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Next up: RightsCon Costa Rica

Next week, on June 5-8, we'll host RightsCon, the world's leading summit on human rights in the digital age. Every year, RightsCon is a launch pad for the cross-sector collaborations, campaigns, and coalitions that make a difference for digital rights around the world. This year, we want to help move your work forward. Today — Friday, June 2 — is the last day to register for in-person and online participation, so be sure to claim your spot now.

Get your ticket to RightsCon Costa Rica (Jun 5-8 2023)

How to connect with us

A special note for RightsCon participants

As host of RightsCon, we're humbled and honored to bring together thousands of people doing extraordinary work under extremely difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, we’ve encountered unexpected challenges with the visa-on-arrival process we facilitated with the Costa Rican government on behalf of RightsCon participants. While we do not control governmental decisions, and we exhausted all possibilities to avoid this outcome, we recognize our role in this failed process. For most of the people prevented from traveling to Costa Rica, this kind of exclusion is all too frequent, and we must do better as conveners to counter this recurrent injustice. We’re working with impacted participants to transition their experience online, and keep their voices centered. As we continue this work, stay tuned: we'll keep you updated on our efforts to ensure the best possible RightsCon experience for everyone. Read more via Access Now

Join the conversation @RightsCon

Heads up: since we will be hosting RightsCon between June 5-8, we're suspending this newsletter until June 16. Regardless of whether you're able join us, you can still stay connected: we'll share our public sessions on YouTube, and if you sign up for the RightsCon Rundown, you'll get updates throughout the summit. You can also follow RightsCon on Twitter, as well as Access Now and Access Now Latinoamérica, and join the conversation using the hashtag #RightsCon. However you choose to participate, we're eager to connect with you. Read more via Access Now

Digital rights in crisis

From crisis to conflict, we must defend digital rights when people need them most

People suffer most acutely from digital rights violations in situations of crisis, conflict, or disaster. Ahead of the Stockholm Internet Forum earlier this week, Access Now's Brett Solomon and Marwa Fatafta shared their reflections on how to safeguard our rights during war and peace. Read more via Access Now

Tech and conflict: a guide for responsible business conduct

In conflict situations, the tech sector is particularly vulnerable to capture, misuse, or abuse as a tool of war. The best way to avoid such capture is to prepare for it. Check out our guide to learn what ICT companies should do to meet their human rights obligations — before, during, and after conflict arises. Read more via Access Now

To keep people safe, #KeepItOn

Mauritanian authorities reach for the kill switch — again

Earlier this year, Mauritanian authorities cut off mobile internet while they searched for four escaped prisoners — leaving millions in the dark, disconnected and afraid. Now authorities are at it again, deliberately disrupting mobile internet access to quell protests following the death of a young man in police custody. "This act of repression is unacceptable and cannot be normalized," says Access Now's Felicia Anthonio. "Mauritania must #KeepItOn — especially in times of crises." Read more via Access Now

Iraq backslides on exam shutdowns

Regardless of the rationale, internet shutdowns hurt everyone. So it's especially disheartening to see Iraqi authorities back out of a previous commitment to #KeepItOn during student exams. Join us to demand #NoExamShutdown, in Iraq and anywhere else authorities persist in this demonstrably ineffective and disproportionate approach to preventing cheating and exam leaks. Learn more in Arabic or EnglishRead more via Access Now

Who is shutting down the internet in 2023?

Stay tuned: when we kick off RightsCon next week, we'll share the latest data on internet shutdowns worldwide, identifying trends that have developed since we published our 2022 #KeepItOn report in February. Read more via Access Now

The AI warnings that matter

Stop us if you've heard this one before

You may recall this open letter warning us about the existential threat AI poses to humanity. This week brought yet another such warning, this time arguing that the risks of AI are on par with those from "pandemics and nuclear war." And once again, AI experts, privacy advocates, and others are responding with rebuttals that underscore the importance of confronting the threat of existing AI applications — from privacy violations to biometric surveillance to worker exploitation. "Let's be real: These letters calling on 'someone to act' are signed by some of the few people in the world who have the agency and power to actually act to stop or redirect these efforts," says Meredith Whittaker, president of the Signal Foundation. Read more via Fast Company

Generative AI and human rights: the FAQ

So what are the real risks of AI? And who can you trust on what it means for humanity? In case you missed it, our new FAQ cuts through the hype, explaining what you should know and where to learn more. Read more via Access Now

Watch: "Hold the line with Maria Ressa: In conversation with Timnit Gebru"

What does it mean to "hold the line" when it comes to the real-world risks of AI? Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa talks to AI expert Timnit Gebru about the consequences of being a truth teller. Watch now via Rappler

Opportunities and other highlights

Join our team and fight for digital rights globally!

We’re hiring an Advocacy Coordinator (South Asia), a Senior Policy Analyst/Counsel (East Asia), and a Communities Communications Coordinator for our Digital Security Helpline. Learn more and applyRead more via Access Now