This course provides guidance on how to safely and effectively document human rights violations with video during internet shutdowns. Aimed at grassroots activists, the course provides practical advice that individuals or small organisations with limited resources can enact.Enrol
This course offers an introduction to internet shutdowns, including an overview of the shutdown problem and examples of different ways governments shut down the internet and other communications channels. It will examine how internet shutdowns exacerbate human rights abuses and interfere with democratic processes. The course looks into who is fighting back and multi-stakeholder advocacy strategies used by the global #KeepItOn coalition to end internet shutdowns.Enrol
The purpose of this course is to train you to use IODA. IODA serves as an online Internet connectivity detection platform. We help the Internet freedom community and Internet users globally to verify a disruption in Internet connectivity and understand the extent of disconnectivity of location and duration. To achieve this we provide a public dashboard that monitors the Internet 24/7 and provides Internet connectivity measurements at the country, region, and Internet provider level.Enrol
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Defending Online Freedom: Three Organisations in Action
Internet freedom has been threatened globally due to the rise of censorship, internet shutdowns, and surveillance. Such actions have significantly impacted individuals' ability to access information, express themselves freely, and communicate with others online. In this blog, we will discuss three such organisations. Each of these organisations shared with us insights learned from their experiences as part of our new shutdown academy courses.
How The Economist uses IODA to report on Internet shutdowns
This is a case study from our course ‘Detecting Internet Shutdowns with IODA’, in our Internet Shutdown Academy, which features 10 courses in seven languages taught by experts from leading organisations. It is designed to educate activists, journalists, and anyone impacted by internet disruptions and online censorship.
Relaunching Stronger: Discover Exciting Updates on Advocacy Assembly!
We're excited to announce the launch of our new website! Read more!
Internet Shutdown Mentored Training Program
Advocacy Assembly presents the Shutdown mentored training program, a six-week online initiative that features international experts and provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to prepare better for shutdowns and build an Internet shutdown advocacy campaign.
The human cost of internet shutdowns
In the age of technology, the internet has become a crucial aspect of daily life for millions of people around the world. From online shopping to social media and communication, the internet has changed the way we interact with one another and access information. However, internet shutdowns are increasingly becoming a common occurrence in many countries, with potentially serious consequences for citizens and their rights.
Access Now is a non-profit founded in 2009 with a mission to defend and extend the digital civil rights of people around the world. Access Now supports programs including RightsCon, an annual conference on Human Rights and #KeepItOn, an index of internet shutdowns. It also provides exit nodes for Tor network. As of 2020, Access Now has legal entities in Belgium, Costa Rica, Tunisia, and the United States, with its staff, operations, and activities distributed across all regions of the world.
Amnesty International is a movement of 10 million people which mobilizes the humanity in everyone and campaigns for change so we can all enjoy our human rights. Our vision is of a world where those in power keep their promises, respect international law and are held to account. We are funded by members and people like you. We are independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion. To respond to the digital needs of human rights research, Amnesty founded the Citizen Evidence Lab and Digital Verification Corps.
The Citizen Evidence Lab is intended to support human rights organizations, practitioners and others to take better advantage of the digital data-streams critical for modern fact-finding. It is an online space to share best practices, emerging techniques, and tools for conducting investigations, combating mis- and dis-information, and contributing to a better-informed public.
The Digital Verification Corps is a network of volunteers from four universities worldwide that are trained in open source investigation methods that will help them verify data from social media platforms. Today, the initiative includes 100 participating students from seven universities. These include Human Rights Centres at the University of California, Berkeley (US), the University of Essex (UK), the University of Pretoria (South Africa), and the University of Toronto (Canada).
APC is both a network and an organization. Its members are groups and individuals working in their own countries to advance a shared mission: to empower and support organizations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to build strategic communities and initiatives that will contribute to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability.
ARTICLE 19 is an international human rights organisation that defends freedom of expression and the right to information. It is one of the few organisations with a link between development, human rights and Right to Information in legal, policy, campaign and practical terms.
Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) works to promote, protect and develop those human rights which serve as the foundation for or underpin democracy, including the rights to freedom of expression, to vote and participate in governance, to access information and to freedom of assembly and association. We undertake research and educational outreach to advance the understanding of civil society and the wider public globally about the human rights we focus on. Among other things, CLD has developed the RTI Rating, which assesses the strength of all national right to information laws and the RTI Evaluation, which assesses how well these laws are being implemented.
