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2015 Privacy Commissioners Conference Leaves Role of NGOs Unclear

The Dutch Data Protection Authority will host the 37th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference. The event will take place October 26-29, 2015. The Public Voice has expressed concern to the event organizers about the absence of formal NGO participation in the conference program. NGOs have also expressed concern about the focus on EU-US trade for the 2015 meeting. The Public Voice, in collaboration with NGO partners around the world, has organized more than a dozen conferences at the annual meetings of the data protection commissioners. The Madrid Privacy Declaration was the outcome of the 2009 Public Voice conference, which carried forward the theme "Global Privacy Standards for a Global World."

2013 The Public Voice Civil Society Meeting

The Public Voice will hold a privacy and consumer protection meeting in conjunction with the 35th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners on Tuesday, 24 September 2013, at the the Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre. Registration is open for the Public Voice meeting. The Data Protection Conference will take place 23-26 September 2013.

2012 The Public Voice Civil Society Meeting

The Public Voice will hold a privacy and consumer protection meeting in conjunction with the 34th Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference on Monday, 22 October 2011 at the the Conrad Hotel Punta del Este Uruguay. Registration is open for the Public Voice meeting. The Data Protection Conference will take place 23-24 October 2012.

Comprehensive Revision of European Privacy Law Announced

The European Commission has proposed modernized Data Protection rules that will simplify business compliance and establish new privacy rights for individuals. EC Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding explained, "The proposal will help build trust in online services because people will be better informed about their rights and in more control of their information." In 2009, 111 civil society groups and 106 experts endorsed the Madrid Privacy Declaration, which called for the establishment of "a new international framework for privacy protection . . . . based on the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights, and support for democratic institutions."

2011 The Public Voice Civil Society Meeting

The Public Voice will hold a privacy and consumer protection conference in conjunction with the 33rd Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference on Monday, 31 October 2011 at the Hilton Mexico City Reforma. The OECD meeting has also scheduled on 1 November 2011. The Data Protection Conference will take place 2-3 November 2011.

G8 Countries Examine Internet, Adopt Statement on Freedom and Democracy

Leaders from the G8 countries gathered in Paris and adopted a statement that contains an extensive discussion on the future of the Internet. The resolution follows the "e>G8 Forum" which brought together mostly business leaders and government leaders. Civil society organizations objected to the lack of meaningful participation by NGOs and Article 19 expressed concern about the need to safeguard of Freedom of Expression.

Global Internet Governance: Research and Public Policy Challenges for the Next Decade

On May 5-6, 2011, GigaNet and American University are co-hosting a conference in Washington, D.C. on "Global Internet Governance: Research and Public Policy Challenges for the Next Decade." The two-day conference, which includes key government officials and Internet policy experts, aims to engage policy makers and feature scholarly presentations on peer-reviewed papers. Topics include privacy, IP addressing, world affairs, the ICANN regime, and freedom of expression. The Public Voice recently co-sponsored an Internet townhall at the ICANN40 meeting in San Francisco to discuss emerging issues for the online community. Those who wish to attend the American University event can register online, and remote participation is available for those outside of the D.C. metropolitan area.

Civil Society Forum Announces Rights and Principles for the Internet

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), established by the World Summit on the Information Society, launched the 10 Internet Rights and Principles at the Expert Meeting on Human Rights and the Internet in Sweden. The document, which lists such goals as Universality and Equality, Accessibility, and Privacy and Data Protection, sets out ten key rights and principles that "must form the basis of Internet governance." The IGF's statement emphasized that the principles are rooted in international human rights standards. For more Information, see the IRP Coalition Website, the Civil Society Seoul Declaration and the EPIC publication The Public Voice WSIS Sourcebook: Perspectives on the World Summit on the Information Society.

Internet Town Hall Meeting Examines Emerging Issues on the Internet

The EPIC Public Voice Project joined with various ICANN committees to host an Internet Town Hall meeting in San Francisco. The meeting focused on emerging issues for the online community and was held in conjunction with ICANN40, ICANN's 40th Annual Public Meeting. Attendees were able to engage with prominent experts on law and technology on such topics as the Internet's role in political movements and times of crisis, the expansion of Internet domain names, and the weighing of security and privacy. Those who couldn’t make it were able to stream the event live and participate and ask questions over Twitter. For more information, see The Public Voice: Internet Town Hall 2011.

