privacy and security

How activism shapes your experience of being a citizen on the internet

Jennifer Radloff on 9 Jul 2013
What does it mean to use the internet freely and fully? What freedom do you have to express who you are, how you live your life, what you desire, dream and believe in on the internet? And how safely can you communicate, contribute, exist, navigate and be in the spaces online that can so powerfully connect you to communities and knowledges that build our sense of self? This article written by Jennifer Radloff explores the ways in which activism shapes the experience of being a citizen on the internet, focusing mainly on safety issues experienced by sexual rights activists.

Voices from digital spaces: Technology related violence against women

Flavia Fascendini on 27 Mar 2012
Drawing on findings from APC's MDG3: Take Back the Tech! project with women's rights organisations in twelve countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, this paper explores the links between the internet, cell phones and violence against women and illustrates that technology related violence impacts women as seriously as other forms of violence.

EROTICS: Sex, rights and the internet - an exploratory research study

Jac sm Kee on 9 Aug 2011
How is the internet a key public sphere for the struggle for sexual citizenship and the exercise of sexual rights? What is its value to a diversity of users, especially those most marginalised or discriminated against because of their sexual, gender or other forms of social identity? Why do arguments for the regulation of the internet anchor on the moral imperative to regulate sexuality? Who are the key actors influencing processes of decision making, and what are the ways in which the potentially liberatory impact of the internet is being constricted and narrowed? The 3 year EROTICS research project delves into the complex world of sexuality and internet regulation, and uncovers interesting insights to these questions from Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa and the US. The full research findings and a synthesis chapter is presented in this report.

Internet Governance Issues on Sexuality and Women's Rights

APC on 10 Sep 2010
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been a challenging space for both women's rights advocates and for broader constituencies engaged in advocacy for gender equality and sexuality related rights. In the fifth and final year of its mandate, women's rights are still being dwarfed as a critical issue to be debated in this arena, while sexuality issues, although present, are not seen as a matter of rights. In preparation for this year's IGF, this briefing document highlights key issues on internet regulation that are relevant for gender equality and sexuality. It also brings to the debate findings from various research initiatives undertaken by APC and key partners, including a cross-country research initiative - <a href="http://erotics.apc.org">EROTICS</a> - that is being conducted in five countries: Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa and the United States.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Violence against women and ICT

Sylvie Nyombo on 3 Aug 2010
In the context of a country with one of the world's worst human rights records, women and girls are the victims of sexual violence perpetrated mostly by combatants from both sides. However, Sylvie Niombo finds in this paper that the intersections between violence against women and girls and ICTs in the DRC are not well established. The internet makes it possible to share experiences and receive information to advance the cause of women’s rights but can facilitate violence towards Congolese women and girls. A lack of confidence in the legal system and the strong presence of men in the judiciary make women unlikely to seek help from the courts, but there is growing mobilisation of women and human rights organisations in the fight to end violence against women (VAW) in partnership with the United Nations and international organisations.

Philippines: Violence against women and ICT

Jessica Umanos Soto on 3 Aug 2010
Jessica Umanos Sotos explores why specific law is needed in the Philippines to prosecute perpetrators of violence against women through the use of ICTs or cyberspace. She argues that national ICT institutions and private companies’ policies cannot remain blind to the violations to women’s rights perpetuated via ICTs in the context of the violation of privacy rights through the illicit production and distribution of private and intimate activities. The violation of privacy rights comes in the form of sex-video scandals via telephony and internet. She also documents how, although there are no available studies on how other forms of violence such as stalking or sexual harassment and even direct threats are figuring as VAW via mobile phones, these violations are believed to be widespread

Argentina: Strategic use of ICT as a response to violence against women

Florencia Goldsman on 28 Jul 2010
Although violence against women through information and communication technologies is not yet a matter of public discussion in Argentina, the problem affects the lives of women and girls. A workshop held in Buenos Aires by APC WNSP to guide women in the strategic use of ICTs to combat violence resulted in some interesting initiatives. Concern regarding the irregular use made of cell phones, the growing circulation of pornographic images and the impact of social networks on women’s privacy are some of the points highlighted in the debates at the workshop. In connection with the workshop, Florencia Goldsman and Flavia Fascendini investigate the status of public policies aimed at promoting the use of ICTs to fight violence towards women, and delve further into some of the aspects of privacy and security.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Two sides of the same ICT coin - breaking the silence /breaking the laws

