Supporting Civic Space: The Role and Impact of the Tech Sector

This event brings together a diverse and international group of stakeholders to exchange perspectives and experiences on the role that tech actors can play in supporting civic space.

Research event, Roundtable Invitation only
13 October 2020 — 2:00PM TO 4:15PM

In a deteriorating environment for civic freedoms, tech sector actors are increasingly engaging, publicly or otherwise, on issues of civic space.

In the US, for example, a number of tech companies have cancelled contracts with the Pentagon and stopped censoring search results in China as a result of protests by employees. The Asia Internet Coalition recently wrote to Pakistan’s Prime Minister expressing human rights concerns about new rules regulating social media.

While we have recently seen technology companies show support for the social movements, including through substantial pledges, in some cases these have elicited criticism of hypocrisy, and the interventions of social media platforms on freedom of expression and privacy issues have been closely linked to the preservation of their own business models.

The COVID-19 crisis has also posed new dilemmas for the tech sector with the pervasiveness of disinformation, as well as new tools for tracking individuals which raise privacy issues.

This roundtable provides an opportunity to explore the drivers of (and barriers to) corporate activism, develop a better understanding of existing initiatives, identify good practice and routes to effective collaboration with other actors, and discuss practical strategies that could be adopted by the tech community.

It is the second of a series of roundtables at Chatham House in support of initiatives to build broad alliances for the protection of civic space.

Support us

Donate today to help secure our future as the home of independent thinking, or join our international network as a member.

Find out more Auto insert on research events