Breakout session 4

Empowering technologies in hostile environments

The situation for democracy and human rights is on a global decline. More and more people are living in or under difficult and sometimes also hostile conditions. This can be because of conflict, social unrest, being part of a marginalized community or due to systematic or structural power injustices.

We know that technology often can be part of the problem. The discussions on surveillance and censorship are sadly no longer uncommon to most of us. But we need to find ways to use technology for good as an empowering tool for human rights defenders, the poor and marginalized. This session investigates what technology already is out there, how it is best used, but also – what is yet to be developed.


Frerieke van Bree (moderator) – Program manager of digital defender partnerships, Hivos

Gus Hosein – Executive Director, Privacy International

Dia Kayyali – Senior Program Coordinator for Tech + Advocacy, WITNESS

Fereidon Bashar – Co-Director, ASL19

Maka – Digital Integrity Fellow, DDP/Hivos

Bob Alotta – Executive Director, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

Ed Bice – founding CEO of Meedan

Twitter: #SIF17 together with #SIFB4

Location: Milles