Unconference

The purpose of the #SIF15 Unconference is to increase the interactivity of the conference and make the most of the great body of knowledge and ideas gathered at the forum.

The Unconference program point – parallel sessions where all content is provided by the participants – was introduced at SIF13 and returned at SIF14. As the democratic and interactive format of the Unconference was a success the previous years, we decided to use the concept this year as well. Two separate Unconference sessions will be held at #SIF15, each with five parallel sessions, which means that you will be able to attend two different sessions.

It is free for all #SIF15 participants to hold a #SIF15 session. Each #SIF15 session is about 60 minutes long and the topic should in some way relate to internet freedom, preferably in a development context. The session may take the form of a debate, lecture, presentation or fishbowls, panel sessions or any other format.

The pitching and voting for unconference sessions are now closed. Below you can find the program with the sessions chosen for the unconference program. Further down is a list of all pitches proposed, also the ones that will not end up in the program. Please use the list of pitches to find interesting persons and topics that were not included in the program due to the time limit and connect with them at the conference.

Unconference 1 Unconference 2
15.30 – 16.30
21 October
17.00 – 18.00
21 October
How We Use the Internet to Mobilise the Queer Movement in Iraq
A Talk by the founder of IraQueer
Venue: Riddarsalen
How Women in Conservative Societies Can Use the Internet to Empower Themselves
A talk by Aisha Sarwari
Venue: Riddarsalen
Syria’s freedom of expression ecosystem
Release of a report by Internews followed by an open discussion
Venue: Fogelström
Connecting the next billion: Myanmar and emerging countries
A session by Lirneasia
Venue: Fogelström
How can whistleblowers and sources of journalism be protected in the Digital era
In an interactive session with UNESCO
Venue: Entresolen (the balcony)
Internet freedom & digital safety for Iranian civil society
Akbar Atri from TavaanaTech will engage #SIF15 participants in brainstorming
Venue: Entresolen (the balcony)
Promoting Digital Literacy in Developing Regions: Business Goals and Media Education in unison
A talk by Michael Waltinger from Think Beyond Borders
Venue: Mässhallen
Integrating Rights and ICT Sector Development
GNI-telecommunications Industry Dialogue
Speakers from TeliaSonera, the Global Network Initiative, Millicom, and Internews will start a participant discussion
Venue: Mässhallen
Debating Religion in Cyberspace
A talk by Sadaf Khan, Media matters for democracy
Venue: Mässhallen
Zero Rating violates Net Neutrality – so what?
Debate with LIRNEasia
Venue: Mässhallen

29 pitches for Unconference

  1. Pingback: Talk on fostering Digital Literacy @ Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) 2015 | Think Beyond Borders

  2. Pingback: Stockholm Internet Forum | Maja's Blog

  3. Natalia Bitten

    “SEXIST OF THE YEAR” AWARD 
    Open Internet-voting 
    Organized by The pressure group “For Feminism” which is a voluntary organisation created to raise awareness of women’s issues and promote active campaigning in Russia. It was created in Moscow in 2010 for the promotion of feminist ideas and the integration of civil rights activists. Our slogan is “Feminism is our choice!”
    The goal of the award “Sexist of the Year” is to stop the prevalence of sexism in the mass media and advertising. Any internet user can nominate a person or orginisation in five categories:  Sexist of the Year, Sexism in the Mass Media, Sexism in Advertising, Misogynistic Policy, and Women Against Women.  Our objective is to attract popular attention to the problem of sexism and initiate the passing of a special law that would guarantee the absence of hate speech against women in information space.

  4. Sadaf Khan, Media Matters for Democracy

    Debating Religion in Cyberspace
    The discussion on freedom of expression in context of religion takes a completely different dimension in cyberspace. Online, people are exposed to a variety of beliefs, vastly different from their own – in the context of religious speech this difference might take form of criticism, sarcasm and at times direct attacks on religious concepts and ideology. The empowering nature of the Internet is hugely dependent on the free flow of information and so regulating offensive speech against religions becomes complicated. Expression of agnostic or anti theist tendencies by bloggers/ writers hailing Muslim nations has resulted in violence against them. Multiple incidents of hacking of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh are a case in point. This talk will explore the nature of religious expression online. We will look at how societies and governments that are largely theist in nature respond to expression that is ideologically deviant.

