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Updates from APrIGF 2016

Experience at Asia-Pacific region Internet Governance Forum, Taipei.


Sinar Project participated in the Asia-Pacific region Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), which took place in Taipei, Taiwan. Discussions were held on human rights issues online with our fellow civil society organizations, the technical community, government, as well as the private sector. We were able to build several new connections, for future potential collaboration on internet governance issues, especially in South East Asia region.

APrIGF session topics this year covered human rights online, cyber security, impacts of IANA transition, impact of large international trade agreements, universality and cyber connectivity. We co-organized a session as well as participated as speakers in several sessions during APrIGF, and Youth IGF. Here, are highlights about the sessions we organised and participated in.

Photo from APrIGF 

Threats to freedom of expression: trade agreements and digital rights challenges

We were co-organized a session ‘The Future of Internet Rulemaking Through Trade Agreements’, together with Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Observer Research Foundation.

Trade negotiations are increasingly setting norms on Internet policy issues. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP)’s implication extends to intellectual property rights, such as copyright and domain name dispute resolution, and cross-border data flow issues. In this workshop we explored and discussed some of the most relevant questions, especially the impact of TPP to Internet users; the opportunity of trade agreements to protect open internet and digital rights; and how can the governments develop new models to also include Internet policy on trade agreements? (Notes:

Photo from APrIGF

We also participated as speakers for a panel organised by Citizen Lab, to discuss threats and challenges to free expression in Southeast Asian countries. During the session, panelists shared various insights to improve the status of free expression in the region, which included leveraging existing legal mechanisms and technical measures to circumvent censorship. Swee Meng, our principal technologist shared updates on the censorship situation in Malaysia, highlighting existing and new surveillance laws, as well as ways to analyse and respond the threats, such as reporting and circumventing censorship with CERT like incident reporting of digital rights violations (DigiMon), detecting network interference in Malaysia using TOR Open Observatory OONI probes.

(To view the presentation - and notes -

Photo from APrIGF

Youth Internet Governance Forum

Internet has become an important part of daily life and used for socialising and entertainment, learning, and as communication platforms for the younger generation. However, youth voices are less heard in the decision making processes of how the Internet works. Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) is an initiative of Net Mission to raise awareness of the younger generation on Internet governance issues and encourage them to participate in policy discussions.

YIGF was held alongside with APrIGF in separate session and role play was a key feature in the program. Our intern, Ashraf joined the full program as a youth delegate to YIGF at APrIGF. Read his thoughts on youth participation for Internet governance here -

Moving forward: Documenting and mapping the key issues in Asia-Pacific region

At the APrIGF New Delhi 2014, the Synthesis Document concept raised in Multi-stakeholder Steering Group (MSG) meetings and it took into action at last year APrIGF in Macao. The Synthesis Document aims to document common interests relevant to Internet Governance from the input of the participants of APrIGF. However, the Document is not intended to be representative of the diverse Asia-Pacific region, but a platform to contribute voices, views and thoughts to relevant global, national, and local on Internet Governance issues.

The Synthesis Document draft 2 is now open for public comment, and aims to publish the final document in early September. To contribute your input to the Synthesis Document -, public comment open until 26 Aug 2016, 23:59 UTC.

Key Outcomes from APrIGF

Mapping Collaboration Side Meeting
There were several new possible opportunities for collaboration at APrIGF from joining the mapping collaborations side meeting which was organized by Digital Asia Hub and Access Now. Participants highlighted  key challenges and policy issues related to digital rights that they are most concerned about in their respective countries, and the projects that they are working on such as digital tech for democracy and digital rights, open data and budgeting, network shutdowns, cybersecurity and the militarization of the national security discourse .Sinar shared information about our civic tech projects -- open government data API and databases, open spending and budgets in constrained environments. There, we able to pitch a demo of how we use our open government data to show influence mapping networks of politically exposed persons to other groups working in this region such as OpenNet, Open Knowledge Taiwan and g0v. We also mapped out possible collaboration with respective CSOs.

Youth IGF
We connected with David Ng from DotAsia, the supporting staff for YIGF, and Jianne, one of the YIGF organizers, we discussed about the possibility of organizing a local YIGF in Malaysia based on their model. The role play session featured in YIGF was very useful and effective program for young people, because it provides youth participants an idea of all the different IGF categories involved when it comes to Internet governance. The role play can also help them to understand the different roles of multi-stakeholders in the decision making process. With the possible collaboration, we have the chance to raise the awareness and further the discourse on Internet governance among the Internet users especially the younger generations in Malaysia.

About the Author

Sze Ming  PGP ID: 1364EF9D

Programme officer working on digital rights for privacy, freedom of expression & information and culture of openness. In the past, she was a student activist and a part time environmentalist. Also, she worked with several Malaysian State Assemblymen/women. Throughout the years, she have gained vast experiences and knowledge relates to legislation and government policies. Currently, Sze Ming has an on-going side project with a group of young greenies with a purpose to empower and raise awareness among youth to take action against climate change. Despite being active in the activism scene, Sze Ming loves travelling, photographing, designing posters and working on  the go. 

Source: Szeming

Story Type: Update

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