GNI at 2023 RightsCon: Protecting Rights in the Digital Age

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June 2, 2023  |  News

For over a decade, the Global Network Initiative has brought together leading companies, civil society organizations, academics, and investors from around the world in a shared endeavor to enhance freedom of expression and privacy across the ICT sector. Together, our members have built trust and shared expertise with each other in order to help protect rights in the digital age. We have also worked constructively with a wide range of governments to ensure that well-intentioned efforts are fit-for-purpose and proportionate.

Next week, GNI and our multistakeholder membership are heading to Costa Rica, for the 12th annual RightsCon Summit. It’s a great opportunity to connect with us at this premier digital rights conference.

June 7, 10:15 CST: Pitch Perfect: Harmonizing Data Protection Laws and Collaborating to Protect Human Rights

Co-hosted by the GNI and Freedom House, this session brings together a multistakeholder, global group of voices who have experience analyzing, implementing, or advocating around data protection laws. Moderated by GNI’s Research and Policy Manager Chris Sheehy, the panel will feature Freedom House’s Allie Funk, GNI board member Eduardo Bertoni, and Meta’s Robyn Greene. Together, they will explore how civil society, the private sector, and policymakers can work together to design and advocate for interoperable and rights-respecting data protection laws.

June 7, 4.30 CST: Peeking Behind the Curtain: How Companies Respond to Government Demands 

The GNI Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy and corresponding Implementation Guidelines provide a framework for company decision making and multistakeholder engagement in the face of these government restrictions and demands.

In this workshop, GNI’s Senior Operations and Program Associate Idan Ben Yakir and GNI board’s Jessica Fjeld will draw on case studies highlighted in our Public Assessment Reports as well as GNI’s Principles and Implementation Guidelines to conduct a tabletop exercise of escalating governmental demands to different types of companies under varying circumstances. 

June 8, 11.30 CST (virtual): Deconstructing Digital Rights Fellowships (and re-constructing them) 

Jointly hosted with GNI members Article 19, and Paradigm Initiative, and Open Technology Fund (OTF), the closed session will build on GNI’s 2022 session to expand on best practices for digital rights fellowship programs. We have gathered four organizations that run digital rights fellowships around the globe to deepen discussion on how to address key areas identified in the 2022 session. The session will feature GNI’s Program and Operations Associate Montserrat Legorreta, Article 19’s Don Le, Paradigm Initiative’s Thobekile Matimbe, and OTF’s Wei Fan. We will break participants up into four smaller groups to target key questions on fellowship improvement and identify concrete strategies to enhance these programs and broader development strategies. 

If your organization, or someone in your network has led this work and would like to join, please email [email protected] so we can add you to the attendee list. 

GNI is looking forward to RightsCon and hopes these conversations will strengthen multistakeholder collaboration in the digital rights space. If you’re interested in joining GNI at RightsCon, please follow us on Twitter and visit the RightsCon website to learn more.

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