    Sadaf Khan is a media & digital rights activist, who has recently penned two research reports on state of FoE and freedom of religious expression online in Pakistan. Tweets @nuqsh 

    Rabia Mehmood is a freelance journalist & researcher. Her areas of interest are human rights, religious persecution, extremism & gender. Tweets @rabail26

  5. José Antonio Maldonado / Internet Society Venezuela

    Venezuelan women: Thriving in difficult times

    Summary: Venezuelans – and specially women – are using the Internet to add more value, to manage their productive time and to be close to their families in the country with the world’s highest inflation rate.

    Context

    Venezuelan Internet connection speed is the continent’s slowest, and its penetration barely surpasses the regional average of 50%. But Venezuelans are one of the most active Internet users in Latin America.

    Estimated inflation rate is expected to be over 180% by the end of 2015.

    Internet as a means for personal and entrepreneurial development

    The intended presentation will focus on the following concepts and show concrete examples:

    Training for “mompreneurs”: focusing on the basic notions needed to start up new businesses that could be managed from home using the Intenet.
    Innovative Internet-based companies: Interesting and productive activities started by already business-educated women.
    Development of new trades: “solopreneurs” and small firms offering home-based services such as community management, digital content development and virtual assistance.
    Migration of work: office tasks have found support in widely available and free Internet-based technologies to allow women to occasionally work from home.

  6. Jenny Rönngren

    ”It is incredible that we are heading into the post 2015 era, in which media and ICTs will play a crucial role in shaping attitudes, norms and perceptions, with barely any mention of these powerful forces or their gender dimensions.”

    This statement was made by the Global Alliance on Gender and Media (GAMAG) during the 59th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in an urgent call to get gender and the media on the post 2015 agenda.

    Gender, Media, ICTs and the Post 2015 Agenda Position paper

    Media access and freedom of expression are enablers to the achievement of development goals. GAMAG was formed in December 2013 in response to the poor implementation of the following goals on Women and Media in the Beijing Platform of Action:

    a) Increase the participation and access of women to expression and decisionmaking in and through the media and new techologies of communication.

    b) Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media

    December 9-10, the first GAMAG general assembly will take place in Geneva.
     
    This workshop will provide opportunity for the participants to discuss the role of GAMAG and exchange ideas on how media and ICTs can become more advanced vehicles for the realisation of greater equity in a global society.”

  7. An Xiao Mina

    Viral Portraits of the Dead and Missing: Social Media Strategies for Human Rights Abuses
    Forced disappearances are some of the most violent forms of oppression, occurring regularly in global contexts. Affected communities have developed a number of strategies to fight back, using viral culture to raise awareness, reduce isolation and demand change.

    I propose a talk that looks at global actions of viral, vernacular portraiture for those have been disappeared. These strategies often exist alongside larger media campaigns, forming a key part of advocacy on and offline:

    #BringBackOurGirls (Nigeria)
    the Ayotzinapa 43 (Mexico)
    Chen Guangcheng and Ai Weiwei (China)
    Audience members will be invited to join the conversation in an interactive session afterward. After the talk, we will discuss paths forward with the following focus areas:

    identify examples in other parts of the world
    workshop viral strategies for fostering awareness of rights abuses
    articulate the role of organizations, communities, media
    discuss risks and challenges

    About Me
     
    An “An Xiao” Mina studies global justice, technology and creative expression. She serves as Meedan’s Director of Product and is working on a book about memes and social movements. She has spoken at RightsCon, the Personal Democracy Forum and Creative Mornings.

  8. Tiago Borges Coelho / UX

    Interwhat?

