[IRPCoalition] IGF17/ 20th Dec. 1040: The Dark Side of Internet Policy: How flawed policy can lead to censorship, surveillance and shutdowns

Robert Guerra rguerra at privaterra.org
Thu Dec 14 21:52:02 EET 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to extend an invitation to those attending the IGF in 
Geneva next week to join us us Wednesday, December 20th, 10:40 - 12:10, 
in room Room IX/A for the session titled :

The Dark Side of Internet Policy:How flawed policy can lead to 
censorship, surveillance and shutdowns

A description of the session is available below and at the following 

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 

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 

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 

Speaker: Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media 
Development, UNESCO

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

Speaker: Andrii Puziak  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, 

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 

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