Defending digital civic space: How to counter digital threats against civil society

As repressive governments increasingly curtail digital civic space, defending civil society against surveillance and offensive information controls has become ever more important. This panel provides insights into the risks and security needs of activists from authoritarian contexts and showcases efforts aiming to build resilience against digital threats.

The main objective is to shed light on successful interventions and key challenges in the field of information security for civil society: How to build long-term security support for activists, moving beyond one-off trainings? How to reduce dependency on tech experts and encourage holistic security behavior? What are effective strategies to collect and uncover evidence on surveillance and digital threats?

The panelists will discuss these and other questions in an open format, sharing their professional insights and experience. By soliciting questions and comments from the audience, the panel also aims to identify avenues for further collaboration and research across professional backgrounds, disciplines and geographies.


  • Marcus Michaelsen (LSTS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)


  • Rula Asad (Syrian Female Journalists Network)
  • Hassen Selmi (Access Now)
  • Alexandra Hache (Digital Defenders Partnership, Hivos)

Check out the full programme here.

Registrations are open until Friday 17 January, 2020 here.