dokuz8NEWS at Internet Freedom Festival (IFF) in Valencia

Photo: Archive

As complexity of restrictions escalate targeting digital rights & liberties and free expression online, the people struggling against them also develop new strategies globally, and they have got together in Spain’s Valencia to share experiences, interact and respond to such restrictions with the same determination.

This week, Spain’s Valencia is hosting participants from over a hundred countries at Internet Freedom Festival 2017 (IFF) this week. There are many issues to be discussed under the general themes of Community, Training & Best Practices, Internet Freedom’s Present & Future, Tools & Technology, Policy & Advocacy, Regions & Groups, Communications & Design, and Journalism & Media. The festival takes place between March 6–10, and dokuz8NEWS is participating as well, to share experiences and discuss matters that have become salient in Turkey.

IFF has emerged as a structure that presents participants with a cooperation level built upon diversity and inclusiveness, to support free expression online, expanding access to online platforms and to protect against digital threats. In 2015 it started out as Circumvention Tech Festival, and has become one of the broadest events to have participants from a variety of countries, expertise and topics regarding internet freedom.

Digital threats equally harm physical rights & liberties

According to the festival’s definition, restrictions targeting digital free expression in online platforms not only stay at digital but also spill over targeting physical rights & liberties. However, the struggle against restrictions and limitations also pace at the same level. The current atmosphere presents digital rights & liberties defenders with reason and opportunity to get together to discuss new forms of activities, tools and strategies globally in a coordinated fashion.

Participants set the agenda

Internet freedom communities’ have a platform to discuss matters that concern issues related to free expression online and digital rights & liberties. As the platform belongs to the participants, they set the agenda to discuss what they see as salient. Moreover, the participants have access to a platform to discuss the challenges they meet, methods and strategies they have developed, and to coordinate with each other globally.

dokuz8NEWS / Gürkan Özturan