18 July 2021
10:30 - 1:00 pm
During the events of the second day of Point Conference-Iraq 3.0 that was held on 18th July, 2021, a discussion session was held on the Oil Cultural Center Hall, with the involvement of a group of activists, human rights defenders and civil society organizations representatives, from 8 Iraqi governorates, on the usage of technology in the field of strengthening digital security and data protection for civil society organizations working in Iraq. It was held for the purpose of knowing the challenges that face defenders, activists and civil society organizations in the field of digital protection on the personal and institutional levels of the organizations they represent, as well as knowing the range of the digital culture of these institutions and the risks they face in the field of their digital work.
Mr. Rauf Mohammed Noori- the Head of Tawasoul Organization for Youth Empowerment- opened the session by welcoming the attendees and thanking them for their existence and participation. He explained that the target of this meeting is to get informed about the most important challenges and obstacles that face the workers in the civilian field for the purpose of protecting their digital security and data. He added that the organizers of Point project are working on developing an initiative and website that will provide services in the field of electronic protection and digital security.
The first presentation commenced by Mr. Waleed Ali, the Head of Protection Organization for Digital Rights, which was on data security and the safe usage and technical support granted for providing electronic protection for activists and civil society organizations. He indicated that most of civil society organizations have a direct contact with the targeted groups, in other words, dealing with a huge much of information that need to be confidential and need efficiency while dealing with the mechanism of their protection and safety, in the light of the great digital transformation specially after Covid-19 pandemic which made dealing with the electronic programs and applications and digital platforms something cannot be ignored. On the contrary, it increased it to be the only tool that is useful.
He added that the personal usage in the process of communication, transferring information and exchanging files took larger dimensions than we imagined from the part of its necessity. Today, the activists and defenders are in need for a restructuring process on their personal level and on the level of the institutions they represent or work for, which strengthen their digital security.
Mr. Mohammed Issa, the Founder of Code for Iraq Initiative, gave a presentation on the fields of using technology in strengthening accountability and transparency and observing human rights violations. He talked about the most important applications and programs that can be utilized to provide protection services for activists and those who work in civil society organizations, pointing out to the importance of these applications on the personal and institutional levels, how those applications carry out the protection of personal and digital security and how a hacker invest the behavioral and digital gaps of the users on all levels.
He allocated the final part of the session to measure the range to which the participants are informed and their information about the digital security, besides the range to which they secure their correspondence and personal accounts, as well as, protecting the date of their organizations, through a general discussion in which the attendees participated, besides distributing information forms on the attendees to be filled for the purpose of depending on them to develop a training approach in this field.