    “I use my smartphone to talk and swap music, and sometimes I use Goggle, or Gugle, but it’s too confusing” – Joaquim (38)

    How does one explain a virtual world that includes all the (mis)information produced in multiple languages by an immense group of people with differing interests to potential consumers in the developing world? As we move towards a free and open internet, targeting the rising 1 billion new users brings about concerns that need to be addressed. Simply put, the vast majority of new users do not have the educational, cultural and technical background needed for smooth adoption. This not only affects the people on boarding, but also the services that want to target this specific group.

    This session will present some real life stories of internet culture clash, ranging from anecdotal to concerning, while debating possible roles and responsibilities for the Government, Service Providers, Educators, Development Agencies and the users themselves.

  9. Nadira Alaraj/ ISOC Palestine Chapter

    Zero Rating and the digital divide
    The digital divide is defined as the gap between those who have the right of affordable access to IT & Internet, with those who do not. The digital divide can be observed within the same country & between countries.
    Internet founders set Net Neutrality principle to be non-discriminating, no restriction or interference on Internet traffic whether it was coming from end user or business. This enabling environment facilitated innovation on the Internet. However, it is being challenged by introducing the technique of traffic management termed Zero Rating. This is where a special arrangement between content provider and Internet provider is made to prioritize the provider’s content. It implies that internet subscribers would access this content without consuming any of their Internet capacity plan. Zero Rating is debatable topic, because it raises many questions of whether such a practice will discriminate against other content providers and steer subscribers to the prioritized content? Whether this technique will limit global users from accessing the Internet freely? Could it increase or narrow the digital divide? And will there be challenges in regulating this practice?
     
    This session will works in furthering the discussion for the main session 2.3.

  10. Emem Brownson

    Topic: Sensitizing our mothers to the Gains in Technology and Internet use.
    Format: Lecture
    The girl child is always the bone of contention when internet, access and gender inequality makes the headline.
    The extension to that which I want us to look into is the relationship between the mother and the girl child.
    Our mothers are still far from technology and internet is Foreign to them. Some of them are third generational and are not educated and believing that a female child should stay with the mother in the kitchen, know how to cook and take care of the family then when she is of age she gets married, bear children and then dies.
    Some of our present day mothers don’t understand what the internet means, they believe that the internet is a corrupt world and their children should not have access to it. This calls for concern because I am somehow a victim so I want it discussed.

  11. Arzu Geybulla

    Silenced Voices And Crackdown On Freedom Of Expression Across the World

    At a time when countries around the world should be pushing for more freedom of expression and supporting free speech, we are sadly witnessing a reverse trend. More countries are targeting activist both online and offline. More countries are silencing free and independent voices for their criticism of their governments. More countries are turning against their own people for the sake of power. But as if this was not enough, there is more! Aside from the usual crackdown and news of more silenced voices, governments across the globe are resorting to draconian cyber crime laws and using all means to clamp down on internet freedoms and online speech. From Pakistan to Lebanon, and Azerbaijan and many more countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, we keep hearing more bad news of online activists than good.

    So what to do and how to address these growing and pressing problems happening in our countries? Time for global action?

  12. UNESCO

     
    How can whistleblowers and sources of journalism be protected in the Digital era
     
    Acts of journalism need to be shielded from surveillance, data retention and handover of digital material connected to confidential sources. The value to society of investigative reporting based on confidential sources is why, historically, many countries protect such confidentiality. But with digital and other developments, existing legal frameworks are coming under significant strain. There’s now a need to revise and strengthen the legal frameworks – or introduce them where they don’t exist. These are the key findings of an upcoming UNESCO study on the state of journalistic source protection in 121 countries.
     
    In an interactive session, UNESCO takes the opportunity to ask for feedback and ideas for implementing a proposed 11-point tool for assessing source protection in the digital era.
     
    More info including the proposed 11-point assessment framework here:
     
    Link to PDF
     

  13. SCHOMBE BAUDOUIN, CENTRE AFRICAIN D'ECHANGE CULTUREL

    SCIENCE – TECHNOLOGY – INNOVATION: our commitment

    The digital revolution underway will impact at least as significant that have been in their time the invention of writing and that of printing.

    The concepts of time and space are totally transformed. The ways to access knowledge profoundly modified.