2010 The Public Voice Civil Society Meeting

The Public Voice will hold a privacy and consumer protection conference in conjunction with the 32nd Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference on Monday, 25 October 2010 at the Crown Plaza in Jerusalem. The OECD has also scheduled a symposium on October 26 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the OECD Privacy Guidelines. The Data Protection Conference will take place on 27-29 October 2010.

March 12 Marks Celebration Against Cyber Censorship

OECD logoMarch 12 is the World Day Against Cyber Censorship". Its aim is to rally everyone in support of a single Internet without restrictions and accessible to all. Reporters Without Borders is marking the occasion by issuing its latest list of "Enemies of the Internet." The list highlights the censorship and surveillance developments that occurs in countries such as Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. If you want to show your support for World Day Against Cyber Censorship, don't hesitate to download the logo and post it on your blog or website or add it to your email signature.The logo is available here in several sizes and colors.

ISOC Community Grant Program Launched

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.

A Community Grants Programme has been established to assist ISOC chapters and members specifically in projects that will:

  • Advance ISOC's mission and goals specifically those aligned with ISOC Major Strategic Initiatives
  • Serve the Chapters’ communities
  • Nurture collaborative work among Chapters/Individual Members
  • Enhance and utilize knowledge sharing in the global internet community and
  • Encourage Chapters’ sustainability and relevance.

All the information about ISOC Community Grant Program is available here.

The Widening Web of Control

The International Council on Human Rights Policy have published a draft report named The Widening Web of Control: A Human Rights Analysis of Public Policy Responses to Crime, Social Problems and Deviance, which is available for comments and review. The multidisciplinary project involved research in five different policy areas: public health/infectious diseases control; city and urban poor; punishment and incarceration; policing and surveillance; controls over migrant and non-citizens.

IGF 2010 First Round Meeting

An open consultation to discuss the agenda of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Vilnius was held in Geneva, Switzerland on February 9, 2010. During the consultation, a discussion on the desirability of the continuation of the IGF was introduced by Patrick Spearing from the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UNDESA). UNDESA is the Secretariat department having responsibility for the report containing the recommendations of the Secretary-General on the desirability of continuation of the forum.

Mr Spearing recalled that "the forum was established by an UN General Assembly decision on the basis of the Tunis Agenda," and that "it will be the United Nations membership that determines whether or not to support its continuation." Mr Spearing further stressed that, "in order for the General Assembly to consider the recommendations of the Secretary-General, the report of the Secretary-General containing those recommendations must be submitted to the UN General Assembly at the 65th session later in 2010." Mr. Spearing also noted that the United Nations Economic and Social Council "has primary responsibility for relations among development actors and has a mechanism for consultation with nongovernmental organizations."

Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to the UN Internet Governance Forum Meet in Geneva

The fifth Annual Meeting of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 14-17 September 2010. The IGF was formed to support the United Nations Secretary-General in carrying out the mandate from the World Summit on the Information Society with regard to convening a new multi-stakeholder policy dialogue forum to discuss issues related to key elements of Internet governance. The IGF was established in July 2006 and since then four annual forums have been organized.

A first round of open consultations will be held in Geneva on 9 February 2010 to take stock of the Sharm El Sheikh meeting and will discuss the agenda and the format of the Vilnius meeting. On February 10-11, a Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to the Internet Governance Secretariat will meet to discuss the preparation of the Vilnius meeting. Comments on the Substantive Program Agenda had been published online. The Remote Participation Working Group (RPWG) in cooperation with the IGF Secretariat will make available a moderated chat function for online interaction; the link is available here. The hashtag will be #IGF10. Katitza Rodriguez, The Public Voice Coordinator will be twittering from @thepublicvoice and @txitua. The Webcast of the open consultations will be available through this link.

Network of Networks Project Launched

The Association for Progressive Communications has recently launched the “Network of Networks” project. It aims is to build a cross-issue network of organizations working in Internet public policy and with diverse campaigning experiences to ensure that the internet is free and open. The Association for Progressive Communications has created a first advisory group whose role will be to help identify initial strategic opportunities and potential partners and alliances. Katitza Rodriguez, Coordinator of The Public Voice Coalition has been invited to join the Advisory Group. A first planning meeting will be held in Geneva on February 8, one day before the first round of consultations for the 2010 United Nations Internet Governance Forum.

EU Parliamentary Group Rejected US Deal on Data Sharing

Members of the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee recommended rejecting the data sharing agreement between the United States and Europe. "Parliament should withhold its consent to the EU's interim agreement on banking data transfers to the USA via the SWIFT network", the Civil Liberties Committee suggested. The United States authorities have argued that access to that information is key to counter terrorism efforts. In 2006 Article 29 concluded that "SWIFT and the financial institutions in the EU have failed to respect the provisions of the EU Data Protection Directive." The deal will be put to a plenary vote in Strasbourg on February 11, 2010.

