Giving up on technicality is giving away your liberty – Gayathry Venkiteswaran


I’m Gayathry Venkiteswaran. I’m the executive director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance. This is a regional network of media freedom groups in Southeast Asia. We have members in four countries and partners in another three countries. Our work is about promoting and defending press freedom, freedom of expression, and access to information. I would actually reflect on the UN Special Rapporteur of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Mr. Frank La Rue,’s presentation where he actually talks about the access to the Internet as a right because of all the other enabling or because it enable the enjoyment of many other rights and I think that is actually fundamental. Because it then allows for education, it allows for employment, it allows for the expression, political expression, so I think that access to these infrastructures needs to be seen as a right. Like how you say rights to education. we we have a situation in Finland it’s 100% access. They incorporate the right to have Internet access, in particular speed even, into their constitution, in their law. And then we have the rest of the world, still grappling with the infrastructure. Now that is going to create kinds of gap. Economic gap, social gap. If we look at Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights where freedom of expression is described as having the access to information across all frontiers all kinds of media. So if we have rights to the media then I think the Internet can also be seen in that light. If we come to an agreement and appreciated the value of the access to the Internet as a right. Then I think that it needs to be defended as any other rights as well. And the obligations on the state, to be able to provide. The state today provide education. That can be controversial in some countries. You know, health. It obliged to provide health. To provide security for its citizens. anything there In terms of being able to enjoy that rights of access the obligation is from the state. But this is really something that it does involve a kind of paradigm shift, for a lot of people, including civil society groups, to say that hey, it’s not just about digital divide these days vermont’s largest how is the government uh… so how does it have been
obligations x one of the things that bother online subsequent it’s like a lot on the president in both cases and and bear to think that it’s uh… it’s actually not that will be cutting concept one what opportunities so i think maybe the first thing to recognize is that we seen as a problem we should not see that lost parents in take a break from that and many other developments if the media it’s not just that it does speak changing we proceeded casa instead of lost intersection i think that’s me and added costs up is often white ippol over the existing at the facts soul ended let’s try to see how exceeded means he didn’t make it as well but i think that basis it did you know you can express yourself and then i think we need to ask you to
be wednesday so you can see actually decent education we need to be honest in hospital firdaus actually boom because i think in some of the cases they have
foreign companies in pa operations and country out they are bombarded and that’s what they cannot and all the time it’s a long email is that all the time but is that not included and just because a lot of it as an
insult the intention so i think very honestly to find it’s not just one for many many kitchen holiday too of this case would it be truman and i said So I think the role of civil society for example, and academics, maybe just go back to while armstrong impeachable whether some of the city i think also finding opportunities somehow despite what mister i don’t want to a compromise because i don’t think that the signals status song because a lot of problems uh… so i think that you need to have some international standards and then see where that he’s not size so comical last dealers all day anything that came to me thrown into a feast what actually exists what instrument sixty exists antenna dispose of it it does stick some initiative of the registrar
understand these things and they have to go back to me putting out this if this is an acs oddly solicitous needing it all preventing us from and made it to the next and see decide inspection standards skull profile legal reform allowed international standards find
that government since he’s been doing because if not rectified discussions of database dugan it down means forum company finds regard i think that uh… because there’s a lot of interconnected sixty across pumping and they seemed to have some time off
the bus you know that it’s not really a bind i think what has actually provided for personal before civil society onboard positions at least expressed some of primarily i think is that seen as something of the domain of the the technologies and businesses but i haven’t civil society would start to speak indies for anemic economy change policies that much freedom of expression you know that that this is the end the
technologies day exciting and that’s it recognize that some of well actually bite so i think that section at some point to be able this process people who actually so well now you can access our while we do it was rejected and governments dentists you’ve got chatting at that point that shit talk
across all of the weekend safety seat that implicit antes up taken by day from sfo keen to get there forty eight son of the i_d_f_ that’s another border
two stains injustice implicitly and i’ll be out it because concede this summer unfortunately doesn’t have that talking idea but you know that they want that’s
making the decisions at me and i think that exceeded the internet inches reactions about this at the moment we have been a very
comfortable because it was it’s enough but then question then about woodstock sandbags and comfortable
because let me you don’t get messages house i think a lot of us need to go
back to haunt him we need to talk about this veto or what indecent psa density singing for the opportunity at the i_d_f_ because of society government about these things neeti sustained focus to the national dating back to sleep Because, that’s binding. I think, as we are developing a sort of more overall policy about the use of the Internet, access to the Internet. There a lot of technical issues involved. And I think that we shouldn’t be daunted by the technicality of it. I think we should take the challenge and understand them, understand the infrastructure. Because, it is the lack of understanding of technical infrastructure that has also cost us our freedoms a little bit. By not understanding it, we have not realize that our freedom has been taken away. So a lot of tools are being use for surveillance, for censorship, for blocking, for tracking. And actually these are violations of our freedom and so, the less we understand the more freedom we giving away. So I think it’s very very important for us to actually take the trouble understand the infrastructure, understand the technology behind it, because we have to defend it. We tend to focus a lot about content, especially when coming from the media background. You know it’s what. Political issue. Social issue. Environmental issue. Oh, can you talk about it. Can you not talk about it. Or a blogger has written something and is arrested for it. So it’s very much on the content front. What comes out. But the backend of it. What is actually happening and how are our rights being taken away, infringed upon, is something we are not looking at. And I think, that is something we have to change. Because if you don’t understand it, then we are not aware of what’s actually taken away from us.

Danny Hutson

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