At this year’s SIF we will be introducing OPEN SIF, a platform where you as a participant can present an idea, project or initiative. We have received many excellent proposals from all over the world and from a variety of different fields and perspectives. In the selection process, we have aimed for a wide diversity of topics and projects that we consider also are beneficial for as many as possible at the forum.

Please see the final list of OPEN-SIF sessions below. Each presentation can be no longer than 15 minutes. Facilitator for OPEN SIF is social entrepreneur TMS Ruge. All OPEN SIF presentations will be broadcasted live.


SLOT 1: 14.00- 14.20 Ranking Digital Rights Methodology 

Speaker: Afef Abrougui

The speakers will present ongoing research being done at SMEX. The researchers are using the Ranking Digital Rights Methodology to develop a more localized research assessing disclosures and free speech policies of mobile operators in the Arab Region.

The research is divided into two parts. The first part is a mapping of all the mobile operators in the region and their policy disclosures. The second part, analyses the free speech policies and commitments of the operators that do at least have a publicly available and legible Terms of Service (ToS).

SLOT 2 14.25 – 14.45 Data ethics, algorithm & digital privacy by design 

Speaker: Ritu Srivastava

There has been a rise in the number of data-driven, biometric identification programs both by state and non-state actors; especially in developing countries. However, in the name of better public service, safety and security of citizens and better customer service, user services governments and companies are seeking to collect, store and analyse huge amounts of data

Ultimately it’s not about what you can or cannot do with the data within the confines of the law, it’s what companies “should” do. There is a gap between all that research and practical implementation of ethical principles in the modern environment of pervasive computing. The main goal for this session is to find out if that gap could be bridged, either by using existing knowledge and materials, or by identifying and creating the missing pieces. The speakers will discuss the framework of ethical practices of data handling, algorithms and how privacy needs to be maintained while designing any device or at Data ethics, algorithm & digital privacy by design conceptual level itself.

SLOT 3 14.50 – 15.10 Femicide Watch 

Speaker: Dubravka Simonovic

The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Dubravka Šimonović will present an initiative launched in 2015 called “Femicide watch”. The project seeks to collect existing good practices on data collection and prevention of femicides and how internet platforms can be useful in this regard. In collecting an creating an online database, information can be secured from different stakeholders, including States, National Human Rights Institutions, Non-governmental organizations, as well as members of academia, input and views on the following topics: Existing legislative models or operational guides for the investigation of gender-related killings of women, existing good practices regarding collection of data on femicides or gender related killings of women, landmark jurisprudence from international, regional, and national courts, on gender-related killings of women.

SLOT 4 – 15.00 – 15.20  Social Media analytics for online advocates

Speaker: Walid Al-Saqaf

The session is meant to introduce a method through which non-technical cyber advocacy groups and individuals could best measure and utilize their social media campaigns in an informed way by carrying out social media analytics to understand the most effective methods of reaching the target audiences. A quick demo of one of those tools, namely Mecodify, will be presented. The open-source tool has the capacity of enabling anyone, including advocates to measure and analyse how successful their Twitter campaign is and use that information to tailor future campaigns to reach new audiences and deliver stronger messages.



SLOT 1 9.30 – 9.50 Translating the Global Web: Reducing Language Barriers to Increase Access 

Speaker: An Xiao Mina

Language barriers in technology are a well known challenge, but few discuss the compounding nature of barriers across the stack. From accessible fonts to the availability of keyboards to the very code in which our software is written, our experience of the internet depends greatly on how much our languages are supported in our digital toolkit.  In this session, the speaker will present briefly on language barriers as observed in a refugee camp in Serbia and in the context of global digital journalism. A short discussion will follow on a framework for articulating the range of technological challenges to language access, specifically through the concept of the technology stack and many layers of unequal access.

SLOT 2 9.50- 10.10 The Tor Project – Anonymity Online

Tor is used daily by millions of users to access the Internet while retaining their privacy and anonymity. It is provided by the Tor Project, a non-profit organization with the mission to be the global resource for technology, advocacy, research and education in the ongoing pursuit of freedom of speech, privacy rights online, and censorship circumvention.

In this presentation the presenters will explain how Tor works and what challenges it faces. A focus will be on key differences to commonly used proxy or VPN systems and the importance of transparency both organization- and software-wise for building Tor.

SLOT 3 10.10 – 10.30 Ayitic Goes Global: Empowering Women through Digital Markets in Haiti 

Speaker: Carolina Caeiro

LACNIC, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry, and IDRC have partnered up to scale up LACNIC’s capacity building project for Internet Development in Haiti, Ayitic.

Starting 2017, Ayitic is being reconfigured as a component of a broader capacity building initiative. The goal of this broader initiative is to create the enabling conditions for young Haitians to find employment in the digital economy by addressing skills and infrastructure deficits in Haiti. The project targets primarily women. The project is unique in that it pools together Internet Community and Development actors to promote the growth of digital employment in Haiti.

SLOT 4 10.30 – 10.50 Building cybersecurity expertise in the AP

Speaker: Sylvia Cadena

Investing in the development of cybersecurity capacity strengthens the ability of communities and networks to respond to security attacks, threats and problems. This improved regional resilience provides an important flow-on benefit to the cyber security community, which is better informed and positioned to handle any attacks and problems. A more capable Internet security community improves the overall health of the Internet ecosystem and provides a valuable network of partners and contacts to help identify, mitigate, and respond to cyber threats.