Guide to NoC RightsCon Tunis 2019

Friday, June 14th, 2019


The Tone from the Top: Setting responsible regulation for tech (ID 947)

Forging Alternative Models for Business and Human Rights, Panel

Speakers: Moira Oliver, Vivek Krishnamurthy, Andy O’Connell and Megan Metzger. Moderator: Michaela Lee.

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am, Cyrene

Host Organization: BSR (Business for Social Responsibility)

Description: As the pace of technological development accelerates, consumers are interacting with smart devices, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and online platforms on an increasingly frequent basis. This has led to a parallel, but delayed, upswing in regulatory efforts from governments keen to protect citizens from potential negative impacts. Business leaders and policy makers face major questions about how to foster innovation, protect human rights, and ensure fair markets. We believe companies play an important role in informing and influencing regulation for new technologies, and that they should do so in a manner consistent with commitments they make to respect human rights and be responsible corporate citizens. Companies can also encourage policy frameworks that are able to adapt to rapid changes in the development and use of technology. This session will discuss how businesses and governments can best collaborate to develop responsible regulation. We will use two key cases to illustrate these opportunities: -The advent of facial recognition, and how companies are calling for regulation to protect consumers against biased decision-making and privacy violations. -Regulation intended to restrict misinformation, hate news, and harmful content online, and how companies proactively advocate for policy that balances security, privacy, and freedom of expression.


Where will your values take AI? Co-designing a Moral Labyrinth (and taking one home!) (ID 1200)

Artificial Intelligence and Automation and Algorithmic Accountability, Workshop

Speakers: Mindy Seu and Jie Qi. Moderator: Sarah Newman.

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am, Elyssa

Host Organization: Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society - metaLAB (at) Harvard University

Description: This workshop, led by artists and designers from Harvard University and the University of Tokyo, will bring together participants to think through difficult questions questions about human relationships to technology, and create a visual work that each participant will get to take home. The session is inspired by the Value Alignment Problem: the challenge of assuring that the goals embedded in intelligent systems (or the secondary goals they subsequently form) are aligned with the values of the society they serve. The session will include: discussion morality across cultures, creative exercises geared toward generating diverse questions, and compiling the participant-generated questions into "moral labyrinth." The labyrinth will include as many voices as there are workshop participants, in as many languages as possible. The session will conclude with participant-generated labyrinths, and each participant will get to take one home. After RightsCon, the collective Moral Labyrinth will be posted online to share with others, and visitors to the site will also be able to submit their own moral questions for reflection. The workshop encourages collaborative reflection on value alignment in the 21st century -- emphasizing the necessity of asking questions as we co-create and steer toward our shared technological future.


Platforms, free speech and pluralism: Is there a role to play for media authorities? (ID 1266)

Forging Alternative Models for Business and Human Rights, Workshop

Speakers: Xianhong Hu, Elda Brogi, Mario Viola de Azevedo Cunha, Lubos Kuklis and Carlos Affonso Souza. Moderator: Iva Nenadic.

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am, Adean.

Host Organization: Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, European University Institute.

Description: Digital technologies and online platforms have provided space and tools for more diverse voices and viewpoints to be heard. They have also amplified risks, including to exposure diversity by algorithmically filtering and personalising news on offer, and of disinformation and hate speech due to the viral potential of the network. Globally, different regulatory, co-regulatory and self-regulatory initiatives are attempting to combat these threats. Many of them have faced criticism for entrusting private companies with responsibilities to police online speech, without timely public auditing and an efficient appeal mechanism. Often it is very difficult, if at all possible, to unilaterally decide whether or not certain content should be categorised as illegal, intended to deceive, or fall under the protection of freedom of expression. So far, the role of media authorities has been very limited if at all visible in relation to the above-mentioned challenges. This session aims to understand whether the existing media authorities are capable and well positioned to take over a challenging task of monitoring platform behaviour when it comes to free speech and pluralism? Or do we need a specific multidisciplinary authority to perform this role?


Network Propaganda in a Comparative Perspective: a South-North dialogue about democracy, privacy and free speech (ID 1135)

The Future of Media in the Age of Misinformation, Fishbowl

Speakers: Chinmayi Arun, Rob Faris, Ben Supple and Mariana Valente. Moderator: Fabro Steibel.

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am, Oya 3

Host Organization: ITS Rio, InternetLab.

Description: Propaganda and misinformation are on the radar of activists, academics, the private sector, and government agents. In different countries, electoral and political processes unveiled a sensitive relationship between social media and democracy, bringing attention to the dynamics of polarization, media mistrust, manipulation, and hateful speech. In these different realities, economic, political, cultural and even information diet patterns shape context, presenting particular aspects of these phenomena. This fishbowl will be focused on sharing experiences and perspectives about how to discover and tackle these dynamics through different techniques and perspectives. The main questions to be addressed are: what is general and what is contextual? How global platforms should deal with these differences? Which research findings can and cannot establish common ground in policy discussions about the subject? The session will be structured as a frank conversation between five observers from different standpoints, promoting exchange between Global North and South approaches (such as Harvard’s study on US “Network Propaganda” on one side and research about political propaganda on WhatsApp in the 2018's Brazilian election on the other side). Is a space for the construction of shared diagnoses among participants on how to balance diverse conceptions regarding the protection of human rights and democracy.


