14 December 2017

Digital Rights Advocacy and Cyber-Engagement

'The Israeli Digital Rights Movement's campaign for privacy' by Efrat Daskal in (2017) 6(3) Internet Policy Review [PDF]
explores the persuasion techniques used by the Israeli Digital Rights Movement in its campaign against Israel’s biometric database. The research was based on analysing the movement's official publications and announcements and the journalistic discourse that surrounded their campaign within the political, judicial, and public arenas in 2009-2017. The results demonstrate how the organisation navigated three persuasion frames to achieve its goals: the unnecessity of a biometric database in democracy; the database’s ineffectiveness; and governmental incompetence in securing it. I conclude by discussing how analysing civil society privacy campaigns can shed light over different regimes of privacy governance.
Daskal comments
The digital era has expanded the boundaries and meanings of basic human rights such as freedom of expression, the right to privacy, and the right to information. These changes have triggered constant deliberations between national governments, global internet corporations, inter- and nongovernmental entities over the scope of these rights (Benedek, 2008; Kay, 2014). This paper focuses on one of these actors: civil society organisations which advocate for digital rights, also known as digital rights advocates. These organisations advocate for computer and internet-related civil liberties on parallel tracks: on the one hand, they confront governments and internet corporations in the constitutional, political, and judicial arenas, and on the other, educate the public about their rights. Thus, they are among the few social actors with the potential to challenge and sometimes even change the rules decided upon by powerful social actors (Breindl, 2011; Postigo, 2008).
In order for them to achieve their goals, digital rights advocates have to persuade other stakeholders, including the public. Yet such persuasion is not easy and usually requires them to reframe issues to their advantage. This is why, for example, the American Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) frames copyright issues as issues of fair use in order to legitimize expanding consumer privileges in copyrighted works (Postigo, 2008). This is also why, when dealing with net neutrality digital rights advocates worldwide have recently framed their campaigns as essential to saving the internet (Fernández Pérez, 2015; Kosoff, 2017; Panwar, 2015). Yet, only few studies explored in depth the persuasion techniques used by digital rights advocates, especially concerning the right for privacy (Bennett, 2008). This study wishes to contribute to the literature in the field by asking: “what are the persuasion techniques employed by Israel’s Digital Rights Movement organisation (DRM) in its campaign for privacy and against the biometric database in Israel?”
To do so, I have analysed the organisation’s textual products and involvement in legislation initiatives, judicial rulings, and public discourse in 2009-2017. This research sheds light on the role civil society organisations can play in constructing the boundaries of digital rights. Second, it contributes to the literature dealing with the right to privacy in a specific sociocultural context. Finally, it deepens our understanding of the global issue of privacy governance. In what follows, I will elaborate on the role civil society organisations play in protecting digital rights, especially the right to privacy. I will then address the Israeli case, and present the research questions and methods. My findings will describe the main activities of the DRM against the biometric database, as well as the persuasion techniques employed thereby. I will conclude by discussing how the study of civil society privacy campaigns can assist in conceptualising and understanding issues of privacy governance.
The Executive Summary of the national Government's Australia's International Cyber-Engagement Strategy document states
Australia’s international cyber engagement champions an open, free and secure cyberspace. Through comprehensive and coordinated engagement on cyber affairs, we will maximise opportunities for economic growth and prosperity through digital trade. Australia will cooperate internationally to reduce the risk of cybercrime and promote peace and stability in cyberspace. We will advocate for multi-stakeholder Internet governance and respect for human rights and democratic principles online. We will partner to foster good cyber security practices and encourage the use of digital technologies to achieve sustainable development, particularly in our region. The digital technology revolution is fundamentally a story of prosperity. Increasingly, cyberspace acts as an economic enabler. Connectivity helps improve productivity and provides customers and the private sector with greater access to the global marketplace. Shaping an enabling environment for digital trade will deliver increased prosperity for Australia and enhance realisation of economic opportunity globally. 
