FINAS Act Malaysia Stock Image

Statement: Finas Act must be reformed to protect freedom of expression

We appeal to Finas to stay true to its role of “uplifting, nurturing and facilitating” the development of the Malaysian film industry, as stated in Section 6 (1) of the Finas Act, and not function against the interest of filmmakers. If Finas enforces regulations under the law to censor and penalise filmmakers, it will go against its own objective and purpose.

Coconet II Camp Digital Rights

What are digital rights?

What are digital rights? While human rights have been more clearly defined through the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and translated into various legally-binding laws, the same cannot be said for the terms “digital”, “technology”, or the “internet”. In unpacking these terms, we’ll find the interpretations vary much more widely.

Excerpt: The Case for Technological Solutions to Digital Rights

What does it mean when technologists say “you can code anything”? In her inaugural article for The IO Foundation, Maryam Lee shares her thoughts on why human rights perspectives have the potential to move technological innovation to greater heights. She also argues that people do not need to choose between enjoying the latest technologies and human rights, and how they both could co-exist in our lives.

#SaveRome: Call for Solidarity from Thailand

Note from the editor: After recent news related to human rights and freedom of expression in their country, Coconet members from Thailand shared the following call for solidarity addressed to the international community. We would like to share it here in full, with some links

วิถีการต่อต้านโดยคนรุ่นใหม่ในโลกออนไลน์: ขบวนการนักศึกษาไทยกับการเคลื่อนไหวทางการเมืองในยุคโควิด

ความหวังที่จะเห็นการเปลี่ยนแปลงทางการเมืองของไทยเริ่มเกิดขึ้นอีกครั้งในช่วงต้นปี 2563 จากการเคลื่อนไหวของคนรุ่นใหม่หลังศาลรัฐธรรมนูญวินิจฉัยยุบพรรคอนาคตใหม่เมื่อวันที่ 21 กุมภาพันธ์ ได้จุดไฟกระแสความไม่พอใจที่มีต่อรัฐบาลของ พล.อ.ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา ที่ดำรงตำแหน่งนายกรัฐมนตรีมาตั้งแต่เหตุการณ์รัฐประหารปี 2557 จนนำไปสู่กระแสกิจกรรมแฟลชม็อบ (Flash mob) ที่ดำเนินไปเป็นไฟลามทุ่งโดยกลุ่มนักศึกษาในหลายสถาบันทั่วประเทศ จากสถิติของศูนย์ทนายความเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชนที่บันทึกเหตุการณ์ช่วงระหว่างวันที่ 21 กุมภาพันธ์จนถึง 14 มีนาคม 2563 พบว่า มีการจัดกิจกรรมชุมนุมในลักษณะแฟลชม็อบ เพื่อเรียกร้องประชาธิปไตยและต่อต้านเผด็จการอย่างน้อย 79 ครั้งที่เกิดในพื้นที่มหาวิทยาลัยจากทั่วประเทศ

Thailand Online Protest

Thai student protesters in the time of COVID-19: New generation, new forms of resistance online

Hope for political change in Thailand has grown stronger in 2020 after a wave of student protests across the country followed the constitutional court’s dissolution of the opposition Future Forward Party. This wave of protests, dubbed the “youthquake” phenomenon, is reflective of the political awareness among the Thai youth. Despite the ban on public assembly, the youth have taken to platforms online and offline to vent out their frustrations. Online, however, the Thai youth continue to protest, using social media to voice out their criticisms against the government.