The SWIFT deal allows the United States to access information collected by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). In 2009, the Brussels-based banking consortium "set up a storage center for its European data in Switzerland, which meant that intra-European data was stored only in Europe. Until then, the data had also been kept on a server in the United States. This new structure required the negotiation of a new agreement between the Commission and Council on the one hand and the United States on the other." For more information: SWIFT interim agreement: Civil liberties Committee to vote on 4 February.

EU Information Society Commissioner Speech Makes Personal Data Protection a Foreign Policy Priority

Viviane Reding, European Information Society Commissioner in a Keynote Speech at the European Parliament on International Privacy Day affirmed that the protection of the right of personal data should be respected at any time, even when performing simple operations like transferring money, booking a flight ticket or passing a security check at the airport. "The demand for personal data continues to grow massively, and so should our determination to reinforce the rights of individuals over the use of their personal data," Commissioner Reding added.

Commissioner Reding rejects the installation of body scanners without studying whether the devices are effective, do not harm health, and do not violate privacy. "I am convinced that body scanners have a considerable privacy-invasive potential. Their usefulness is still to be proven. Their impact on health has not yet been fully assessed. Therefore I cannot imagine this privacy-intrusive technique being imposed on us without full consideration of its impact," she noted. The European position in the current dispute is strengthened by the recent adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the entry into force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. For more information: The Public Voice: Stop Digital Strip Searches in Airports

European Commissioner Makes a Call to Defend Privacy on the Information Society

Making a strong call to protect personal data against any unauthorized use, and emphasizing that citizens have the right to decide how their data will be processed, EU Information Society Commissioner, Viviane Reding, delivered a Keynote Speech at the European Parliament on January 28, Data Protection Day. "It is my firm belief that we cannot expect citizens to trust Europe if we are not serious in defending the right to privacy," she said. While recognizing the power of innovation of new products and services, Commissioner Reding highlighted that privacy and personal data were not always a key ingredient at the early development stage of those products and services.

The European Commission is currently analyzing over 160 responses to the public consultation on the reform of the General Data Protection Directive. Several challenges have been identified such as the need to (1) "clarify the application of some key rules and principles (such as consent and transparency) in practice; (2) ensure that personal data are protected regardless of the location of the data controller; (3) promote Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), by introducing new evolving principles (such as ‘privacy by design, (4) strengthen enforcement, and (5) incorporate the fundamental principles of data protection to cover all areas of EU competence, including police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the EU's external relations."

The 2010 European Civil Society Award Results

The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights and EDRI presented the first European Civil Society Data Protection Award to "PER.SONN.ES (in French), or FAKEFRIENDS.ME (in English). " / [is] an original and positive initiative contributing to the visibility and effectiveness of the right to privacy by raising awareness and helping to build conscious critical thinking," the Jury noted. The Jury was conformed by Pierre Barge (AEDH), Emilie Barrau (BEUC), Aleksejs Dimitrovs (AEDH), Serge Gutwirth (LSTS/VUB), Paul de Hert (LSTS/VUB), Andreas Krisch (EDRI), Meryem Marzouki (EDRI), Yves Poullet (CRID), and Daniel Retureau (EESC).


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Sign: The Madrid Declaration

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This is a listing of events which may be useful for civil society to participate, connect and network on issues relating to information and communication technologies and policies.


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Past Events

The Public Voice Conference:
"Privacy Rights are a Global Challenge"

The Public Voice
Punta del Este
October 22, 2012

The Public Voice Civil Society Meeting: "Next Generation Privacy Challenges and Opportunities"

Lillie Coney, Chair
EPIC Associate Director

The Public Voice
October 25, 2010

Madrid - Spain. The Public Voice: Global Privacy Standards in a Global World
November 3, 2009

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Sharm El Sheikh - Egypt. United Nations. IV Internet Governance Forum November 15-18, 2009


OECD 2008 Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy

Seoul logo

Civil Society Privacy Conference
Sept. 25, 2007

Terra Incognita logo

OECD Participative Web Forum
Oct. 3, 2007

Past Public Voice Events

Cape Town Conference »

Wroclaw Conference »

Buenos Aires Conference »

Participation in the World Summit on the Information Society Internet Governance Caucus »

Civil Society Background Paper

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