    In this regard, each major break in the history of humanity led to deprive man of powers but each revolution brings it new . A share of memory and mental processing capacity of the information lost with the widespread diffusion of digital technologies, man gains a new opportunity towards exchange (individuals, groups and networks, knowledge) but also a tenfold power of invention and creation.It is likely that side lie the answers to contemporary issues of humanity.

    The gap between the new practices arising from the widespread diffusion, from an early age, digital and those organizations established at a time when humanity lived otherwise became considerable. Entry into this new era of mankind calls the academic sphere. The School and the University must commit their metamorphosis.

     

  14. Ei Myat Noe Khin

    What’s going on in Myanmar with Facebook?

    Myanmar is living its life on Facebook. Use of Facebook has exploded but there is a lack of understanding of responsible use of the platforms and the company’s policies. It is important to understand how to prevent the misuse and to protect user rights, such as privacy. What are some tips to better enable civil society and businesses to better understand guidelines and tips for using social media more responsibly? Improve Facebook policy so civil society and businesses are able to better use it?

    What can we learn from the experiences from the other countries and regions to apply to these questions?

     

     

     

     

  15. Sourcefabric/ Veronika Divisova

    Microwav.fm – Online radio platform for democracy and rights debate in South Caucasus

    Join us for a short demo of how easily any individual or organisation can start their own radio. We will also discuss how to use online radio to reach maximum impact and outreach. The session will be based on the current online radio project in the South Caucasus, microwav.fm.

    The technology non-profit Sourcefabric has teamed up with Open Society Georgia Foundation in and Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation to develop a radio network called microwav.fm. This project aims to support democracy and human rights in the South Caucasus through a growing number of locally produced radio shows and channels, created and maintained by civil society organisations and groups of young people.

    The microwav.fm project provides the participating groups and organisations with radio and media production software, training and tools.

    There is currently a network of 15 microwav.fm radios in the South Caucasus and further number of organisations and groups are linked to the network to get their messages and content broadcast on the existing channels. Original programming will be available to listeners on demand and will be licensed under Creative Commons licenses to enable sharing and rebroadcast.

  16. Zero Rating violates Net Neutrality - so what?

    Zero Rating violates Net Neutrality – so what?
    Zero Rated content doesn’t count towards his/her data cap. Users can consume this content for free/very cheap, while paying “regular” data fees for others. For example, Facebook’s text only version can be Zero Rated, but if users click on video/ photo/ links outside of FB, they pay the normal (higher) rate.

    For operators, it’s a way to entice users to the Internet, and (in the long term) convert them to paying users. For OTTs it’s a way to make their content popular, attractive ad revenue. For consumers, it’s a way to experience some Internet.

    Win win? Many think otherwise. Users may think the Internet = Facebook (or what ever is inside the Walled Garden). OTTs & Telcos may make deals to determine who gets inside the walled garden. One music streaming service may demand others be kept out. Telcos may throttle non-ZR traffic creating Internet fast lanes.

    But wait – with less than 20% of the people in most poor Asian countries using the Internet isn’t SOME INTERNET better than NO INTERNET? And are competition harms real in highly competitive telecom markets (e.g. Asia) – where switching costs are low for OTTs and users?

    India and other regulators are considering banning Zero Rated content. Is there another way? Join our timely debate.

  17. Melaku Girma

    Internet Freedom for Innovation

    Internet is a “global common”. Everyone from every corner of the world is a stockholder of the Internet.  This miraculous technology is increasingly controlling every walk of our life.  It seems life is dark when we are disconnected. Anyone can easily imagine how horrible life would be without being online. “No life no Internet”! Internet brings the world as a small village.

    Internet is an electronic highway that transmit people’s ideas from one corner of the world to the others.  What makes Internet popular is its capacity to transport ideas which are expressed and encoded in a certain format from source to destination. If these ideas are censored and modified before it gets into the intended destination, the encoded knowledge is said to have been poisoned.  If people don’t feel free of surveillance and censorship,  they are mentally forced to censor their ideas,  which are very important for innovation. Hence,  Internet Freedom plays a pivotal role in bringing innovation.