This progress is only possible if underpinned by sound cyber security. The spread of digital technologies creates profound economic opportunities but, at the same time, creates new vulnerabilities. Individuals, the private sector and governments around the world face an evolving array of cyber threats. Governments and the private sector working together to develop a strong cyber security posture is an essential prerequisite to ensuring we can all safely capitalise on the benefits of increasing connectivity. As part of this effort, Australia will encourage innovative cyber security solutions and deliver world leading cyber security advice. Improving cyber security is an important way of mitigating the risk of cybercrime. Left unchecked, criminal use of the Internet threatens to undermine the economic opportunity offered by the digital domain. Like cyberspace, cybercrime is not confined by geographic borders. 
As such, Australian individuals, the private sector and government can be exposed to threats emanating from other countries. Working collaboratively with international partners and helping countries in our region improve their capacity to address cybercrime will improve prevention and prosecution of cybercrime worldwide. 
It is not only criminals who threaten the online environment. Developments in cyberspace have created a new arena in which states can exert influence. The increasingly complex nature of the international landscape means that more and more actors now pursue strategic goals in the digital domain; some challenging the international rules-based order in the process. Australia is committed to a peaceful and stable cyberspace. We will cooperate with international partners to deter and respond to malicious cyber activity that endangers international peace, security and stability. Reaffirming the application of international law to cyberspace, adhering to norms of responsible behaviour in cyberspace and implementing confidence-building measures will shape cyberspace as a landscape for international cooperation and mutual benefit. 
The private sector, civil society, academia, individuals and government are all important stakeholders in cyberspace. A multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, which places all stakeholders on an equal footing in Internet governance debates, best facilitates an open, free and secure Internet. Better multi-stakeholder cooperation domestically, regionally and internationally will preserve decentralised control of the Internet, allowing all voices to be heard when decisions over the policy and technical management of the Internet are made. The promotion and protection of human rights and democratic principles online is crucial; human rights apply online as they do offline. The Internet itself has provided an unparalleled opportunity for online democratic participation and the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights. This contributes to lasting peace, security, freedom and dignity for all. Governments, the private sector, civil society and academia must continue to work together to uphold and defend human rights online, just as they do offline. 
Beyond the realisation of human rights, connectivity and the uptake of digital technologies also act as a profound enabler of sustainable development and inclusive economic growth. Innovative uses of technology, entrepreneurial activities and the digital upskilling of workforces have seen economies transform and societies make great leaps in development. However, dividends of the digital age are currently not evenly experienced. Increasing connectivity and harnessing digital technologies safely will accelerate the attainment of sustainable development objectives, especially in regions, countries and populations where digital journeys are only just beginning. Australia’s International Cyber Engagement Strategy addresses the full breadth of these issues, from trade to cybercrime, from international security to international cooperation, and from human rights to sustainable development. Australia has adopted a comprehensive and coordinated approach to cyber affairs. We will achieve our objectives in cyberspace through cooperation, creative partnerships and practical action.
