Event Info

Your complete guide to engaging with RightsCon Online

RightsCon Online (July 27-31, 2020) is bringing together a community of experts from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of technology and human rights. We will host 300 sessions across 10 program tracks, covering everything from public health in the digital age to elections and democracy to environmental and racial justice.

Just like our in-person events, participants are required to register ahead of the summit. This is an important part of our safety and security process that helps us provide a safe and productive environment for everyone to gather. If you’re already registered, head on over to the RightsCon Online platform to start planning your agenda. If you missed the registration deadline, or aren’t able to participate fully throughout the entire week, not to worry. There are still plenty of ways you can connect with fellow members of the RightsCon community, learn from experts in the field, share resources, and take advantage of this moment to move forward our collective agenda for human rights in the digital age.

Here are some ways you can take part in the RightsCon experience:

Get social

Tune in

Take action

Get social

Every year, while the RightsCon venue is buzzing, the public conversation around #RightsCon on social media is just as lively. We encourage you to join in, ask questions, share your work, and take the opportunity to connect with the RightsCon community.

Tune in

We will be updating the Access Now YouTube channel each day with a selection of panels, fireside chats, and press conferences from across the RightsCon Online program. These sessions will cover a broad range of issues — from racial justice in AI, to indigenous connectivity, to press freedom — with experts from around the world, including:

maria ressa tenday achiume, binalakshmi nepram, crashed Robinson, audrey tang, sir Tim berners lee

Take action

Above all, RightsCon is about making things happen. Whether we’re coming together in person or online, we do so with a focus on action. We are here to ask the hard questions, to share knowledge, inspire new and creative ideas, to build a more resilient global community of human rights defenders, and to bring about real change, especially for those most at risk. Here are a few ways to be a part of that collective action:

Ethiopia has been engulfed in protest, unrest, and violence for weeks following the murder of a popular Oromo musician and social activist. Facebook has failed to prevent the spread of calls for violence targeting Oromo people on its platform, putting lives at risk. Take action now to join the call for Facebook to stop allowing its tools to promote violence, hate, and discrimination.
Sign the Letter

Around the world, governments are flipping the “kill switch,” blocking access to the internet and leaving people in the dark. In this six-part series, members of the #KeepItOn coalition explore how internet shutdowns are impacting people’s daily lives around the world and what we’re doing to fight back. Listen in to learn more about the global movement to end internet shutdowns and how you can help #KeepItOn.

Listen, Subscribe, and Share

In Egypt, more than 60,000 people are in prison for speaking out for media freedom, democracy, and basic human rights. One of those human rights defenders currently behind bars is Alaa Abdel Fattah, a symbol of liberation and key leader of the 2011 Egyptian uprising, and a friend of the global digital rights community. Now, authorities are also holding Alaa’s sister Sanaa Seif on charges of “misusing social media” for her tireless efforts to end the injustices her brother and others have suffered, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in calling on Egypt’s government to immediately release Alaa, Sanaa, and all detained human rights defenders.


You can watch Alaa address the very first RightsCon in 2011 here, and read his letter to that same community written from behind bars in 2017.

Each of us has a role to play in strengthening the security and resilience of our communities, and RightsCon Online is the perfect opportunity for us to all ensure we are engaging, sharing, and connecting online in ways that don’t put ourselves or the people we care about at risk. In Access Now’s most recent edition of Digital Security Bingo, we focused on some of the most pressing threats for LGBTQ folks, but everyone is welcome to play along! If you are currently experiencing a digital security issue, you can use the Digital First Aid Kit to find resources and get support from a trusted network of rapid responders. Civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and journalists can also reach out directly to the Access Now Digital Security Helpline for 24/7 assistance.

Brazil’s Congress is considering a dangerous new bill that aims to fight “fake news” by requiring social media users to connect their accounts to a legal ID, and by forcing messaging apps to trace the chain of forwards used to spread viral content. These provisions pose a serious threat to both free expression and privacy in Brazil, and your voice can make a difference. Civil society already won some improvements before this bill was voted out of the Senate last month. Now, this week, the Chamber of Deputies will hold public hearings before it goes to vote. Stand with our partners Coalizão Direitos na Rede in calling for a stop to #PLFakeNews.

We will continue to update this space throughout RightsCon Online with more opportunities to support community campaigns and connect with the global movement for human rights in the digital age.

Back to top