    This session will be a presentation by Melaku Girma.

  18. Catalina Ruiz-Navarro

    From victims to advocates: online misogyny and women human rights defenders, the Latin American case
    Online Misogyny in Latin America has very specific characteristics. For example, threats are usually linked to armed illegal groups like cartels in México or paramilitary and guerrilla groups in Colombia. This means that experimenting online misogyny also deals with other underlining issues such as poverty, poverty, public security, organized crime, and ultimately internet access. These factors increase women’s vulnerabilities online and calls for a more comprehensive solution. Women in Latin America also have to deal with the rigidity of gender roles and this makes the attacks against sexual moral more pervasive: if a woman is considered morally unfitted she might face isolation from her community and this makes it harder to resist online misogyny. In consequence, many Latin American women find that it is simpler to just stay offline. But there are women that will no conform to this violence, and in resisting online they become –sometimes unknowingly- human rights defenders, as they become public advocates against online harassment and active network builders opening the path for resilience.

  19. Subrata Biswas

    Internet for all

    The United Nations was formed as the expression of a simple choice: all the world’s voices would be heard.

    We’ve come a long way. But progress has not been evenly distributed. Today over half the people on this planet don’t have access. In this century, global development and global connectivity are closely linked. Access to the Internet should not be limited.

    My five year old being an urban kid offers me his android tab to find an address. But the scenario is different in rural areas.
    As a Red Cross guy I would like to emphasize on the following sectors where the internet can play a big role in Bangladesh:

    1. Disaster alerts
    2. Fund raising for humanitarian issues
    3. Disaster management volunteers database
    4. Blood donor databases
    5. Availability of mapping data
    6. Internet as a learning platform and a pathway to better education, health, agriculture, economic status and security
    7. Internet as an efficient resources management tool

    Where government lay the foundation, the private sector can build. Promising efforts are underway to bridge the digital divide. The global community can, and must, do more — and urgently.

    About Myself:
    I have been working in the field of ICT for last ten years and now working as the ICT Manager of Bangladesh Red Crescent.

  20. Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia

    Connecting the next billion: Myanmar and emerging countries

    Billions are yet to be connected to the Internet.  Lessons can be drawn from connecting billions to voice telephony.  Experience with industry-specific taxes and subsidies has yielded understanding of how they shape access.  Voice telephony required no new skills.  Today digital literacy is needed.

    LIRNEasia, Research ICT Africa (RIA) and Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO) are engaged in shaping policies affecting Internet access based on multi-country ICT use surveys and analyses of government infrastructure initiatives.  Since 2013 LIRNEasia has been engaged together with MIDO in ICT sector reforms in Myanmar.  With over 50% of the population connected within a year of reform, around 50% of subscribers using data on a daily basis and over 60% using smartphones, a new model of voice and data adoption is emerging in Myanmar.
    Rohan Samarajiva & Helani Galpaya from LIRNEasia, Alison Gillwald from RIA & Htaike Htaike Aung from MIDO will showcase lessons from related research across Asia and Africa, with emphasis on Myanmar where all fronts of the Internet eco system are being addressed together.  Interactive session will be of value to all interested in connecting the next billions.

  21. Michael Waltinger // ThinkBeyondBorders

    Promoting Digital Literacy in Developing Regions: Business Goals and Media Education in unison

    Physical access to the internet is still an issue in many sub-Saharan nations. What matters equally, however, are the still low levels of digital literacy among users. This is to say that the availability of digital media does not really help, if people have problems in using these services.
    This is not only a problem because it means that people who can not fully use digital tools will suffer from further societal exclusion and economic disadvantages. The other problem is that media literacy training is often not part of public education and, if private lessons are taken, mostly expensive.
    Since the digitally semi-literate represent a vast clientele of sub-Saharan media markets, I suggest that the mobile industry sets up training camps to bridge that gap in media education. This is not only to serve the public good (CSR) but also to develop businesses, because customers will be able to use the future services/devices. Users would benefit from media skills-development that leads to improved usage scenarios, while at the same time being part of the product design process and not having to appropriate technologies that were originally designed for other times and places (i.e. the west).