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza on 28 Jul 2010
GenderIT.org writer Mavic Cabrera-Balleza speaks with Sylvie Niombo and Francoise Mukuku, ICT activists from Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) respectively. They discuss various facets of the information and communication technologies and the context to which they apply in the DRC . The interviewees elaborate on how ICTs can be used to reduce incidence of violence against women and how it is also widely used in ways that aggravate the violence and violate privacy laws. They also explain why access to ICTs is critical to the DRC and how it can be used to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

South Africa: Privacy and domestic violence online and off

Esther Nasikye on 19 Jul 2010
While women's rights activists have been at the forefront of making the private crimes that occur at home - domestic violence, marital rape - public, new technologies are making the private public in ways that disenfranchise, alienate and violate women. Esther Nasikye and Sally-Jean Shackleton explore how ICTs, privacy and domestic violence in South Africa are showing up problems in both policy and practice.

Internet regulation and the Brazilian EroTICs context

Marina Maria on 2 Jun 2010
Authors Sonia Corrêa, Marina Maria and Jandira Queiroz document how gender and sexuality have been at the heart of internet regulation debates in Brazil. However, this centrality does not necessarily translate to the discourses, analysis and the political claims of social actors involved in sexual politics, on the one hand, and digital politics, on the other. In the authors' view, there is no clarity or positioning among feminists and LGBT activists regarding the ways in which gender and sexuality issues are at play in the political dynamics of internet regulation. Further no strong interaction exists between communication rights advocates and the world of sexual politics. Nevertheless the authors perceive cyber activists' commitment to privacy rights as very auspicious for sexual and reproductive rights.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Internet?

Nadine Moawad on 2 Jun 2010
"Clearly, one cannot speak of sexual rights activism in Lebanon without speaking at length about internet usage, as both are tied together at levels from personal identity and relationships to political activism and mobilization," claims Nadine Moawad, the APC's EroTICs project partner. In this article, she assesses the role of the internet in the rise of sexual rights activism in Lebanon, and explores connections between internet regulations and attitudes towards sexuality.

Violence against women and ICTs in the Pacific Islands region: An overview

Sonia Randhawa on 2 Jun 2010
Sonia Randhawa interviews FemLINK Pacific coordinator Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls to get an overview of violence against women in the Pacific Islands region and to look at how ICTs are contributing to increasing the vulnerability of women and providing new forms of harassment and harm, while at the same time grassroots initiatives such as a mobile community radio station are helping to provide women with tools for building self-confidence and information on what to do in times of crisis.<br /> <br /> Read article below.

Access to Knowledge in Emergency situations: Looking at the situation in Jordan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Sonia Randhawa on 2 Jun 2010
Sonia Randhawa interviewed with Lulu Mitshabu and Daoud Kuttab. Lulu Mitshabu is the Africa Programs Coordinator at Caritas Australia. A Congolese woman, she travels through Africa regularly and is responsible for their Congolese programme. Daoud Kuttab is president of AMARC Middle East and North Africa, and responsible for setting up Jordan's first community radio. He has recently been working with women to help establish the region's first women's community radio station – which has just had its application for a license rejected by the Jordanian authorities.

Finding a difficult balance: Human rights, law enforcement and cyber violence against women

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza on 2 Jun 2010
GenderIT writer Mavic Cabrera-Balleza probed on new analytical frameworks of violence against women taking into account cyber violence and the challenges and dilemmas women activists confront as they struggle to address this relatively new dimension of gender injustice. She spoke with two women activists who are at the forefront of advocacy on violence against women at the national and international levels - Lesley Ann Foster, founder and Executive Director of Masimanye Women’s Support Network in South Africa and Charlotte Bunch, founder and Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA.

Unequal protection, cyber crime and the internet in India

Weiting Xu on 2 Jun 2010
In assessing cyber crime legislation, policy makers and gender and development advocates must carefully consider the implications for privacy and information security. On the one hand, ICT have created opportunities to combat inequality through movements and communities against issues that were once deemed 'private', such as domestic violence and sex trafficking. On the other hand, ICT exacerbate existing structures of inequality by enabling cyber criminals to access and misuse private information to target vulnerable groups. As ICT blur the lines between personal and public, the nature of the internet and cyber crime - including how they affect human rights and social justice - must be questioned. Weiting Xu casts a gendered lens on cybercrime laws in India.
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