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

Thursday, May 17 • 10:30 - 11:45
Internet Freedom in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia: Access Denied or Revived?

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Internet freedom is not just about Internet in US, Canada, UK or EU. It’s about our Internet, irrespective of whether we live in Kyrgyzstan or Romania. Noteworthy, the problems are not that different. But the solutions or even non-solutions are sometimes surprising. During this session, we want to highlight that in some places Internet freedom is not something you have by default, but rather the value and right you have to continuously struggle and advocate for. 

The session is prepared by the Internet Freedom Network (IFN), uniting so far 10 civil society organizations (CSOs) from Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) and Eurasia. The discussion will be built around the successes and challenges of fostering Internet freedom and a broader range of human rights online in our regions. We will also provide an overview of some of the in-country Internet freedom experiences (Macedonia, Romania, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan) implemented by CSOs at the national level. Final part of the session will be dedicated to open discussion with the audience, hopefully from very different regions, which may open up new opportunities for cooperation.

We, as the IFN, strongly believe that just as Internet transcends borders, same should be freedom – inclusive and available to each and every person on the globe. The CEE and Eurasia regions historically tend to share same challenges and threats to Internet freedom. Restrictive and defensive practices are becoming a norm for the governments who lag behind the technological development in terms of normative regulation capacity but are willing to preserve control over online environment. Both lack of regulation and excessive regulation might hinder Internet freedom and deprive individuals of the possibility to enjoy their rights in technologically advanced and developing societies.

During this session we want to share our experiences united around common set of values and principles, such as rule of law, free speech, privacy, equality and accountability, but with varied methods of advocacy in our respective countries that are highly contextualized. The presented methods would ideally be helpful for activists from small and medium-sized countries.


Olga Kyryliuk

CEO & Founder, The Influencer Platform

avatar for Bardhyl Jashari

Bardhyl Jashari

Director, Metamorphosis Foundation

Alexey Kozliuk

Cofounder, Human Constanta
avatar for Bogdan Manolea

Bogdan Manolea

Executive Director, NGO “Association for Technology and Internet”

Thursday May 17, 2018 10:30 - 11:45 EDT