    The session will be a talk by Michael Waltinger.

  22. Christian Christensen

    From Utopia to Dystopia: How Is Technology Framed by the Media?

    A great deal of our discussions at fora such as #SIF15 have to do with the practical and policy implications of technology in relation to development and democracy. However, less attention is paid to how we discuss and understand technology in general, and the role of the media in shaping/framing the way we (and the broader population) think about tech. Often, technology is framed in positive/neutral terms: as if the default use of technology is for social good. Such a perspective, while attractive, ignores the widespread use of technology for, for example, surveillance and oppression. This panel is dedicated to a discussion of these issues, as well as a discussion of what the media (domestically and internationally) can do to contribute to a more robust, honest discussion of technology.

    Panel Participants

    Christian Christensen (Sweden/USA)

    Renata Avila (Guatemala)

    Mohamed El Dahshan (Egypt)

  23. Gada Kadoda

    Foresighting Internet Freedom in 2030: Linking Past, Present and Future
    Like air and water, the internet does not belong to anybody, can flow from different places to where you are, and depends on collective thinking and doing for everyone to benefit individually. Talking about internet freedom, especially in some parts of the World (e.g. Sudan), may seem far-fetched where basic freedoms are hard-fetched, non-literacy and electricity are still issues, and where the internet is a long way from being a mainstream medium. However, based on experience in developed countries, this is the perfect time for such considerations. Ultimately, the people will benefit from this forethought. Foresighting or futures-thinking approaches claim to offset short-term thinking, foster innovation, and offer systematic analyses of “signals of change,” thereby building a community that thinks about possible futures (desirable and not) with the intention of making better decisions today. So let us talk about how we want internet freedom to be, in Sudan and elsewhere. Do we all want clean air and water?
    Collectively, we will imagine futures noting the past and seeing the present. Which signals will prevail? The growing disparity, the daily victories? What change can they bring? Effluence or Influence?

  24. TavaanaTech

    Internet freedom & digital safety for Iranian civil society
    The Iranian government severely censors the Internet, restricts bandwidth and access, surveils users, instills fear and violates Iranians’ most basic rights. To help Iranian civil society overcome these barriers and dangers, TavaanaTech offers free, secure, round-the-clock tech support. We also:
    –teach civic leaders about technology in our live classes & webinars
    –offer anyone easy access to a range of safe, proven circumvention tools via a free “Beshkan” email
    –provide reviews & how-to’s on the newest technologies
    –educate the Iranian public on safety
    –promote civic uses of technology
    –foster open dialogue on Internet freedom & digital safety
    With sister project Tavaana, TavaanaTech reaches 4+ million Iranians via robust social media platforms and 15+ million Iranians via satellite TV every week. TavaanaTech is Iran’s leading source for tech tools, knowledge and know how. In this unconference, project co-founder/co-director and former Iranian student leader Akbar Atri will engage #SIF15 participants to brainstorm ways Iranian civic leaders can connect with their counterparts in other countries, learn from their experiences and use technology more safely and effectively for their civic aims.  

  25. Michael Carbone, Access

    Security Practices and Policies for Groups, Communities, Organizations

    It’d be great to have an unconference session where we share stories of implementing group security practices, discuss obstacles, and brainstorm strategies.

    Groups like organizations and communities implement policies to help staff adopt practices to improve the effectiveness of the organization’s work, including security policies to make staff feel more safe in their work environment.

    As individuals start to recognize the importance of some practices in the safety of their work, they understand that their own security and safety is based on the practices of their colleagues and their broader community. 

    What are resources and strategies that could or already do aid groups in jumpstarting the continuous process of discussing, assessing, and implementing new organizational security practices?

