Strategies and Issues We Work On
DigitalReach was founded in 2019 as an organization that looks into the impact of technology on human rights in Southeast Asia. The organization’s mission is to safeguard digital rights and internet freedom in the region. Our work revolves around our three core strategies which are research and monitoring, advocacy, and community building and empowerment.
Safeguarding human rights from technological impact in Southeast Asia.
Creating a digital environment in Southeast Asia that protects human rights.
Research & Monitoring
We monitor the impact of technology on human rights situations in Southeast Asia. The organization monitors and analyzes the situations at the national and regional level. We conduct research including policy analysis and investigative research, and release publications for advocacy on critical topics.
Our advocacy work involves stakeholders at the national, regional, and international level. Our advocacy approach is based on the local context for maximize the impact of our work. We look at possibilities to work with local partners, engage in the regional human rights mechanism particularly at ASEAN, and address the issues of digital rights in Southeast Asia with international stakeholders.
Community Building & Empowerment
Our strategy consists of building a community on digital rights by addressing and tackling impact of technology on the members’ work. We also working with community members to explore how we can work together to empower each other’s work to safeguard digital rights in the region.
we work on
We explore the impact of technology on human rights as well as advocate for human rights protection to address the risks arising from technology.
Freedom of Expression and Information
While freedom of expression and information is fundamental in a democratic society, it is often at risk in a repressive political environment as often found throughout Southeast Asia. In the changing environment, technology has brought new challenges to the landscape of freedom of expression and information in the region. Our agenda is to explore how technology impacts this right, to advocate for it, and work with communities to address this new narrative.
The Right to Privacy
In the digital age, personal data and privacy have come under threat in ways it has never been before. Tech companies monetize personal data, while governments use it for surveillance. Emerging technologies such as 5G, facial recognition, and the Internet of Things are also on the rise as well as initiatives such as Digital ID, Smart Cities, and the collection of biometrics data. We advocate for robust personal data protection in the region, and also monitor and assist communities at risk to understand the impact of technologies on their personal data, privacy, and security.
Staying safe with technology is important in the digital age as technology plays a central role in people’s daily lives. Under the authoritarian regime, staying safe might not be that easy for those who challenge it. These may include journalists, activists, human rights defenders, bloggers, and lawyers. Tactics used by authoritarian regimes to leverage technology to target and repress those it deems to be enemies are constantly evolving. So too must efforts to protect human rights and basic safety.