For immediate release – Reykjavík/Amsterdam/Budapest, November 8th 2012
Today ChokePoint Project, International Modern Media Institute (IMMI) and Liberit announce their collaboration on Digital Rights Watch (DiRiWa), a collaborative database for mapping the communications and information rights in the world. The organizations, having worked separately on similar projects, have decided to pool their efforts to map an increasingly complex and internationally relevant set of data.
DiRiWa is a project aiming to collect information about the state of communications and information freedom around the world, generally sorted by legal jurisdiction. DiRiWa is interested in legal rights regarding communication, surveillance, access to government information, censorship, the use (and abuse) of copyright, patent and trademark legislation, and other issues that either legally or practically threaten the free spread of information.
As telecommunications and information flows are increasingly globalized by the Internet, the need for a comprehensive overview becomes more urgent. Issues regarding information regulation are important in modern society because so much of what we do is about sending or receiving information. Information about what politicians are doing, for instance, is critical for a functioning democracy. The right to privacy is considered a fundamental human right, but is often violated through extensive monitoring of electronic communications. Copyright legislation can be used to put in place legal environments that subsequently are used to censor political speech. Much of this happens unnoticed by the majority of people.
DiRiWa aims to map the information terrain of the world and help people understand how their rights are altered by communications over different jurisdictions.
“We are very excited to be teaming up with the ChokePoint Project on the development of the Digital Rights Watch,” said Smári McCarthy, IMMI’s executive director. “We have been interested in this project for a long time, but had too little resources to see it through properly. Working with other great organizations globally will help to push this vital project forward.”
“The hard work on DiRiWa so far has resulted in a structure completely in line with the legislative monitoring requirements of the Chokepoint Project. We are very happy to avoid duplication and take advantage of IMMI´s and Libeirit´s experience in modelling this very diverse dataset. Working towards a right to understand seems increasingly necessary as the world we live in grows in complexity. We are convinced that a combining of efforts, understanding and expertise, as is taking place here, is the best way forward in attempting to enable this right.” said ChokePoint Project executive director Ruben Bloemgarten
“I welcome the addition of diverse new talents to our effort, i hope it helps us getting more visibility and perhaps resources to improve the quality of our output,” concludes Stefan Marsiske, co-founder of diriwa.
About the International Modern Media Institute
IMMI, the International Modern Media Institute, is a civil society think tank dedicated to free speech and information rights. Its aim is to drive the implementation of balanced legal frameworks while assisting scholars, activists and lawmakers achieve legislative change globally. It is based in Reykjavík, Iceland but operates globally.
Smári McCarthy, Executive Director
phone: +354 662 2701
About ChokePoint Project
The ChokePoint Project attempts to increase situational awareness by building an platform collecting, aggregating, analyzing, contextualizing and visualizing data and information related to censorship, surveillance and human and civil rights. We believe that combining near-realtime, or Really Quite Fast, data from (network) measurements, legislation, journalistic reporting and commercial activity will allow for a system functioning as an early warning system, a research tool and a public awareness platform.
Liberit passionately liberates, packages, publishes and utilizes your public sector information.
We welcome journalists, policy advocates, NGOs, public administrations to help them with their data gathering and processing needs.