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[liberationtech] Press Release: ChokePoint Project, IMMI and Liberit join forces for a stronger Digital Rights Watch

Chris Pinchen chris at
Thu Nov 8 09:02:06 PST 2012

thought this might be of interest to some people on this list



  ChokePoint Project, IMMI and Liberit join forces for a stronger
  Digital Rights Watch

*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

"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, theInternational 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
e-mail: smari at
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 pubic awareness platform.

Chris Pinchen
e-mail: chris at

*About Libeirit*

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.

Stefan Marsiske
email: s at

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