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.