to curb content that is critical of the government. While some countries openly publish their laws in an accessible manner, many others do not. Even when laws are available to read and governments want to support human rights, legal frameworks can be complex, inconsistent, and difficult to interpret. It can be difficult for citizens especially to interpret the rules and evaluate the impact on digital rights. Thus, better information is a clear starting point for more effective advocacy. 

Within this context, the session introduces iGmena’s Internet Legislation Atlas visual tool for comparative analysis. The tool is a set of qualitative indicators that provide an easy and reliable way of assessing and comparing the quality of domestic legal frameworks regulating the digital space vis-à-vis international human rights standards. It aims to help academics, legal professionals, students, and civil society organizations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as beyond to develop a better understanding of the legal environment in their country. The session will be interactive and apply the newly created ILA indicators to seven MENA countries along with key findings from each. It also aims to introduce ILA to the at-large community and invite other regions to apply them and join the initiative. 

The ILA is a project that assesses and visualizes the level of compliance of selected digital rights vis-à-vis international human rights standards in seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Tunisia. The project looks at the legal frameworks that govern the Internet and focuses on the level of protection afforded particularly to the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy. ILA is a project by Hivos’ iGmena program and ARTICLE 19 in collaboration with local partners representing the seven countries of focus. Read more about ILA at:https://internetlegislationatlas.org.

MODERATOR

  • Hanane Boujemi, iGmena director, Hivos

SPEAKERS 

  • Noha Fathy, Internet Legislation Atlas project lead, iGmena (Hivos)
  • Niels ten Oever, head of digital, ARTICLE 19 (ILA partner)
  • Walid Al-Saqaf, Internet Society board member (ILA advisory board member)

 


Session Organizers
avatar for Hanane Boujemi

Hanane Boujemi

Senior Manager Internet Governance Programme MENA Region, Hivos
Manager of Hivos’ MENA region programme on Internet Governance. She is responsible for the design and implementation of the programme in the Arab region. | | • Develop and implement programs and activities to build capacity on Internet Governance and policy among civil society organizations and actors in the Arab region | • Facilitate strategy development and other technical assistance activities | • Lead all areas of... Read More →
avatar for Noha Fathy

Noha Fathy

Project Lead, Internet Legislation Atlas, Hivos Internet Governance for MENA region
Noha is managing Internet Legislation Atlas project for Hivos. She has been working with Hivos Internet Governance in the Middle East and North Africa (iGmena) program (www.igmena.org) since 2013. | | She concentrates on internet governance capacity building and awareness raising activities to civil society in the Arab region. She worked on a number of projects that aimed at raising awareness about digital rights, engaging local... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Walid Al-Saqaf

Walid Al-Saqaf

Postdoctoral Researcher, Stockholm University
ISOC Board Member, software developer from Yemen, internet freedom advocate. Currently involved in postdoctoral research and teaching in areas related to technology, media, journalism, data science, and quantitative research methods. Also involved in ICANN and APC.
avatar for Hanane Boujemi

Hanane Boujemi

Senior Manager Internet Governance Programme MENA Region, Hivos
Manager of Hivos’ MENA region programme on Internet Governance. She is responsible for the design and implementation of the programme in the Arab region. | | • Develop and implement programs and activities to build capacity on Internet Governance and policy among civil society organizations and actors in the Arab region | • Facilitate strategy development and other technical assistance activities | • Lead all areas of... Read More →
avatar for Noha Fathy

Noha Fathy

Project Lead, Internet Legislation Atlas, Hivos Internet Governance for MENA region
Noha is managing Internet Legislation Atlas project for Hivos. She has been working with Hivos Internet Governance in the Middle East and North Africa (iGmena) program (www.igmena.org) since 2013. | | She concentrates on internet governance capacity building and awareness raising activities to civil society in the Arab region. She worked on a number of projects that aimed at raising awareness about digital rights, engaging local... Read More →
avatar for Niels ten Oever

Niels ten Oever

Head of Digital, Article19
Niels ten Oever has designed and implemented freedom of expression projects in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Northern Africa, Brazil and Afghanistan and worked on global internet governance issues in ICANN and the IETF. Niels started off working on radio when he got bitten by the Linux bug. After that he increasingly worked on websites, apps, internet governance, digital rights and digital security. Why? Because technology can support... Read More →


Monday December 5, 2016 09:00 - 10:00
Workshop Room 3 PALCCO, Guadalajara, Mexico

Attendees (57)