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European Parliament: What is the future for sharing information online?

After more than two decades of concerns on copyright infringement on the Internet, the European Parliament voted in favor of the adoption of Article 13 and 11.

On Tuesday 26th of March 2019, The European Union changed the landscape of copyright protection on the Internet. With a total number of 348 votes in favor, 36 null, and 274 against, the EU Copyright Directive (2016/0280) was adopted.

The legislation which modifies the former legislation on copyright follows the policy made by the European commission which ensures creators and consumes are able to make the most of the Internet.

The new legislations, Article 13 and 11 have been received by many people as well as web platforms with much disapproval. The Article 11 known as the 'link tax' requires web platforms such as Google, Facebook to obtain licences to use snippets and links of contents.

Article 13 on the other hand is known as the 'Upload filters'. It is intended to gear web platforms to make the best effort …

Community Leaders Take: Online Body Shaming

Written by Ruth Atim, Digital Grassroots Community Leader from Uganda

 "I do believe that online behaviour is often an extension of, or is similar to, social behaviour in the face-to-face world. Any investigation into what we see in a social network site probably should not stop there. The online "evidence" could be the latest development in a long chain of reaction." Cyber bullying and online body shaming is very common and involves hurting someone else using information and communication technologies which in this case uses the Internet. This always include sending harassing messages (via text or Internet), posting reproachful comments on a social networking site, posting humiliating pictures, or threatening/intimidating someone electronically.

This is a huge problem within my community because it spreads fast and reaches an unlimited audience within a short time. I discovered the extent of this through a survey I undertook as part of the Digital Grassroots Commu…

Internet Freedom Festival #IFF5

The fifth Internet Freedom Festival  (IFF) took place in April 1-5 in Valencia, Spain. The annual event is known for hosting activists, journalists, technologies and human rights defenders from around the world as a safe space to work together and express their opinions freely. Digital Grassroots President, Esther, was this years IFF Community Development fellow for the Next Net theme.

At this fifth year celebration of the festival, Digital Grassroots hosted three sessions including; "Feminist Internet: Current Situation and Challenges", "Emerging Technologies and the Future of the Workplace" and "Youth Participation in Internet Governance".

On the Feminist Internet Session, our Communications Director Eileen Cejas, Programs Director Noha Ashraf and Chenai Chair made storytelling about different issues that needs to be tackled urgently. Their stories of sexual abuse, online harassment and disabled people touched people's hearts and encouraged them to…

JANUARY 2019: Internet Shutdowns in Congo DR, Gabon and Zimbabwe

January started as a very difficult month for the Internet. We faced three (yes three!) Internet shutdowns across the African continent including Congo DR, Gabon and Zimbabwe.

For those who are new to the word "Internet Shutdown", it is can basically be defined as the intentional disruption of the Internet, which are targeted towards specific population in order to control the free flow of information. This can be partial where access to specific websites or applications are restricted or total where there is a complete blackout in the Internet service. 
To fully understand its consequences, Internet shutdown is a major violation of the digital rights of citizens. The constitution of many countries recognizes the right to freedom of expression, opinion, and peaceful assembly.

DR CONGO On December 30th 2018, Internet was cut off while voters were waiting for the election results in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After what it seemed to be a peacefull poll, people woke up…

International Womens Day 2019:

The much celebrated day of March 8th is the day we remember how much we owe to women in society's progress. It is also essential to remember why this date is dedicated to women who have sacrificed their lives fighting for the rights of women world over for a more equal world. We also need to reflect on the current role of women in society and challenges we are facing to make a better society, a society when there is a balance in terms of gender, especially when it comes in terms of high positions of power, especially in the Internet Governance scope. #BalanceForBetter was the hashtag chosen to reflect this women's celebration.

Digital Grassroots if 80% female led and 100% led by youth. We have achieved 50/50 margins in our Ambassadors program [see our cohort 1 outcome report here] and our Community Leaders are majority women.

This year, DIGRA prepared a Tweet Chat using quotes from Ambassadors and DIGRA Community related to EMPOWERING WOMEN IN ICT; This included special engag…

NYIGF: Nigeria Youth IGF 2019

The Nigerian Youth Internet Governance Forum (NYIGF) was held on Wednesday 23rd January 2019 at the Center of Information, Technology and Systems (CITS, University of Lagos, Lagos State) and successfully launched a community of young Nigerians (under 35 years old) passionate about contributing to the development of a healthy Internet ecosystem and Internet technology in Nigeria. During the event, the official website of NYIGF was launched online. The main goal of the website is to bridge the gap between the initiative and the rest of the world, as expressed by the organisers.

In the first edition of the NYIGF, Uffa Modey, Vice President of DIGRA and main organiser of the event, introduced the attendees by telling them about the NYIGF Initiative, focusing on the need of youth engagement in both international and national Internet Governance discussions, in order to address the growing need for Nigerian Youth to participate in these important issues.

NYIGF 2019 had two panel sessions. T…

Venezuela: Digital Grassroots Signs Petition Against Internet Control

By Eileen Cejas

Digital Grassroots, has joined other organizations in signing the petition  launched by Access Now to protest the upcoming draft bill called "Constitutional Law of Cyberspace of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela". This bill aims to give the government legal control over the Internet in Venezuela.

As the situation in Venezuela is getting worse everyday, with blockages of specific social media networks, citizens must do everything to defend their right of freedom of speech in a precarious political environment.

Recent news have shown that President Maduro has blocked the access to main Internet provider (CATV state provider) to block online communications especially during important political events. The blocked platforms include Wikipedia and Facebook.

Digital Grassroots expresses deep concern for the development of the Bill. There is an increased violation of digital rights across the globe with internet tax, censorship, internet shutdowns and bills being cre…