The Action Plan for that engagement includes -
Digital Trade 
Shape an enabling environment for digital trade including through trade agreements, harmonisation of standards, and implementation of trade facilitation measures 
1.01 Advocate for further digital trade liberalisation and facilitation through free trade agreements and through Australia’s participation in the WTO, OECD, APEC and G20 
1.02 Support capacity building projects in the Indo-Pacific to encourage the harmonisation of international standards for digital goods, building trust and confidence in digital trade 
1.03 Oppose barriers to digital trade and advocate for implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement through bilateral representations and involvement with WTO committees and councils, APEC and the G20 
1.04 Design and trial an electronic Secure Trade Lane with New Zealand to provide benefits for trusted traders in both countries 
1.05 Promote regulatory cooperation and coherence through Australia’s bilateral exchanges, the Australian free trade agreement agenda, Aid for Trade activities, and engagement in the G20 and APEC 
1.06 Support public-private engagement on emerging digital trade issues in multilateral forums, including the Business 20, G20, and the APEC Business Advisory Council 
1.07 Support the G20, OECD and other international research to improve digital trade measurement and develop policy responses 
1.08 Encourage transparency from bilateral partners on domestic legislation that could restrict trade, including through cyber policy dialogues 
Promote trade and investment opportunities for Australian digital goods and services 
1.09 Develop a guide to exporting in the digital economy, providing practical advice for maximising international opportunities for Australian businesses 
1.10 Develop a national digital economy strategy, which will position Australia to embrace the opportunities presented by digital trade 
Cyber Security 
Maintain strong cyber security relationships with international partners 
2.01 Strengthen and expand Australia’s international cyber security information sharing partners and trusted networks 
2.02 Strengthen and expand Australia’s network of CERT relationships, especially in the Indo-Pacific 
2.03 Be a prominent contributor to the APCERT community 
Encourage innovative cyber security solutions and deliver world leading cyber security advice 
2.04 Promote cyber security as a fundamental input in the design and delivery of ICT products, systems and services 
2.05 Support the development of international standards that improve cyber security and encourage harmonisation of standards for digital products 
2.06 Publish translations of ASD’s Essential Eight strategies and companion implementation documents in the official languages of ASEAN members
Develop regional cyber security capability 
2.07 Work with regional partners in the Pacific to establish the Pacific Cyber Security Operational Network (PaCSON) 
Promote Australia’s cyber security industry 
2.08 Showcase Australia’s cyber security capabilities to international customers and investors, including through delivery of an annual Australian Cyber Week 
2.09 Promote and encourage cyber security start-ups through Landing Pads 
2.10 Partner with the private sector to host a workshop to co-design how Australia promotes its cyber security industry internationally 
3.01 Deliver cybercrime awareness training across the Indo-Pacific through public-private partnerships and the refreshed Cyber Safety Pasifika program 
Assist Indo-Pacific countries to strengthen their cybercrime legislation 
3.02 Promote the Budapest Convention as a best practice model for legislative responses to cybercrime and support accession to the Convention across the Indo-Pacific 
3.03 Be active in the negotiation of an Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on trans-border access to information 
3.04 Work with the Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network to help strengthen cybercrime legislation in the region 
Deliver cybercrime law enforcement and prosecution capacity building in the Indo-Pacific 
3.05 Provide cybercrime training to law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges across the Indo-Pacific 
Enhance diplomatic dialogue and international information sharing on cybercrime 
Seek further opportunities to participate in strategic-level engagement on combatting transnational cybercrime 
3.07 Share cybercrime threat information and enhance operational collaboration with international partners to fight transnational crime 
International Security and cyberspace
Set clear expectations for state behaviour in cyberspace 
4.01 Periodically publish Australia’s position on the application of relevant international law to state conduct in cyberspace 
4.02 Facilitate advanced policy development and promote informed public discussion on acceptable state behaviour in cyberspace through engagement with academics and experts in this field 
4.03 Seek high-level reaffirmations from states that they will act in accordance with international law and identified norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace 
4.04 Partner with countries in the Indo-Pacific to advance our combined understanding of how international law and norms of responsible state behaviour apply in cyberspace through bilateral engagement and regional and multilateral forums 
Implement practical confidence building measures to prevent conflict 
4.05 Develop a framework to exchange policy and diplomatic contacts, including bilaterally, to facilitate communication in times of crisis or tension arising from significant cyber incidents that have the potential to threaten international peace, security and stability 
