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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 • 16:00 - 17:00
Lightning Talks: Who Decides? Dominant and Marginalized Voices for the Global Internet

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Session Emcee: Islam Khoufi

National Internet Governance Forums: Is this s**t working?
(NGO Hiperderecho)

Sara Fratti

The subject of the Lightning Talk is to share with the public some concerns about the development of National Internet Governance Forums, using the experience of the Peruvian IGF as an example of what is going right and what is going definitely wrong with this initiatives.

The idea is to answer at least three questions: What are the outcomes of the National IGFs? / Are the principles of the IGF being respected at the National IGFs? / How difficult is funding the Nationals IGFs?

Being 'Global': 4 lessons learned from the Internet Health Report (Mozilla Foundation)

Sam Burton

The internet is an ecosystem that billions of people depend on for their lives and livelihoods. It adapts to our behavior and actions. And it looks and feels different, depending on who and where you are. Mozilla's open source Internet Health Report (internethealthreport.org) documents and explains how people worldwide are interacting with and affected by our connected world. The annual report aims to provide a 'big picture' of the global state of internet health.

This talk will share findings from the 2018 Internet Health Report, and start a discussion about how we might use the concept of 'internet health' as a tool to catalyze change in our respective communities.

This is not the Brazil you know: Discuss engagement in internet policy for underserved and vulnerable communities with North-Northeast Brazilians (E I Research/IK4T)

Renata Aquino Ribeiro & Claudio Lucena

How can underserved and vulnerable population have a voice when there is space for them? No place which accepts them for who they are? This fishbowl will present the opportunity for those from underserved and vulnerable population to exchange stories, create strategies and open paths to lead dialogues with spaces all around the world in internet policy. When IGF2015 came to the Northeast of Brazil, a group of activists began to articulate themselves in several events and spaces like Rightscon in 2016 and kept going through IGF2016, WSIS2016, Internet Freedom Festival 2017, and now it is time to share with more.

The idea is to connect with groups who need to make their voice heard and who feel they are muffled, belittled by other regional powers or strong economic groups who do not allow them to speak up. In Brazil, as in many other places, most of the decisions about the future of our internet regulation happen in the richest and most populated cities, full of subsidiaries of global Internet companies who have no idea what is going on in the deep country of South America.

So a group of activists will share their experiences in 3 minutes and start asking questions. Participants will be invited to answer these questions. They can also ask questions to the group onsite. In discussion:

- How to combat regional concentration and make sure the voices from rural and underserved regions gets heard in discussions about internet's future?
- What worked and what didn't when an organization tries to cross their regional boundaries?
- Can we be stronger together or should underserved regions create an alliance of their own?

These a few points and many others can be raised during this discussion and we hope to create a lively exchange of ideas which will be documented onsite and knowledge rebuilt upon the answers to the questions.

Why we need a different perspective on what it means to be free to effectively criticize the information giants, save the rule of law and have healthy democracies (Bits of Freedom)

Speakers: Hans de Zwart

Somewhere in early 2014 I made the decision to quit using Google. It took a lot of effort to find a new place to store my email and to find a host where I could install an alternative search engine. According to most measures I am now worse off: I can no longer find my emails and I am probably less secure against people who want to steal my information. Still, I am very happy to have made the move. This is because without having to use Google I feel more free. I feel liberated.

How can I feel this way? How exactly was Google making me less free? From a classic liberal point of view I am free if I am not constrained in my options and if I am not interfered with. Isn't it the case that there is no interference from Google in our lives? Isn't Google just an optional service provider? You could even argue that I now have less functionality, less options and so have less freedom.

This talk explores whether a different conception of freedom can explain the feeling of liberation after moving away from Google. If we don't see freedom as lack of interference, but as lack of domination, would that make it easier to criticise the role of the information companies? To answer that question this talk will take a deeper look at a different concept of social or political liberty which can be characterised as not being dependent, a situation where there is no arbitrary domination.

Google is not the only Silicon Valley company having a big influence over our lives. The top five largest companies in the world are Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. Is there a form of arbitrary power from these information giants over their users? In order to answer that question the talk will look at three different ways of framing our relationship with and our dependency on technology.

Firstly it delves into Shoshana Zuboff's concept of 'surveillance capitalism'. Next it looks at the work of Evgeny Morozov and Bruce Schneier who both make an explicit analogy between our relationship to the 'big five' and those of the peasants to the landowners during feudal times. Finally we will look at some of the research that Facebook has been doing on its users.

These ways of looking at technology help in taking another look at the different ideals of freedom. The talk will show how a liberal strictly negative view of freedom has trouble addressing surveillance and thus surveillance capitalism. A different way of framing power relationships is helpful in situations where we are not aware of the potential for arbitrary control that organizations have over us. This political ideal requires a deliberative democracy. Deliberation is put under pressure by technological developments.

The talk will finish with a set of directions for solutions, touching on three forms of antipower.

avatar for Sam Burton

Sam Burton

Director, Insights, Mozilla Foundation
avatar for Sara Fratti

Sara Fratti

Indela - Fundación Avina
avatar for Cláudio Lucena

Cláudio Lucena

Professor/Researcher, UEPB, Brazil/FCT and Católica Global, Portugal
Claudio Lucena is a Professor and the former Dean of the Law Faculty at Paraíba State University, UEPB, in Brazil, and a researcher for the Portuguese Government Agency Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, affiliated with the Research Center for the Future of Law, Universidade... Read More →
avatar for Hans de Zwart

Hans de Zwart

Executive Director, Bits of Freedom
Hans de Zwart is the Executive Director of the Dutch digital civil rights organisation Bits of Freedom, fighting for freedom of communication and privacy on the internet. In the past he was Shell’s Senior Innovation Adviser for Global HR and Learning Technologies, before that a Moodle consultant for Stoas Learning and he started his career as a Physical Education teacher at a high... Read More →

Thursday May 17, 2018 16:00 - 17:00 EDT