Pemblokiran Internet di Papua dan Papua Barat vs Kelanjutan Putusan Majelis Hakim PTUN Jakarta

Awal bulan Juni 2020, Pengadilan Tata Usaha Negara (PTUN) menyatakan Pemerintah Indonesia, dalam hal ini Presiden RI dan Kementerian Komunikasi dan Informasi (Menkominfo), telah melanggar hukum atas tindakan pelambatan (throttling) dan pemblokiran internet di beberapa wilayah di Papua dan Papua Barat pada tahun 2019. Kasus yang terjadi selama kurang lebih satu bulan dari tanggal 19 Agustus hingga 28 September 2019 ini diajukan ke PTUN oleh koalisi kelompok masyarakat sipil yang ada di Asia Tenggara. Kemenangan Tim Pembela Kebebasan Pers atas gugatan pada Menkominfo dan Presiden RI, menjadi contoh baik menyikapi cara pemerintah menerapkan otoritasnya dalam pengelolaan Internet.

Monitoring the ruling vs 2019 internet shutdowns in Papua and West Papua

Earlier this month, the Jakarta State Administrative Court declared as illegal the internet shutdowns in Papua and West Papua enforced by the Indonesian government in 2019. The case on the month-long shutdown, from August 19 to September 28 last year, was filed by a coalition of civil society groups working in Southeast Asia. The victory of the Press Freedom Defender Team over the lawsuit against the Minister of Communication and Information and the President of the Republic of Indonesia, is a good example of how citizens can respond to government’s unlawful management of public communication infrastructure like the Internet.

Joseph Lamont Marapu song instrument

Singing about global issues – and COVID-19 – with the Marapu community

Songs in the local language of the Marapu community in East Sumba, Indonesia, have become a bridge for the Marapu community to directly communicate and receive information and relevant health recommendations from the World Health Organisation and national and local governments in a culturally familiar and appropriate context.

Rakhine Myanmar World Food Programme

The Myanmar government is hiding the truth of Arakan conflicts

The military strategy to fight the AA and other rebel groups in the country can be summarized into cutting off four key areas: recruitment, food, budget, and information. The fourth part, information, means to censor news and media about the Arakan conflicts.

Bebaskan Ravio Patra

#BebaskanRavio: Free Ravio Patra and reveal the WhatsApp hackers

On the evening of April 22, 2020, researcher Ravio Patra was arrested in Jakarta, Indonesia, not long after an attempt to protect his safety due to a WhatsApp privacy breach. His work has captured the interest of many, notably his most recent critique on the sparse handling of COVID-19 by the Jokowi administration.

Screenshot of an online Youth Conference

How a youth group organised a fully online conference

The pandemic has impacted how civil society organisations do advocacy work, derailing weeks (or months, in our case) of planning. However, we knew we had to adapt and innovate. Instead of a physical conference, we decided to execute a fully online youth conference for April 4, 2020. And, despite less than a month of planning, we did it.

Internet Shutdown Myanmar Rakhine Arakan Chin

To fight COVID-19 in Myanmar, stop the war and internet shutdown in Arakan

The internet is a primary source of information on the global COVID-19 pandemic. But Arakan (formally known as Rakhine State) in western Myanmar is now experiencing the longest internet shutdown in the world. The internet blockage has also caused a lack of information and knowledge concerning COVID-19.

Coconet II Public Report: Growing the digital rights movement

Coconet is an Asia-Pacific regional initiative supporting changemakers to build the digital rights movement. In October 2019, Coconet II expanded the space for new changemakers: activists, journalists, artists, technologists, filmmakers, lawyers, and researchers, who represent a wide variety of social and environmental movements. Over 120 changemakers from 22 countries converged in Antipolo, Philippines, to discuss and share their knowledge on digital rights, exchange tactics and skills, and plan joint campaigns and collaborations to strengthen their respective movements as well as support broader ones.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash.

Fighting the COVID-19 ‘Infodemic’ in the Asia-Pacific

While governments and health workers worldwide are focused on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also busy fighting another related pandemic that cuts across all sectors of society: a massive “infodemic” equally as wide-reaching and harmful.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

AI as a weapon against civil and political rights

We are going to take a closer look on what can happen when AI is weaponised and used against civil and political rights (CPR) such as the right to life and self-determination, as well as individual freedoms of expression, religion, association, assembly, and so on.