Political dissent & online anonymity in developing countries

11 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


This roundtable is aimed to go in depth into one of the most controversial topics regarding internet and human rights: how the right to protest and assembly can be affected by surveillance and legal bans to online anonymity in developing countries.

Different online platforms has enabled not just the free expression of internet users, but also has simplified the way citizens can organize protests both online and offline and communicate in order to political dissent. In this context, to preserve anonymity can be fundamental.

However, mass surveillance by states, data retention laws, personal data collection by companies, legal bans on anonymity and threats to encryption online, seem to put a name and a face to every online move. Anonymity is either impossible, or at least strongly compromised.

In this environment of mass identification, is it possible to have truly right to protest and assembly?

From a multi-stakeholder approach, this roundtable will try to understand the actual state of online anonymity and how current legal and technical frameworks and the internet governance frames are facing the challenges of online dissent in developing countries.

Additionally, the roundtable will present different perspectives regarding online anonymity and the protection of privacy, from governments, private sector, technical community and civil society, trying to address which are the responsibilities each one of them has in terms of protect the right to protest and assembly in a convulsed world.

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