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Venezuela: Digital Grassroots Signs Petition Against Internet Control

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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…

Safer Internet Day *Tweet Chat*

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Digital Grassroots joined Safer Internet Day and the International Centre For Leadership Development Nigeria (ICLDNG) for this special day established internationally in 2005. This year, Safer Internet Day was themed "Together for a better Internet" and we used the hashtags #SID2019, #SaferInternetDay, #SaferInternetDay2019, #DIGRA, #DigitalCitizen and #YouthInIG.

In order to celebrate this special day, Digital Grassroots organised a Tweet Chat at our Twitter account at 5pm UTC, where we discussed with our followers about measures to guarantee children's safety online as well as common issues related to privacy and more.



During the debate, we reached interesting comments from our Network. You can see them in the image below


Also, we prepare a video using quotes from our Ambassadors, who participated at the Communiqué 2018.


Credits: Mpieri Gregory and Eileen Cejas

Thanks for joining us at the Tweet Chat and we look forward to seering you at our next event.

MOZFEST: DIGITAL RIGHTS MONOPOLY

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In early May, Digital Grassroots participated in Mozilla Sprint as participants of Mozilla Open Leaders (MOL) cohort 5. After the cohort ended, we continued as mentor and experts in MOL 6. One way we continued in the pathway Mozilla offered us as Open Leaders was applying for the Mozilla Festival (MOZFEST) that took place in London, UK.


Digital Rights Monopoly is a game that reflects core digital rights issues affecting youth in marginalized regions, and offers pathways to build a healthier internet in local communities. In applying for Mozfest, we were looking for ways to create an interactive platform to share the digital rights issues our Ambassadors were experiencing. These are featured in our 'Communique: Youth Resolutions on Internet Governance' and across the spaces on the Digital Rights Monopoly board.





Digital Rights Monopoly was created by Esther Mwema, Uffa Modey, and Noha Ashraf. Su Sonia Herring was part of our team as co-facilitator. The Layout Design was also don…

SOCIAL MEDIA TAX BY ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT

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The introduction of the tax on internet phone calls in Zambia was passed this August 2018 during a cabinet meeting held at State House. This move comes after a high increase in the number of users who prefer to make calls through their mobile based applications such as Whatsapp and Viber. The implementation of this tax law means that the citizens of Zambia will incur double taxation in their communication charges.

"The mobile airtime that Zambians purchase to use for talk time and internet bundles is taxed and therefore subjecting people to a second tax is not only unfair but disastrous to the economic lives of the already struggling citizens."
Digital Grassroots strongly condemns the move by the Zambian government to tax internet phone calls at 30 ngwee a day. This is a violation of the digital rights of the Zambian people and an infringement to their freedom of speech and expression.

"Many internet users in Zambia are the young people aged between 18- 30 who rely on …

STATE OF THE NET UGANDA

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The Ugandan Parliament passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill which is social media tax legislation that is will take effect on 1st July.



This means that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp will be subject to a daily tax. There will be also be a levy on mobile money services.mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook 200 Ugandan shillings per day.

In the 2016 presidential election in Uganda the Ugandan authorities blocked access to social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp claiming that the sites would be used by the opposition to organize and mobilize people for protests. At this time mobile money services were also affected. Only about 5 million of around 42 million Ugandans have access to the banking sector leaving the rest to mobile money services.



The government claimed that it passed the legislation in order to raise revenue so as to offset the huge Ugandan national debt. Activists, lawyers and the peopl…

MOZILLA GLOBAL SPRINT HACKATHON

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MOZSPRINT: On May 10 and 11, 2018, Digital Grassroots participated in its first ever Hackathon through the Mozilla Open Leaders program. We had been prepared for the Mozilla Sprint since beginning the program in February and engaged in weekly webinars to learn building a roadmap, creating a canvas, building persona’s, including mentorships and meeting with experts in our respective field of Internet Governance. #Mozsprint summed up all 14 weeks of preparation and Digital Grassroots hosted our Mozilla Global Sprint in Nigeria, Kenya, and online.
The Nigerian hub for Mozilla Sprint was courtesy of American Corner in Lagos and hosted 38 participants on both days. In Kenya, we had 8 participants attend on the first day, and given that Digital Grassroots features young leaders from 9 countries, we were hacking away online on Github.
Mozilla Open Leaders was a game-changer for Digital Grassroots for many reasons. Straight out of the Internet Governance Forum at the United Nations of Geneva (U…

AruWSIG: Arusha Women School of Internet Governance

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Arusha, Tanzania: The first ever Arusha Women’s School of Internet Governance (AruWSIG) took place on the 27th and 28th of April 2018 at Arusha Accountancy Institute (AAI). The event was organized by Digital Grassroots Tanzania country coordinator, Rebecca Ryakitimbo. Digital Grassroots President, Esther Mwema, travelled from Zambia to host a session at the maiden event that hosted 90 youth participants in Arusha, Tanzania.
Ms. Ryakitimbo is co-founder of Techchix Tanzania which organized the event in conjunction with the Center for Youth Empowerment and Leadership (Kenya) with support from Internet Society Tanzania Chapter, ICANN, ICANNwiki, dotAfrica, SIGediathon, Localization Lab, and Digital Grassroots. The young participants hailed from Arusha Accountancy Institution, Makumira, and Arusha Technical. The success of the first Arusha Women School of Internet Governance followed our first ever Kenya Youth Convening on Internet Governance in Nairobi in the same month.




DAY ONEAruWSIG kic…