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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Thursday, May 17 • 09:00 - 10:15
Civil Society Under Assault Online: Threats, Opportunities, and Stories From Across the Regions

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Activists from Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe share compelling stories of their work to advance an internet that respects fundamental rights, and is an inclusive, participatory democratic space. In Sri Lanka, our partner reflects on an extensive research project underway documenting how gender based violence (GBV) in a historically patriarchal society plays itself out both on and offline, and what this means for advancing gender equality and safety online. In Ukraine, a "hybrid war" war with Russia (both cyber and traditional arms) has raised serious concerns about what types of content should be blocked as "anti-Ukrainian" and when do these policies begin to infringe on legitimate political speech?

In Venezuela, the government has steadily eroded online freedom, closing off space for independent journalism, and has engaged in deliberate network disruptions seriously jeopardizing rights to internet access. Our partner shares findings from ongoing national network measurements and how access and speed are being used to stifle fundamental rights. In Zimbabwe, we review how a proposed Omnibus Cyberbill may threaten fundamental rights in a year where a presidential election is set to occur amidst a legacy of internet shutdowns and harassment of activists.

We hope these stories generate a conversation among the audience to include other countries and creative approaches to activism under similar circumstances.

avatar for Dominic Bellone

Dominic Bellone

Sr. Program Officer, internet governance & freedom, Counterpart International
Manage a portfolio of civil society partnerships advancing a rights based approach to internet governance. Formerly with Freedom House, International Republican Institute, Institute for War & Peace Reporting, & MSNBC, a cable news concern.


Thursday May 17, 2018 09:00 - 10:15 EDT