Protecting digital communities in democracies from the global reach of authoritarian countries (ID 301)

Democracy and Conflict and Shrinking Civic Spaces, Panel

Speakers: Arzu Geybullayeva, Arthur Gwagwa, Gabrielle Lim, Grace Mutung'u and Valentin Weber. Moderator Lisa Garbe.

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm, Oya 1

Host Organization: University of Oxford

Description: The session will be divided into four parts. The first part will be dedicated to an examination of case studies where censorship of one country has been applied abroad. These case studies will be matched with potential solutions proposed by the panel members and audience. The second part will proceed similarly and explore what kind of surveillance countries have instituted most commonly. How can we prevent equipment built by China from being exported globally and used for human rights abuses? Shall countries impose sanctions on companies? Thirdly, the panel will explore how to approach information influence operations abroad. Many countries have experienced Russian and Iranian propaganda. However, it has been difficult to counter this subtle kind of information controls. While the audience is encouraged to interject remarks or ideas at any point of the session, the last part is particularly designed to stimulate their interaction. The moderator will encourage the audience to voice their opinion and give examples that the panel may have missed or deserve attention. The audience will be also invited to introduce the platforms, channels or organisations that they work for if any of them can contribute to tailoring counterstrategies and make a lasting impact.


Routes of Technology Production: Maps and narratives to build our collective future (ID 520)

The Impact of Technology on the Sustainable Development Goals, Workshop

Moderator: Paola Ricaurte.

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm, Hannibal

Host Organization: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society - Harvard University, Sursiendo

Description: We conceive technology as an assemblage of materialities, norms, flows, actors, practices, territories, bodies, and subjectivities: something inextricably related to what we are, think and feel. In many indigenous and non-urban or alternative communities, the respect of nature, the attachment to the land, the preservation of memory and traditions, shared goals and a strong organization are crucial to surviving. However, these imaginaries are not compatible with the dominant and corporate technological rationality that takes advantage of people’s lives and environments and produce narratives that separate the land, the people and their affections. For these communities, digital colonialism, the datafication of the self, and the capture of life produce poverty, exclusion, the loss of natural resources, and, in some cases, death. In this workshop, we would like to analyze the implications of digital colonialism in our quotidian lives and in relation to our traditional cultures.


Does social media deserve a sin tax? The impact of Internet service levies on human rights and sustainable development in Africa (ID 635)

Turn It On and #KeepItOn: Connectivity and Shutdowns, Workshop

Speakers: Emilar Gandhi, Alison Gillwald, 'Gbenga Sesan. Moderator: Deborah Brown

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm, Caspian

Host Organization: Research ICT Africa - South Africa, Association for Progressive Communications

Description: Increasing incidents of taxing popular Internet services have occurred recently, including on social media use and voice of IP (VoIP) calls. While such measures are proposed for a variety of reasons, they could pose a significant threat to digital rights and make it more difficult for people to gain Internet access. This, in turn, can limit developing countries’ ability to harness the potential of the Internet for sustainable development. For example, a daily levy in Zambia applies to VoIP calls, while in Uganda online content providers must register and pay an annual fee, while users must pay a daily social media tax levy to access social media platforms. The session will examine recent work by APC and RIA, as well as other practitioners, to understand the impact of such mechanisms on digital inclusion, sustainable development, and human rights. Stakeholders from different communities will reflect on evidence from their respective regions on how taxations and deployed, and for what reasons. Finally, stakeholders will investigate the potential harms that may arise from imposing such levies in developing regions in particular, with the aim of making general recommendations for policymakers considering the use of such levies in Africa in the future.


Tech Policy, AI and Investment in the GCC: A path to digital development or digital dystopia? (ID 1177)

Forging Alternative Models for Business and Human Rights, Strategic Roundtable

Speaker: Afef Abrougui. Moderator: Jessica Dheere.

Details: Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm, Carthage 3.

Host Organization: SMEX, CYRILLA Collaborative, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society - Harvard University, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy - Harvard Kennedy Center

Description: Data might not be the new oil, and the Middle East isn't China, but Gulf Arab states are seeking a new global role in technology policy and investment. Their efforts are being embraced by international organizations encouraging digital development without confronting current digital dilemmas, as well as by global companies, who are both investing in and seeking investment from these states. Despite repressive cybercrime laws and a dismal record of human rights protection online in the Arab region, few in power seem to be asking what the implications of the Saudi government's $3.5 billion investment in Uber might be. Or how Bahrain's new data protection law will affect data stored in Amazon's new data center there. Or how the UAE's prioritization of applied artificial intelligence to advance citizens’ “happiness and wellbeing" could possibly go wrong. At this strategic roundtable, we will pose these and other questions to illuminate underexplored relationships between global technology companies and governments in the digitally developed GCC and interrogate their impact on human rights. We hope to highlight the dilemmas raised when tech companies do business in these countries and/or receive investment from them and will discuss strategies to keep human rights top of mind.

Friday, June 14, 2019 (All day)