  26. Aisha Sarwari

    How Women in Conservative Societies Can Use the Internet to Empower Themselves
    The rules are different for women who claim the Internet in societies where they cannot claim public space. On the Internet there is the power to speak out without the fear of immediate retribution.
    But women in countries like Pakistan are often subjected to cyber bullying and hostility that is sometimes worse than physical retribution.
    This talk will outline 7 key lessons I have learned along the way while I found my voice in the opinion domain, largely engulfed by men. There are hacks, tricks and strength in alliances that brought out some of the most magical realizations about the power of the Internet in defeating misogyny and exclusion.
    Arguably in its infancy, the rise of opinionated women in conservative Muslim cultures is as much a necessity as it is inevitable. However, the fear is that the gains women collectively make in this culture are not as concrete as they need to be. That rollbacks are curtailed by the sheer force of its momentum.

    Aisha Sarwari is a columnist in leading Pakistani newspapers for the past 7 years. Her beat is women’s rights and minority rights. Her pieces on Internet freedom have appeared in GIS Watch via Internet freedom organization, BytesforAll, and Pakistani press.

  27. GNI-Telecommunications Industry Dialogue

    Integrating Rights and ICT Sector Development
    Access to the Internet facilitates the exercise of fundamental human rights, but for people to enjoy the full benefits of technology, it must build on a foundation of laws that are consistent with international human rights.  Suspension of communications services, content blocking, and surveillance of communications frustrate the work of human rights defenders in countries that lack clear and transparent laws circumscribing the state’s powers to restrict content and access communications data.  
    This unconference session will explore how donor and development organizations can incorporate human rights into their ICT sector projects to better ensure that technology benefits the people.  How can these organizations work with others in the ICT space to design and implement projects in a way that respects freedom of expression and privacy?  What lessons can be learned from company due diligence procedures?  Speakers from TeliaSonera, the Global Network Initiative, Millicom, and Internews will get the discussion going with their views and then solicit your ideas on how different stakeholders can work together to make freedom of expression and privacy an integral part of ICT sector development.   

  28. Internews

    Internews – Syria’s freedom of expression ecosystem
    The people of Syria continue to face devastation, displacement and destruction as the war in their country goes on. But while Syria is fractured and millions have fled, there still exists a system of free journalists, human rights advocates, networks, technological hubs that makes up Syria’s freedom of expression ecosystem, pushing back against the closed information space that has been authoritarian Syria, the misinformation of factions, widespread propaganda and the void of free, open information. 
    Internews has spent recent months working with Syrian media professionals and other experts to understand and map this system now stretching across five distinct territories: government-controlled, ISIS-controlled, Kurdish, “liberated” areas, and neighbouring countries. This research considers how and what type of uncensored information flows along this system, how women play a part and how barriers to their participation continue, and how well this system informs the citizens of Syria.
    Internews invites participants of #SIF15 to be part of the release of the exclusive report profiling these findings. The open discussion which will follow will engage participants in consideration of ongoing and future dynamics that will shape the Syrian freedom of expression landscape, and of leverage points that can be used as a roadmap for future international engagement.

  29. Amir Ashour / IraQueer

    A Talk about How We Use the Internet to Mobilise the Queer Movement in Iraq

    6 months ago starting a queer movement in Iraq sounded impossible. With LGBTIQ+ people being systematically targeted by different groups; speaking up on behalf of a group that is considered the most hated in the community is a suicide attempt.

    The internet was & still is the only relatively safe platform to start a movement in a place where it’s desperately needed.

    In this discussion, IraQueer will share how it started as an online platform that provides information to & about the queer community in Iraq. A platform where LGBTIQ+ people could connect & share. & how our team grew from 1 person to a diverse & committed team of 20 people mostly residing inside Iraq.

    Despite IraQueer’s young age, we have been able to reach around 4k people each month through our online presence & have been featured in many articles including Out Magazine which are overwhelming numbers when compared to the fact that before IraQueer, we could barely find anything related to Iraq’s queer community.

    About Me

    Amir Ashour is the founder of IraQueer, from Iraq but living now in Sweden. Got involved in human rights 5 years ago working locally & internationally; giving talks at places like OneYoungWorld, TEDxTalks, & Harvard University