To celebrate the Europe Day (9 May) and the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (17 May), the Kyrgyz Internet Society has hosted a webinar “What digital opportunities are available for rural communities?” The webinar has brought together leaders of several EU-funded and EU-related projects in the Kyrgyz Republic to inform youth, women and migrants in the rural areas about digital opportunities and grant support in Kyrgyzstan.
It was an honor to be invited to speak about the opportunities brought by the Internet and the importance of digital security. We started to remind the 2011 declaration of The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue:
Without Internet access, which facilitates economic development and the enjoyment of a range of human rights, marginalized groups and developing States remain trapped in a disadvantaged situation, thereby perpetuating inequality both within and between States
Saying that Frank La rRue expressed more than 10 years ago how much Internet is a great opportunity for democracy and development. Since then, another face of Internet has risen. In 2013, thanks to Edward Snowden, we discovered a massive surveillance scandal. We learned at the hard way that Internet could also be used to surveil and spy on people. Numerous reports (Freedom House, Reporters Without borders index) have pointed to the rise of authoritarianism in the digital space, mainly fueled and inspired by practices observed in China, a country well-known for its rejection of a free and open Internet.
This is why projects such as Tech4Society are especially important in areas where Internet is currently growing and developing and this is why Nothing2Hide is proud to be a partner of The Kyrgyz Internet on digital safety. The Internet is an opportunity for freedom of expression, development and democracy. Let’s do everything can to keep it this way.
- Hans Farnhammer, Head of Cooperation, First Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic
- Professor Ermanno Pietrosemoli, Science, Technology and Innovation Unit, ICTP – International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Presidente Fundación Escuela Latinoamericana de Redes (EsLaRed)
- Grégoire Pouget, co-founder and CEO of Nothing2Hide
- Gulbarchin Suyunova, Zhash Tabyshker project coordinator, Executive Director of Enactus Kyrgyzstan
- Sapargul Abdinabieva, media expert of the Sanarip Insan project
- Nurbek Arzymbaev, Project Manager “Sanarip Tazalyk”, a joint initiative with the International Organization Tech4Press (France)