Addressing cybersecurity risks & challenges in Latin America (Lighting session)

8 Dec 2016 14:30h - 14:45h

Event report

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Mr Leandro Ucciferri, Privacy & Freedom of Expression Areas, ADC Derechos, spoke about an investigation conducted by his organisation on national and regional cybersecurity policies, regulations, and trends throughout Latin America. He pointed out some findings, including the fact that in most countries, like Argentina, the government had not reached out to the technical community and lacked a clear approach on the matter. Ucciferri underlined that there is an opportunity for civil society to get involved and help shape policies with a human rights perspective. In order for this to happen, governments should promote forums to foster these collaborations. He called for avoiding pre-fabricated solutions: each country should make its own policies specifically designed for its context. 

Ucciferri proceeded to give the floor to three Latin American colleagues, who spoke about the situation in their respective countries. 

Ms Maricarmen Sequera, member of the NGO TEDIC, Paraguay, referred to the situation in Paraguay and particularly about the first draft of its Cybersecurity Action Plan and how civil society has gotten involved and succeeded in making some important changes.

Mr Martín Borgioli, member of Hiperderecho, Perú, said that even though the government of Peru does not have a concrete plan, there is a clear state surveillance policy which is invasive for the citizens, based on metadata, geolocation, biometrics and security cameras. Borgioli added that there is no platform where civil society can speak its concerns to the government but his organisation is working on creating one.

Ms Amalia Toledo, Project Coordinator and researcher at Karisma Foundation, Colombia, told the audience about her country’s national cybersecurity strategy, promoted by the government after some hacker-related scandals. The strategy was drafted with the technical assistance of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose delegation was formed by many people from the military and two academics. However, the strategy was opened for comments from civil society when the draft was almost ready. Thanks to the involvement of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), some meaningful changes were introduced, especially the replacement of a military approach by a human rights-based one. The strategy was approved and will be implemented next year and the challenge is to influence the implementation itself with a human rights perspective.

by Agustina Callegari, Internet Society Youth Obsevatory