Past eventInvitation OnlyResearch Event

CANCELLED: When Violence Goes Virtual: Open Empowerment in Latin America

11 December 2015 - 13:00 to 14:00

Chatham House, London


Dr Rafal Rohozinski, CEO, SecDev Group
Dr Robert Muggah, Research Director, Igarapé Institute; Research Director, The SecDev Foundation
Misha Glenny, Author, McMafia, Dark Market and Nemesis
Chair: Caroline Baylon, Research Associate, Science, Technology and Cyber Security, International Security Department, Chatham House



The expansion of the internet and social media is generating far-reaching transformations in Latin America. With almost half of Latin Americans now online, connectivity in the region is expanding faster than in any other part of the world. Enterprising criminal groups, street gangs and drug cartels are increasingly using online platforms and the deep web to organize and advertise their activities, recruit members and intimidate authorities and citizens. The region also features disturbingly high rates of credit card fraud and identity theft. 

Public authorities are struggling to keep up. International organizations are trying to bolster government capacities to respond, while states themselves are investing heavily in legislation and capabilities to monitor this promising, yet volatile space. In the process, the cyber commons are becoming increasingly securitized. The focus is now on how to balance the right to personal privacy with the need for public security.

At this event, the speakers will discuss the findings of the Open Empowerment Initiative. The project combined novel big data analytics and field research to tell the story of how crime and violence are going virtual. It also examined how governments and civil societies are fighting back, and the wider implications for civil liberties and digital freedom. 

Attendance at this event is by invitation only.