Anja Kovacs is speaking on the panel on surveillance across Asia. The Consultation is organised by Demos, FORUM-ASIA, Bytes for All Pakistan, Global Partners Digital and others.

The Regional Consultation on Freedom of Expression for Civil Liberties is being organised by Instituto Demos in collaboration with Bytes for All, ICT Watch, Global Partners Digital and the Association for Progressive Communications with local hosts Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and Southeast Asian Press Alliance.

Freedom of expression is a foundational human right — with freedom of expression we exercise our human need to communicate, we engage in democracy and we are empowered to demand all of our human rights. The Internet is having a tremendous impact on freedom of expression across the world, offering tremendous and new opportunities for expanding notions and practices of freedom of expression and access to information. But it is a highly complex, and fast-changing, environment. We are witnessing growing threats from governments and businesses to exercise greater control of the Internet, including, most recently, through extensive surveillance mechanisms.

The Regional Consultation on Freedom of Expression for Civil Liberties will focus on three broad issues within this complex and fast-changing landscape: acess to the Internet, surveillance on the Internet and political-electoral communication, both online and offline. The event will focus on the UN Special Rapporteur reports on freedom of expression exercise through the Internet and on States’ surveillance of communications; and will feed in to his upcoming report on political expression.

Participants are invited from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Singapore, Cambodia, Philippines, Timor Lest, Laos, Vietnam, Maldives, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Japan.

Participation is by invitation only.