This is a small meeting of two experts from each country. It begins at 8:40am Bangkok time (9:40am MNL time) with presentations of Country Studies & Practices from Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.
That will be followed by Singapore and Malaysia at 11am; South Korea & the Philippines at 1:10 pm. Afternoon will be a discussion of patters & practices.
There are about 30 of us here - about 2 to 3 from each country. It's just about to start. Doors are closing.
Small room, intimate setting - but formal too because there are so many cultures and perspectives represented here.
First speaker is Marcus Michaelsen on Pakistan.
From Online Activism to Offline Action: Digital Media and Democratic Space in Asia -- Pakistan is first.
Pakistan has 20m internet users, pop more than 180m. Not great internet penetration.
2 obstacles in Pakistan: internet infrastructure and education.
108m using mobile phones in Pakistan. Telecoms is deregulated, allowing competition in internet services, but legislative framework ill-defined.
Participants in online debates in Pakistan belong to small, info-educated elite, most from middle class. - Michaelsen
Pakistan's media landscape is still in the process of professionalization after state restrictions lifted abt a decade ago - Michaelsen
2010 floods in Pakistan: bloggers organized for relief operations - distributing supplies to flood victims - Michaelsen
These mobilizations are short-term in nature. Question is how to use for long-term sustainable involvement in civic activism?
Next speaker is Shazhad Achmad from Pakistan.
Ahmad's site - Bytes for all, Pakistan - www.bytesforall.pk - a human rights organization since 2009
Major issues: censorship & surveillance; implementing "kill switch"; blasphemy laws; religious extremism curbing freedom of expression online
Issues: privacy rights - databases without legal protection; digital security of journalists & human rights defenders
Impt policy spaces: national policy processes; Internet Governance Forum; UN Human Rights Council; EU Parliament - Shahzad Ahmad
Ongoing campaigns: Take Back the Tech; Encryption ban; Kill switch on communications; protecting journalists - Shahzad Ahmad
Emphasizes collaboration with human rights and media development organizations.
Trying to build regional network for freedom & expression online. This doesn't exist right now. - Ahmad
Indonesia next: Yanuar Nugroho & Sofie Shinta Syarief
Policy & regulatory framework: Telecommunication Law; Electronic Information & Transaction Law; Freedom of Information Law
Zooms in on the 3 as most important and possible dangers as written.
Prita Mulyasari as case study: housewife prosecuted under defamation for sending complaint against a hospital via email
Who are the participants in the alternative public spheres? - Nugroho
Talking about how Twitter was used to get food to refugees from Merapi eruption.
Change doesn't seem to happen on the surface, but society is changing. Pak Nugroho talks about Indonesian reflections.
Enda Nasution from Indonesia is speaking next.
Indonesia: 40-45m internet users, 100m users by 2016, 42m FB accounts
Social networks now replaced email in Indonesia - Nasution
Enda Nasution is from salingsilang.com - it means cross path or hub.
Nasution gives case study of how government put in place controls to block pornography. Movement against it lost momentum.
Program is called IDBlokir.
"Social media is fast. Social change is slow." Nasution
Thailand is next. Isriya Paireepairit speaks next.
Free Space of Expressions: New Media & Thailand's Politics - most controversial topic revolves around monarchy.
Jokes about facing up to 15 years in jail - don't say anything about royal family "since you are in the Thai kingdom."
Computer Crime Act of 2007 - problem: content censorship; est 80,000-400,000 blocked sites; most abt "Lesse Majeste"