SFLC.in is hosting various Session at RightsCon, 20211. Our team will be participating in multiple Community sessions as well as social hour to cover a wide variety of topics such as Internet Shutdowns, Encryption, Free Speech, etc. See the list of sessions below where SFLC.in will be participating. 

 Internet Shutdown

Session No. 11930 : “Voicing the shutdowns"
Time: June 8th
from  4:15-5:15 ET / 1:45-2:25 IST

The session is aimed at taking account of the harms that internet shutdowns have been causing and documenting them to build a discourse around it. Internet shutdowns have been witnessing a never before rise and regions are trying to navigate a territory that hasn’t been ventured into before. Citizens of a region are caught unaware in situations when the internet is disrupted and are not able to understand what to do in such situations. In situations like these it is fundamental to keep a record of the happening around them. Most shutdowns are implemented to suppress dissent by authoritarian regimes which makes it crucial to record the happenings and advocate against the use of such repressive measures. Interestingly the nature and pattern of shutdowns in South Asia is different from those in other regions of the world. World’s longest shutdowns have occurred in regions Kashmir, India; Rakhine State, Myanmar and Balochistan, Pakistan. This makes the process of recording and reporting shutdowns more difficult yet more crucial.

SFLC.in has been at the forefront to get the voices of people submerged in digital darkness out in the open. This exercise has helped us understand how to report and track conversations that need to see the light of the day and not remain unheard because of the kill switch. The session will aim to share these understandings along with finding commonalities among other regional partners to develop a model which can be used across the region to gather support and organize successful advocacy against internet shutdowns.

The facilitators for the sessions are:

1. Mr. Prasanth Sugathan - Technology Lawyer, Legal Director SFLC.in

2. Ms. Nighat Dad - Founder, Digital Rights Foundation

3. Mr. Oliver Spencer - Advisor, Free Expression Myanmar

4. Dr. Kris Ruijgrok - Political scientist working at the University of Amsterdam




Session No. 12724: The Common Trends in Undermining Strong Encryption Across the World: How Can Civil Society Organisations Fight Back?
Time: June 8th from  8:00-9:00 ET / 17:30-18:30 IST

The past few years we  have seen a strong government sentiment against end-to-end encryption. India is also at a similar critical juncture and we are witnessing trends undermining end-to-end encryption from other countries like the five-eyes alliance. India’s traceability provision was notified under the Intermediary Guideline Rules, 2021 on February 25, 2021. This has been challenged by a Federated FOSS service developer, Praveen A, with the assistance from SFLC.in in the High Court of Kerala, and WhatsApp in the High Court of Delhi. The German Budestag is contemplating on Digital Surveillance legislation which undermines encryption. Similar trends can be witnessed in Brazil, France, and the United Kingdom.
Through this community lab session, we intend to examine the ways of advocating and fighting for strong encryption, and evaluate the challenges faced to do so in the global context. 

The session will be facilitated by Mishi Choudhary, Legal Director SFLC NY & Founder, SFLC.in.

Session No. 12687: Litigating COVID-19: contact tracing apps, immunity passports,disinformation and more.
Time: June 8, 5:30 - 6:30am EST

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have been partnering
with tech companies in attempts to fight the pandemic with the help of new technologies, such
as contact tracing apps, immunity passports, and digital ID systems. This tech solutionism has
significantly contributed to growing mass surveillance disguised as concerns for public safety.
Simultaneously, disinformation (and governments’ disproportionate methods of fighting it),
discrimination, and internet shutdowns, have also exacerbated the harms of the pandemic and
hit the most vulnerable communities the hardest.
This session convenes digital rights litigators who have been at the forefront of litigating
COVID-19 human rights violations in their jurisdictions and those who are interested in bringing
future cases forward. We will discuss several case studies from India, Israel and Russia and
explore the opportunities of collaborations in potential COVID-19 litigations.

Civil rights litigators who recently engaged in COVID-19 litigation, namely:

  1. Dan Yakir, Chief Legal Counsel, Association for Civil Rights in Israel
  2. Sarkis Darbinyan, Founder, RosKomSvoboda
  3. Vrinda Bhandari, Of Counsel, IFF
  4. Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director at Software Freedom Law Center

Must carry


Session No - 12641 : Must-carry? The pros and cons of requiring online services to carry all user speech: discussing litigation strategies and outcomes" 
Time: June 11 from 12:15-13:13 ET | 21:45-22:45 IST


1. David Greene  Civil Liberties Director/Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation -

2. Kushagra Sinha, Software Freedom Law Center, India (SFLC.in) - 

3. Kyung Sin Park (a.k.a "KS Park"), Director, Open Net Korea  Open Net Korea

4. Dorota Głowacka, Lawyer, Panoptykon Foundation

Note: You need to be registered with RightsCon, 2021 to be able to join the event.