CUNY's Human Rights in Iran Unit (HRIU) was established in 2012 by the Political Science Department at Brooklyn College. The HRIU provides research and technical support to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. We also undertake a number of other activities including training and coordination of nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders to monitor human rights developments in the country.
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) was created in 2008 to provide a platform to address the issue of protecting digital rights. It is a multi-stakeholder platform which consists of information and communications technology companies, human rights and press freedom organizations, academics and investors. The GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines provide an evolving framework for responsible company decision-making in support of freedom of expression and privacy rights. Every two to three years, GNI members take part in an independent assessment to determine their progress in implementing the GNI Principles.
The Mobilisation Lab provides the global Greenpeace organization and its allies a dynamic, forward-looking space to envision, test, and roll out creative new means of inspiring larger networks of leaders and people around the world to break through and win on threats to people and the planet.
HURIDOCS is an NGO that supports human rights organizations to use information and technology in the simple and most efficient way. With smart information management, our partners are able to expose human rights violations for the protection of survivors and to hold perpetrators accountable.
InfoTimes is Data-Driven journalism platform based in Egypt with one common philosophy: data should be designed for sharing. It’s an easy access website, so you can simply get the accurate data, understand it, and share it with no time. Our mission at the current time is to improve the skills of MENA region journalists, raise the awareness with the importance of data journalism, how they can use the data sets and spreadsheets for their own good.
The Internet Intelligence Lab is an academic research lab at the Georgia Tech School of Computer Science in the College of Computing. We focus on understanding and improving the security and reliability of the Internet. Our team is an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the fields of computer science and social science.
Internews Network, now Internews, is a 501 organization incorporated in California, formed in 1982. It was founded by David M. Hoffman, Kim Spencer, and Evelyn Messinger. The president and CEO is Jeanne Bourgault.
Iran Spotlight is a training center for teaching research techniques and research journalism that meets international standards using reliable data, documentation, and resources.
Nabz-Iran is a secure platform for amplifying Iranian voices by collecting, mapping, sharing and prompting discussion on information related to rights in Iran. Information comes from individual contributors and partner groups and is gathered through on-the-ground witnesses, personal and professional networks and Iranian media sources. Resources on the platform include online courses for building monitoring and advocacy skills, maps and other infographics presenting data, multimedia components to spark dialogue and conversations, and more! Nabz-Iran does not advocate directly for specific policies and partners with a wide range of Iranian activists and international organizations.
In 2012, the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) was created with the goal of empowering decentralised efforts in documenting internet censorship around the world. In practice, OONI builds free software -- OONI Probe -- that anyone can run to measure networks and detect internet censorship. To increase transparency of internet censorship, OONI publishes all OONI Probe test results collected from around the world in real-time as open data. Today, OONI is a global community of hundreds of thousands of OONI Probe users in more than 200 countries and territories. Since 2012, the OONI community has contributed more than 525 million network measurements, many of which have shed light on various forms of internet censorship around the world.
Privacy International is committed to fighting for the right to privacy across the world. We investigate the secret world of government surveillance and expose the companies enabling it. We litigate to ensure that surveillance is consistent with the rule of law. We advocate for strong national, regional, and international laws that protect privacy. We conduct research to catalyse policy change. To ensure that this right is universally respected, we strengthen the capacity of our partners in developing countries and work with international organisations to protect the most vulnerable.
Zamaneh Media is a Persian language media organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It provides independent journalism, citizen reporting, e-learning, debate and knowledge to an audience in Iran and the Persian speaking community around the world, building bridges between Iran and the Iranian diaspora and between different Persian speaking communities, such as in Afghanistan and Central Asia. It is a public media that gives a voice to the unheard: geographic, ethnic and sexual minorities, young Iranians, experts, writers, bloggers and independent academic thinkers are all engaged in conversations about a wide range of issues that are considered public taboos in present-day Iran.
