CELE at RightsCon 2023: our agenda and priorities

We are glad to share that this year we will be participating in RightsCon once again. RightsCon is one of the most important digital rights conferences in the world and the top civil society-led event for activists in our field. The event will take place between June 5 and June 8 in San Jose (Costa Rica) and features an exciting and diverse program covering a wide array of issues.

Our Areas of Focus and Main Projects

At the conference, we will speak about our work on freedom of expression and access to information, with a special focus on our work on platform oversight, human rights impact assessments, data access for researchers, and regulatory processes.

We will also  share more about our legislative observatory on freedom of expression in Latin America that compiles, classifies, and analyzes bills and laws under Inter-American human rights standards. The Observatory was built back in 2017 to track how bills and laws attempting to regulate the internet would promote or threaten those standards. Furthermore, it also tracks regional trends in legislation and regulation since 2012, which has proven useful to identify common concerns, migrating language, as well as best and worst practices through time.

Finally, we plan to spread the word on our regular open seminars and our yearly policy workshop, which since 2012 has been bringing together activists and academics from Latin America to discuss digital rights developments and ways to engage with them.

Our Team and Where to Find it

Our team will be at the conference in person, and we look forward to having you in our sessions and meeting you. Don’t hesitate to reach out! Here are the details about our delegation and links to their contact info.

Our Sessions

We will be taking part in private and public sessions, consultations, and bilateral meetings. Here are some of the public sessions where you can find us. Make sure to drop by!


From Brussels, with love? The import of the Digital Services Act in Latin America

June 6, 2023 | 10:15 – 11:15am CST

From CELE: Javier Pallero and Ramiro Alvarez Ugarte.

Session organizer: Access Now

The session aims to foster a dialogue among various actors – government, industry, civil society, and academia – about the implementation of European regulations, such as the DSA, in the Latin American context. The objective is to raise awareness that regulations, while appropriate in some contexts, may be ineffective (and even harmful) in others, and to explore alternatives. More info

Operationalizing inclusion in the future web

June 6, 2023 | 2 – 3pm CST

From CELE: Agustina Del Campo

Session Organizer: Atlantic Council, Digital Forensic Research Lab

The Digital Forensic Research Lab’s Task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web is convening a broad cross-section of industry, civil society, and government leaders to set a clear and action-oriented agenda for future online ecosystems that can protect users’ rights, support innovation, and incorporate trust and safety principles. Task Force Members Agustina del Campo, Nighat Dad, and Victoire Rio, in conversation with Task Force Director Kat Duffy, will discuss the need to build stronger operational approaches to the inclusion of impacted communities. More info.

The internet at risk: the global Internet must survive in a fragmented world

June 7, 2023 | 11:30am – 12:30pm CST

From CELE: Javier Pallero

Session Organizer: ICANN

The importance of an unfragmented internet for economic and social prosperity is undeniable. Most policy debates relate to platforms or applications that are enabled by the internet, but with little regard for the underlying networks themselves. We must not ignore the consequences of technical fragmentation, where the global network of networks might be splintered into national or regional networks operating under different regulations and potentially different forms of government intervention and control. In this session, you will hear from diverse stakeholders about the social, political, and technical risks of internet fragmentation, and how to coordinate responses to prevent it. More info.

Open source intelligence (OSINT) surveillance in Latin America: overview and policy proposals

June 7, 2023 | 3:15 – 4:15pm CST

From CELE: Agustina Del Campo

Session Organizer: Fundación Karisma | ARTICLE 19 (Mexico and Central America)

The use of OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) by states to monitor and police the internet has become a reality in Latin America. OSINT practices are not necessarily illegal; in fact, they have non-intrusive uses that are aligned with human rights, such as academic and journalistic research or publicity. However, particular human rights concerns arise when they are used for state surveillance activities, considering local contexts and the already intrusive technologies that some governments use to spy on their people. The dialogue will start with our mapping of the problem in the region, which will begin the discussion about a suitable civil society proposal for a policy response to OSINT as a form of state surveillance. More info.

Co-creating the online spaces we want in a (fe)diverse and decentralized internet

June 8, 2023 | 9 – 10am CST

From CELE: Javier Pallero

Session Organizer: CELE | European Center for Not-For-Profit Law (ECNL)

Against the backdrop of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and renewed interest in decentralized social media platforms, this session will explore the challenges and opportunities of the ‘fediverse’, as well as emerging technologies such as web3. Can web3 truly function as a decentralized system and advance public interest in a world built around centralized power, money, and influence? Can the Fediverse provide an opening for activists in a world with shrinking civic space? How would these alternative forms of social media be regulated, especially in light of the EU Digital Services Act? Experts from various sectors will collectively engage in an interactive workshop to shape the alternative futures we want. More info.

Seeking effective methods for multistakeholder dialogue in Latin America

June 8, 2023 | 12:45 – 1:45pm CST

From CELE: Javier Pallero

Session Organizer: Derechos Digitales | ThreeFold

There is a need to promote a multi-stakeholder culture in Latin America that is capable of addressing difficult but common policy issues, including those related to telecommunications and digital technologies and their impact on the exercise of fundamental rights. The session will present findings from a study commissioned by civil society organizations on improving multistakeholder collaboration in the region, specifically focusing on digital rights organizations and the telecom sector. We will share lessons learned and emerging methodologies for dialogue between different stakeholders aimed at achieving common policy objectives in an effective way. More info.

Legal developments in the «right to be forgotten»

June 8, 2023 | 12:45 – 1:45pm CST

From CELE: Ramiro Alvarez Ugarte

Session Organizer: Media Defence

Since the Google v. Spain ruling, the «right to be forgotten» has been expanded. This expansion often requires the removal or anonymization of content, which has had a significant impact on how the media and other internet content providers make content available online. With recent developments in Argentina’s Supreme Court, at the CJEU, and before the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR, this panel will discuss recent judgments and ongoing cases to provide an analysis of the impact on freedom of expression and digital rights more broadly. The panel will draw on the knowledge and regional expertise of the panelists from Europe, Latin America, and Africa, as well as actively encouraging participants to share expertise from their own jurisdictions. More info.