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Cameras Everywhere: Current Challenges and Opportunities at the Intersection of Human Rights, Video and Technology

This is a guest blog entry by Sam Gregory Program Director of WITNESS.

I’m pleased to announce the launch of our new report: “Cameras Everywhere: Current Challenges and Opportunities at the Intersection of Human Rights, Video and Technology.” You can read and download it on our website. The report, like the initiative of the same name, aims to ensure that the thousands of people turning to video for human rights can do so as effectively, safely and ethically as possible.

The revolutions of the “Arab Spring” and the ongoing struggles for change in Libya, Syria and other parts of the world constantly remind us that cell phones, video and the Internet are playing a major role in the social and political change movements of our time. Our report notes the opportunities presented by this rapidly changing landscape as well as some of the risks and challenges, mainly to individual activists who risk their lives bearing witness and standing up for change.

Beyond taking stock of this new visual-media heavy landscape, our report makes specific recommendations to companies, organizations and individuals in the sectors of technology, policy, human rights, and civil society as well as those who fund and invest in such endeavors.

This report was developed by a team at WITNESS including myself, Bryan Nunez (our Technology Manager), and Yvette Alberdingk Thijm (our Executive Director). And the lead researcher and author was our former Hub Manager, Sameer Padania. Our insights and recommendations are based on interviews with over 40 experts and practitioners in the fields of technology, media, technology and policy including people like Bob Boorstin (Director, Public Policy, Google), danah boyd (Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research), Steve Grove (YouTube News & Politics), Joi Ito (Director, Media Lab, MIT), and Marietje Schaake (Member of European Parliament).

We hope you will find the findings of the report thought-provoking and that you will join us in engaging with the technology, human rights and policy fields to support and advocate for the recommendations. You can read more about the next steps we are taking here. Visit the Cameras Everywhere Report section of our website for more on the report.  And we invite you to return to the blog for forthcoming posts focused on specific recommendations of the report and guest author perspectives on some of the topics.

If you are a member of the press, please visit our press release for more information and to request interviews.

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