4.06 Work with regional organisations to conduct risk reduction workshops to enhance our capacity to manage and respond to cyber incidents that threaten international peace, security and stability, including exercising national and regional responses to severe cyber incidents 
4.07 Hold cyber policy dialogues to discuss and work with partners to achieve priority goals on international cyber issues, including international law, norms of responsible state behaviour and confidence building measures 
4.08 Foster recognition through diplomatic outreach and defence engagement that military offensive cyber capabilities are subject to the same limitations and obligations as any other military capability 
Deter and respond to unacceptable behaviour in cyberspace 
4.09 Review Australia’s range of options to deter and respond to unacceptable behaviours in cyberspace, particularly those involving state actors and their proxies 
4.10 Undertake diplomatic action to support an international cooperative architecture that promotes stability and responds to and deters unacceptable behaviour in cyberspace 
Internet Governance and Cooperation
Advocate for a multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance that is inclusive, consensus-based, transparent and accountable 
5.01 Advocate for an open, free and secure Internet, underpinned by a multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance and cooperation 
5.02 Support an annual community-led Australian Internet governance and cooperation forum 
5.03 Outline Australia’s strong commitment to fostering fair and effective competition online, emphasising a preference for general competition law 
Oppose efforts to bring the management of the Internet under government control 
5.04 Oppose efforts to bring the management of the Internet under government control 
Raise awareness across the Indo-Pacific of Internet governance issues and encourage engagement of regional partners in Internet governance and cooperation discussions 
5.05 Build the capacity of Indo-Pacific partners to engage in regional and international discussion on Internet governance and cooperation
Human rights and democracy online 
Advocate for the protection of human rights and democratic principles online 
6.01 Advocate to uphold and protect human rights and democratic freedoms online 
6.02 Share concerns about, and aim to prevent, undue restrictions of human rights online as well as cyber-enabled interference in democratic processes 
6.03 Fund capacity building in the Indo-Pacific to raise awareness of states’ human rights obligations online 
Support international efforts to promote and protect human rights online 
6.04 Support non-government organisations that defend human rights online 
Ensure respect for and protection of human rights and democratic principles online are considered in all Australian aid projects with digital technology components 
6.05 Provide guidance to ensure that human rights online are protected in Australian aid and non-government projects with digital technology components 
Technology for development
Improve connectivity and access to the Internet across the Indo-Pacific, in collaboration with international organisations, regional governments and the private sector 
7.01 Partner with international organisations, regional governments, development banks and the private sector to improve Internet accessibility in the Indo-Pacific 
7.02 Work with partner countries in the Indo-Pacific to develop domestic regulatory, legal and institutional frameworks that support competitive telecommunications sectors 
7.03 Promote digital inclusion across the Indo-Pacific through educational programs, leadership initiatives and strategic partnerships 
Encourage the use of resilient development-enabling technologies for e-governance and the digital delivery of services 
7.04 Work with partner governments, the private sector and financial institutions across the Indo-Pacific to promote e-governance, online service delivery and innovative uses of technology for enhanced economic opportunity and sustainable development 
7.05 Provide guidance to ensure that digital technologies used in, or provided to, Australian aid and non-government projects are safe and resilient 
Support entrepreneurship, digital skills and integration into the global marketplace 7.06 Work with public and private sector partners to encourage businesses and entrepreneurs to find solutions to regional development challenges using innovative technologies 
7.07 Partner with regional governments, multilateral forums and educational institutions to build digital-ready workforces and support digital upskilling across the Indo-Pacific 
7.08 Support new technologies and tools for developing countries to facilitate digital trade, including improvements in policy and customs practices and better access to trade finance 
7.09 Focus Australian Aid for Trade efforts on connecting small businesses and women entrepreneurs in developing countries to digital economy opportunities and global supply chains 
Comprehensive and coordinated cyber affairs
Enhance understanding of Australia’s comprehensive cyber affairs agenda 
8.01 Promote Australia’s vision of comprehensive cyber affairs through ongoing diplomatic engagement 
8.02 Create a Cyber Affairs Curriculum for Australia’s international representatives through DFAT’s Diplomatic Academy 
Increase funding for Australia’s international cyber engagement activities 
8.03 Fund new international cyber engagement projects in the Indo-Pacific through the Cyber Cooperation Program 
Coordinate and prioritise Australia’s international cyber engagement activities 
8.04 Establish a quarterly whole-of-Government meeting, convened by the Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, to coordinate and prioritise Australia’s international cyber activities 
8.05 Establish an Industry Advisory Group that meets biannually to facilitate public-private collaboration on Australia’s international cyber engagement