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Where to See the EFF Staff at RightsCon 2021

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Our friends at Access Now are once again hosting RightsCon online next week, June 7-11th. This summit provides an opportunity for human rights experts, technologists, government representatives, and activists to discuss pressing human rights challenges and their potential solutions. This year we will have several EFF staff in attendance and leading sessions throughout this five-day conference.

We hope you have an opportunity to connect with us at the following: 

Monday, June 7th

7:45-8:45 am PDTTaking stock of the Facebook Oversight Board’s first year
Director of International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York

This panel will take stock of the work of the Oversight Board since the announcement of its first members in May 2020. Panelists will critically reflect on the development of the Board over its first year and consider its future evolution. 

9:00-10:00 am PDT RightsCon: Upload filters for copyright enforcement take over the world: connecting struggles in EU, US, and Latin America
Associate Director of Policy and Activism, Katharine Trendacosta

The EU copyright directive risks making upload filters mandatory for large and small platforms to prevent copyright infringements by their users. Its adoption has led to large street protests over the risk that legal expression will be curtailed in the process. Although the new EU rules will only be applied from the summer, similar proposals have already emerged in the US and Latin America, citing the EU copyright directive as a role model.

11:30-12:30pm PDTWhat’s past is prologue: safeguarding rights in international efforts to fight cybercrime
Note: This strategy session is limited to 25 participants.
Policy Director for Global Privacy, Katitza Rodriguez

Some efforts by governments to fight cybercrime can fail to respect international human rights law and standards, undermining people’s fundamental rights. At the UN, negotiations on a new cybercrime treaty are set to begin later this year. This would be the first global treaty on cybercrime and has the potential to significantly shape government cooperation on cybercrime and respect for rights.

Wednesday, June 9th

8:30-9:30 am PDTContemplating content moderation in Africa: disinformation and hate speech in focus
Director of International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York.
Note: This community lab is limited to 60 participants.

While social media platforms have been applauded for being a place of self-expression, they are often inattentive to local contexts in many ethnically and linguistically diverse African countries. This panel brings together academics and civil society members to highlight and discuss the obstacles facing Africa when it comes to content moderation.

Thursday, June 10th

5:30-6:30 am PDTDesigning for language accessibility: making usable technologies for non-left to right languages
Designer and Education Manager, Shirin Mori.
Note: This community lab is limited to 60 participants.

The internet was built from the ground up for ASCII characters, leaving billions of speakers of languages that do not use the Latin alphabet underserved. We’d like to introduce a number of distinct problems for non-Left-to-Right (LTR) language users that are prevalent in existing security tools and workflows.

8:00-9:00 am PDT–  “But we’re on the same side!”: how tools to fight extremism can harm counterspeech
Director of International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York.

Bad actors coordinate across platforms to spread content that is linked to offline violence but not deemed TVEC by platforms; centralized responses have proved prone to error and too easy to propagate errors across the Internet. Can actual dangerous speech be addressed without encouraging such dangerous centralization?

12:30-1:30 pm PDT– As AR/VR becomes a reality, it needs a human rights framework
Policy Director for Global Privacy, Katitza Rodriguez; Grassroots Advocacy Organizer, Rory Mir; Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, Kurt Opsahl.
Note: This community lab is limited to 60 participants.

Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies (VR/AR) are rapidly becoming more prevalent to a wider audience. This technology provides the promise to entertain and educate, to connect and enhance our lives, and even to help advocate for our rights. But it also raises the risk of eroding them online.

Friday, June 11th

9:15-10:15 am PDT–  Must-carry? The pros and cons of requiring online services to carry all user speech: litigation strategies and outcomes
Civil Liberties Director, David Greene.
Note: This community lab is limited to 60 participants.

The legal issue of whether online services must carry user speech is a complicated one, with free speech values on both sides, and different results arising from different national legal systems. Digital rights litigators from around the world will meet to map out the legal issue across various national legal systems and discuss ongoing efforts as well as how the issue may be decided doctrinally under our various legal regimes.

In addition to these events, the EFF staff will be attending many other events at RightsCon and we look forward to meeting you there. You can view the full programing, as well as many other useful resources, on the RightsCon site.


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