The Rory Peck Trust is the only organisation dedicated to the support, safety, and welfare of freelance newsgatherers around the world. Our principal objectives are to provide practical assistance and support to freelance newsgatherers and their families worldwide, to raise their profile, promote their welfare and safety, and to support their right to report freely and without fear. Although we are based in London, we work globally, with a network of international and local partners to provide training and support. The Rory Peck Trust was set up in 1995 in memory of freelance cameraman Rory Peck, who was killed in Moscow in 1993.
School of Data is a network of data literacy practitioners delivering training, mentoring and support to organisations and individuals who want to gain powerful insights and create compelling stories using data. School of Data provides participatory online and offline training to empower civil society organizations, journalists, and individual changemakers with the skills they need to use data effectively in their efforts to create fairer and more sustainable societies. Our approach focuses on learning by doing and is driven by helping participants address real problems - with skilling-up happening as part of this this process.
Security First was established in 2013 with the aim of making it easier for human rights defenders to work safely. They have launched a free, open-source app called Umbrella that provides human rights activists, humanitarians, and journalists with all the latest tools and advice on how to operate securely. As well as building Umbrella they provide physical, digital and psychosocial security training and risk management to some of the world's largest human rights organisations as well as individual activists.
Small Media is London based action lab helping the free flow of information and creative expression in closed societies, with training, technology and research initiatives that focus on Iran and countries in the MENA region. We specialise in design, data, information, media and digital security. We help individual campaigners and human rights organisations implement their ideas to reach a wider audience and create a lasting positive change in their region.
Founded in 2008, Social Media Exchange (SMEX) is a registered Lebanese NGO that envisions and advances self-regulating information societies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Our tactics include media development, research, and advocacy for rights-based Internet policies. Our recent initiatives include the Arab Digital Rights Datasets, an open database of Arab laws affecting free expression, privacy, and other human rights online; Tasharuk.net, an online library of resources on technology for social change; and the development and delivery of an Arabic-language online course in digital journalism.
SOGI stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities. It is dedicated to all who want to make a change in the world towards more acceptance and equality for people who don't fit the traditional patterns. These are of course Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people, but also all who don't fit into mainstream representations of what makes a man or a woman: Queers, Intersex people, people labelled by their own cultural codes. Or people who feel oppressed by rigid gender representations. It is a collective work involving hundreds of activists worldwide.
Sowt is a podcast platform that provides high quality, on-demand audio content for Arabic speakers around the world. Sowt's vision is to become the premier podcast platform in the Arab world. It will do so by both producing original content and serving as a platform for Arabic-speaking podcasters and enthusiasts. Through its content, Sowt means to inform and engage populations across the Arab world to foster critical conversations.
The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) empowers peoples voices at the frontlines of conflict and transition to help them drive change. IWPR builds skills, capacity and networks for citizens and their communities so their voices can make a difference strengthening accountability and supporting development, advancing justice and forging peace. Working in 28 countries, IWPR's innovative programs are crafted to respond to the needs of the people they serve. Projects prioritise locally informed objectives and lead to sustainable outcomes. Beneficiaries include citizen and professional journalists, human rights and peace activists, policymakers, educators, researchers, businesses, and women, youth and other civil society organisations and partners. As encapsulated in our slogan -Giving Voice, Driving Change - IWPR's mission calls for a wide range of efforts aimed at empowering people's voices and helping them make a real difference within their own societies. The work ranges from skills building and training to media policy and legal reform; from frontline journalism to citizens accountability networks and social media; from covering war crimes tribunals and human rights abuses to establishing national networks for elections reporting. All of the programmes are linked through the objective of strengthening constructive local voices to help them drive positive change.
Since 2014, the VE sin Filtro project has been documenting internet censorship in Venezuela, along with other online violations of human rights. By monitoring the state of the internet connection in Venezuela, it keeps track of internet outages in all regions of the country.
The project sheds light on how almost all major Venezuelan news sites are blocked within the country, as well as the poor and unreliable connections, exposing state-sponsored digital attacks, shutdowns and social media blocks. The latter are often timed to events and news that the government deems inconvenient as well as to hide other human rights violations.
WITNESS makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. Through collaboration and innovation, we are powering up millions of people with the skills and tools to effectively and ethically document abuses, tell personal stories, advocate for justice and create lasting change. With over two decades of experience working at the crossroads of human rights and video technologies, our resources and methodologies build upon the knowledge and lessons learned from our staff, partners and allies around the world.