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Episode 9 — Local Digital Governance, Grassroots Campaigning, and Policy Interventions

Picture of Siddharth Peter De Souza and Gargi Sharma

Siddharth Peter De Souza and Gargi Sharma

This week on Resist and Reboot, we talk to Lucie Krahulcova of Digital Rights Watch Australia about digital rights campaigning during the pandemic. Lucie shares how her organisation has built a digital rights community at the local level and why focusing on locally-initiated change is the most strategic option for them.

Similar to our discussion with Tactical Tech, Digital Rights Watch Australia focuses on connecting with people in their local community and increasing awareness of digital rights. The organisation also contributes to local and international policy by making timely interventions.

Lucie discusses the Digital Rights Cities project to incorporate digital rights principles into local governance, the work they are doing on policing in times of COVID-19 as well as their work on rebalancing the digital economy. We also talk about the recent Big Tech v. Big Journalism row in Australia and Lucie updates us on the review of the Australian privacy law.

Listen now to learn how Digital Rights Watch Australia is connecting to a range of community members despite on-and-off lockdowns, and how their work is an excellent example of grassroots digital rights action.

About the project

Places and populations that were previously digitally invisible are now part of a ‘data revolution’ that is being hailed as a transformative tool for human and economic development. Yet this unprecedented expansion of the power to digitally monitor, sort, and intervene is not well connected to the idea of social justice, nor is there a clear concept of how broader access to the benefits of data technologies can be achieved without amplifying misrepresentation, discrimination, and power asymmetries.

We therefore need a new framework for data justice integrating data privacy, non-discrimination, and non-use of data technologies into the same framework as positive freedoms such as representation and access to data. This project will research the lived experience of data technologies in high- and low-income countries worldwide, seeking to understand people’s basic needs with regard to these technologies. We will also seek the perspectives of civil society organisations, technology companies, and policymakers.