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Wednesday, December 20 • 10:40 - 12:10
The Dark Side of Internet Policy:How flawed policy can lead to censorship,surveillance and shutdowns (WS250)

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Proposer's Name: Mr. Danilo Bakovic

Proposer's Organization: Counterpart International

Co-Proposer's Name: Mr. Dominic Bellone

Co-Proposer's Organization: Counterpart International


Mr. Dominic BELLONE Civil Society, Counterpart International

Mr. Robert GUERRA, Special Advisor, Technical Community, Counterpart International

Session Format: Round Table - 90 Min

Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

The internet’s promise as an open civic space for democratic participation has increasingly come under assault, whether by government laws targeting political dissent online, censorship, and network disruptions, to the sophisticated use of troll farms, gender-based hate speech, and propaganda to poison public discourse.  Moreover, civil society elements most concerned with the ever increasing erosion of online rights - - investigative journalists, digital rights activists, and academic policy analysts -- are often under-resourced, and suffer from a lack of unity and direction necessary for effective counter advocacy.  

A seasoned panel of activists, academic researchers, press and media specialists report out dispatches from the front lines of four countries facing unique challenges and threats to online civic spaces and democratic engagement: Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. We’ll cover everything from “hybrid warfare” and gender based harassment online, to a new ministry of cybersecurity, threat detection and mitigation, and attempts to use hate speech codes to stifle free expression.

This collaborative and multidisciplinary effort aims to highlight and present traditionally under-represented stakeholders and issues in this forum, and encourages audience participation.

Moderator: Dominic Bellone, Sr. Program Officer, Counterpart International

Speaker: Guy Berger, UNESCO

Speaker: Nalaka Gunawardene, science writer, journalist and development communication specialist (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Speaker: Andrii Paziuk  Taras Shevchenko University (Kyiv, Ukraine), Hubert Humphrey Fellow, American University Washington College of Law.

Speaker: Iria Puyosa, Researcher and consultant on political communication, stakeholders relations, internet policies and digital strategy, (Quito, Ecuador)

Speaker: Earnest Mudzengi, Executive Director, Media Centre (Harare, Zimbabwe)

Speaker: Vitaliy Moroz, Director of New Media Development, Internews-Ukraine (Kyiv)

Speaker: Sachini Perera is a Sri Lankan feminist activist currently based in Malaysia. She has a background in law, journalism and international relations, and has worked in strategic communications and advocacy with feminist and women’s rights organizations for the last decade.

Session Organizers
avatar for Dominic Bellone

Dominic Bellone

Sr. Program Officer, internet governance & freedom, Counterpart International
Manage a portfolio of civil society partnerships advancing a rights based approach to internet governance. Formerly with Freedom House, International Republican Institute, Institute for War & Peace Reporting, & MSNBC, a cable news concern.

Wednesday December 20, 2017 10:40 - 12:10 CET
Room IX - A United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)