After three years of virtual gatherings, RightsCon is back! The 12th edition of the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age will be a hybrid convening taking place online through the RightsCon platform and in San José, Costa Rica between June 5-8.

RightsCon provides an opportunity for human rights experts, technologists, government representatives, and activists to discuss pressing human rights challenges and their potential solutions. 

We’re excited that many EFFers are heading to Costa Rica and will be actively participating in this year's event – both online and in person. Several members will be leading sessions and contributing as speakers, as well as being available for networking.

Our delegation includes:

  • Carlos Wertheman, Translations Manager
  • Christoph Schmon, International Policy Director
  • Cindy Cohn, Executive Director
  • David Greene, Senior Staff Attorney and Civil Liberties Director
  • Eva Galperin, Director Of Cybersecurity
  • Jillian York, Director of International Freedom of Expression
  • Katitza Rodriguez, Policy Director for Global Privacy
  • Paige Collings, Senior Speech and Privacy Activist
  • Shirin Mori, Senior Design & Research Lead
  • Veridiana Alimonti, Associate Director For Latin American Policy

We hope you have an opportunity to connect with us at the following: 

Tuesday 6 June  

Confronting cybercrime laws and human rights abuse, a local to global discussion
10:15 - 11:15 CST
Katitza Rodriguez, Policy Director for Global Privacy
Host institutions: ARTICLE 19, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Around the world repressive governments are increasingly exploiting cybercrime legislation to arbitrarily restrict the freedom of expression and access to information. Looking at case studies in Asia and Latin America, this session aims to identify the relationship between national and global level cybercrime laws, and to propose systematic solutions for civil society.  

Artists have digital rights, too: SCP 2.0 and advocating for artistic expression online
11:30 - 12:30 CST [ONLINE]
Paige Collings, Senior Speech and Privacy Activist
Host institutions: Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), Don't Delete Art  

Addressing the lack of art-specific analysis of content moderation mechanisms, this session convenes artists and curators to discuss challenges they face in sharing artistic content online, with the goal of engaging arts communities in digital rights work, and forging new advocates for artistic expression online.  

The next frontier for the UNGPs: protect, respect, and remedy in the metaverse
14:00 - 15:00 CST
Katitza Rodriguez, Policy Director for Global Privacy
Host institution: Article One Advisors

In a virtual world, how should we interpret international human rights standards and frameworks that were designed with the physical one in mind? This session will discuss the opportunities and challenges to implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ ‘Protect, Respect, Remedy’ framework in this next, virtual frontier.   

Interoperability: from buzzword to a map of solutions
14:00 - 15:00 CST [HYBRID]
Cory Doctorow, EFF Special Advisor 
Host institution: Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) Law School, Center for Technology and Society (CTS)  

This session will be devoted to understanding the promises and challenges of interoperability in digital ecosystems, and why it could matter for the protection of people’s rights online. Speakers will outline the legal and economic reasons underlying voluntary and mandated interoperability, and discuss the governance challenges in creating, monitoring and enforcing interoperability. 

The police paper trail: scrutinizing state surveillance with public records
16:15 - 17:15pm CST [ONLINE]
Beryl Lipton, Investigative Researcher
Host institution: Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Law enforcement entities around the world have access to dozens of tools for everyday dragnet surveillance. Attendees will discuss the civil rights implications of indiscriminate state scrutiny, discuss ways surveillance tools have been adopted and used in various countries, and hear about local and national laws intended to curb abuses (and the lack thereof).  

Wednesday 7 June

So you want to be an Executive Director?
10:15 - 11:15 CST
Cindy Cohn, Executive Director
Host institutions: Access Now, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Five digital rights Executive Directors from five continents will hold an open discussion with participants in order to exchange knowledge, experiences, and insights with fellow and forthcoming leaders in the sector. We will discuss opportunities and challenges of becoming a leader in the digital rights world with attention to both global, regional, and national perspectives.

Internet service providers and data privacy rights: challenges, trends, and ways forward in Latin America and Spain 
14:00 - 15:00 CST [HYBRID]
Veridiana Alimonti, Associate Director For Latin American Policy
Host institution: Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Since 2015, ¿Quién Defiende tus Datos? /¿Dónde Están mis Datos? reports in Latin America and Spain have held Internet Service Providers accountable by comparing their privacy policies and practices, especially on government demands for user data. The session will explore achievements, gaps, and concerning trends found throughout the series. 

Thursday 8 June

Co-creating the online spaces we want in a (fe)diverse and decentralized internet
9:00 - 10:00 CST
Jillian York, Director of International Freedom of Expression
Host institutions: Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE), European Center for Not-For-Profit Law (ECNL)

Against the backdrop of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and a (renewed) interest in decentralized social media platforms, this session will explore the challenges and opportunities of the ‘fediverse’ as well as emerging technologies such as web3. Civil society has a real opportunity to redefine how platforms should operate and how content could be moderated.

Rethinking transparency reporting
11:30 - 12:30 CST
Jillian York, Director of International Freedom of Expression
Host institution: Ofcom

From the UK’s Online Safety Bill, the EU’s Digital Services Act, to Australia’s Online Safety Act, transparency reporting obligations are featuring increasingly. But what does effective and meaningful transparency reporting look like? And why do we need to have this discussion now? Participants are invited to reflect on what meaningful transparency reporting looks like.

The promise and peril of immersive technologies: accessibility, privacy, and discrimination
15:15 - 16:15 CST
Katitza Rodriguez, Policy Director for Global Privacy
Host institution: Future of Privacy Forum (FPF)

Immersive technologies like extended reality hold enormous potential to improve the quality and accessibility of education, health, and entertainment. This panel will explore these challenges and possibilities, including how data collected by and for these technologies could potentially be used in harmful ways, and what platforms, regulators, and users can do to avoid these harms.  

In addition to these events, the EFF staff will be attending many other events at RightsCon and we look forward to meeting you there. You can view the full programing, as well as many other useful resources, on the RightsCon Summit Platform.

Registration for RightsCon is still open and closes on June 2 at 23:59 PST, and online participation is free. Get your ticket now! 

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