Rightscon Southeast Asia

RightsCon Southeast Asia brought together civil society, engineers, activists, lawyers, companies, and governments on the subject of the internet and human rights in Manila in March 2015.

In March 2015, RightsCon moved to Southeast Asia to convene civil society and key decision makers in this rapidly evolving internet rights landscape. Access partnered with EngageMedia and the Foundation for Media Alternatives to bring together thought leaders, highlight emerging voices, engage the technology sector, host strategy and implementation sessions, and provide opportunities to showcase new initiatives.


RightsCon Southeast Asia included a mix of interactive and participant-driven sessions. We accepted and reviewed proposals for innovative, thought-provoking, and outcome-oriented sessions in the lead up to the event, which explored the following themes:

  • Protecting rights online in the age of surveillance
  • Technology and infrastructure interdependence
  • Digital rights and economic development
  • Freedom of information and Open Data
  • Tech solutions for human rights challenges
  • Limiting and measuring risk in the ICT sector

Information about the sessions held at RightsCon Southeast Asia is available here (pdf).


Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are coming online rapidly, often with limited scrutiny of business and government activities, or participation from civil society. Countries like Indonesia are amongst the highest social media users anywhere in the world, making use of emerging technologies to champion human rights and other causes. From the Philippines to Malaysia and Burma to Hong Kong, activists are making innovative use of online technologies, and also often placing themselves at risk in the process.

Southeast Asia has a growing number of technology and media organisations engaging with internet rights issues, from developing homegrown open source technologies to pushing back on surveillance and filtering. Many Southeast Asian governments are simultaneously engaging in censorship, surveillance and attacks on online freedom of expression, including the filtering of content and the arrest and detention of bloggers and journalists.


Al Alegre (Foundation for Media Alternatives: Philippines), Jac Kee (APC: Malaysia), Merlyna Lim (Arizona State, Princeton: Indonesia), Htaike Htaike (MIDO: Burma), Pranesh Prakash (Center for Internet and Society India, Brown University), Bobby Soriano (Philippines), Arthit Suriyawongkul (Thai Netizen Network) and May-Ann Lim (The Telecommunications Research Project: Singapore).

More information on our advisors here


Along with Access and the Foundation for Media Alternatives, EngageMedia collaborated with Research Action Design to coordinate RightsCon.

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