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Capacity Building Workshop "Rights and Freedom Online: Challenges of Digital Space, Cyber Crime and Security"


By farjana - Posted on 25 November 2018

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Capacity Building Workshop "Rights and Freedom Online: Challenges of Digital Space, Cyber Crime and Security"

Strengthening free expression online urged

A day-long capacity building workshop has been held on 23 November 2018 in the Greenpark restaurant auditorium at Mymensingh. Online activists, women and youth groups, journalists, teachers, IT professionals, NGOs and rights groups participated in the workshop titled ‘Rights and Freedom Online: Challenges of Digital Space, Cyber Crime and Security’ organized by VOICE in cooperation with Association for Progressive Association (APC ) and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The workshop discussed the freedom of expression online, cybercrime and security combating threats of malware and securing the Net for peace and justice.

Aninda Mintu, Ahmed Swapan, Sajal Quraishy, Advocate Sibbir Liton, Selima Azad facilitated different sessions on the day while Swadheen Chowdhury facilitated the sessions and groups during the workshop. Participants demanded to expand the programmes and hold capacity building workshop further both in rural-urban areas considering disadvantaged communities including ethnic minorities, Dalits and youths, in particular.

 Professor Afzal Rahman presided over the inaugural session; Advocate Sibbir Liton, and IT expert Aninda Mintu spoke on the importance of freedom of expression online drawing up challenges in the country.  The executive director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud briefly informed the participants on the research findings analyzing the legal framework done by VOICE.  He told that the ICT law had put an extended barrier to exercise free speech online. The objectives of the workshop are to build capacity to understand the applications of ensuring safe and secure internet and to build constituencies advocating for strengthening the freedom of expression online for better practice of democracy, he said.

IT expert Aninda Mintu discussed in details on how to combat threats on the internet and described the security tools and measures for a secured internet. He urged not to violate the rights of others in the name of exercising free expression online. Drawing the examples of criminalization of freedom of speech online by State, he referred some cases of victims who were arrested for facebook status which is a major threat on the free internet.  Md. Shimul, a lecturer of American University said that massive online surveillance creates a culture of fear among the users that forces them to stay silent which is against of constitutional obligation and international laws.

Participants, in particular, the women groups shared their experience of being victims of sexual harassment in the Net, and they urged the government to take proper measures to end cyber policing and violence against women enforcing the policies and laws rightly. Among participants, many have described on the importance of the right to know and right to the information access while data protection needs serious attention to protect, they said.