IGF 2022 Day 1 Lightning Talk #5 RIPOTI and AYETA Toolkits- combating digital security threats and violations

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> MODERATOR: Okay. Looks like we have our panel up. Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to our session titled countering violations with RIPOTI and AYETA platforms. Thank you to those of us in the room and those of us online. Apologies for starting late. We were sorting the tech. I assure you we'll be on time. So the essence of today's session is to share about some tools of impact on this paradigm initiative. Tools we believe are using to counter online violations. So we have two platforms developed. One is known as AYETA and the other one is RIPOTI. I will speak to AYETA and my colleague will speak to the other platform.

So we know that we've increased internet access. The internet has become volatile. We have seen increased attacks and violations targeted towards digitalized vendors and ordinary internet users. So we thought how can we help to make the internet space safe and secure for everyone to access it with any barriers?

One of the tools we came up with is known as AYETA. Those joining us physically, we've passed around a few flyers and have a nice bookmark to go with it. AYETA is digital rights security tool kit. Overtime, we have been having exercises, capacity in different Stakeholders from the media, activists on how they can securely use the internet. So of course, together with other partners, we thought to develop additional rights, security tool kits which is really publication where one can access it. It's available online of the you can access it and read through. And just learn about how you can securely use the internet and digital tools. So it ranges from simple things like how you set up a secure password or encrypt to information. So how do you download the VPN?

How do you secure social media accounts and strong password? So it's really a resource for everyone. It's a living document and we are committed to updating it on an annual base I. We know that digital security measures change every other year. New updates, new applications. So please feel free to access this tool kit. Can be found at AYETA.Africa. I will pass on to my colleague who will take us through the platform.

>> Thank you so much. Like she said, this is the second tool kit that we have. And this is digital rights. The paradigm initiative developed the tune known as RIPOTI. It's an Swahili word. And the essence is we wanted to catch a word universal that would be African. So that's the sense why we choose the word RIPOTI. It was to make it easy for individuals and organizations. And other reporters report -- of right violation, the experience witness are reported. RIPOTI will allow you for a community response to these cases. So what do we do?

Most of these violations go on around communities. Might not know who to go to or channels they can forward the violations. But this platform we make it easier for you and it is easy to be used. So all you need to do to make use of this platform is go to RIPOTI.Africa. And make a report. And view the various drop down options to be made. Then the region where you are making them from after which you'll be asked to agree to the terms. And then you'll be contacted based on the details of your report. So what happened is we know this can be a multi-region thing. It doesn't matter where you are reporting anywhere in Africa. So what happened is that from the details you report will be able to get across to you.

By the time we do that, our officer will be able to pick up those reports from the back end and pass it through a committee who will verify your report. By the time we pass through the verification process, also going to go through the steering committee where we have lawyers who will be able to determine whether it is gender-based violence. So based on the type of report, we are going to channel it to the appropriate quarters who are going to take it up. We'll find out it can be in some of the solutions might be reporting to the country’s human rights organizations and human right institutes.

So at the end of the day, everyone takes advantage of this platform is your case is going to be resolved at the end of the day. And once that is done, going to also be -- going to let you know the status of your report. And all you need to do, like I said is go to the platform and this is an easy-to-use interface. [ Video ]

>> Have you been arrested or know someone who was for sharing opinion online? Have you been harassed or bullied online because of your gender or you think your digital rights -- say no more. Introducing RIPOTI. The digital reporting platform. Where you can report all cases of cyber bullying, online gender violence, internet censorship, illegal access to user's information. And illegal use of user's information. Log on to RIPOTI.Africa on your PC or mobile device. Report your case and click submit and someone will contact you through the information you have provided. What are you waiting for?

Log on to RIPOTI.Africa to report and say no to all forms of digital rights violations.

[ End video ]

>> ODINAKACHI NWAFOR: Thank you so much. We are looking forward to hearing from us. One of the actions we expect from people is to take advantage of the platform. The next is to be able to share the news. We might not be the ones experiencing violations.

So we take advantage of platform and sharing the news of this platform with people around our community. So they would be able to fight online violation on our continent. Thank you so much. So feedback and questions?

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you so much for the insightful presentation on RIPOTI. Just a quick question maybe to highlight what are some of the cases or the common cases you've received on the platform? If you could highlight what you received on the platform. Thank you.

>> ODINAKACHI NWAFOR: Thank you so much. We come from Nigeria. And one of the most recent cases that I personally handled was in Nigeria, we have these online banks, banking apps that encourage people to come and take loan. But one of the things that happen is in the process of taking those loans, the app will ask you to give them access to your contact. So one of the reporters defaulted in paying the loan.

So the loan banking app used his details and started sharing the news across all the people on his contact list. And for him, that got to his boss in the office and the guy was suspended from work. So as I'm talking to you now, at the level of case is in court because he reported, we verified and got one of our partner lawyers to take off the case. So as I'm talking to you now, the litigation process is on in Nigeria.

Okay. Question online. Give the person voice. Thank you so much. Like we said, you can reach us at hello.paradigm HQ.

We'll take it off from there. Like I said when I was making my presentation, one of the things we are looking for is to get partners like lawyers across countries in Africa. Because we get some of this report from countries. One of the challenges we face is getting lawyers who will be able to help us to prosecute those cases in those countries. Thank you so much my friend from online. Will be so much pleased and happy to partner with you in Ghana. All you need to do is send us mail. Someone will take it off from there with you. Thank you so much.

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you for the nice presentation. I'm founder of digital rights Nepal. Aims to protect and promote digital rights in Nepal. We are looking for help decks or the report mechanism. And your presentation was really insightful. I have a few questions. So when was the RIPOTI was established and how much reports you have?

That is one question.

Another is because you cover all Africa. How do you collaborate with the law enforcement offices throughout the African countries?

And somebody report you a case. In the meantime, the legal deadline might have exhausted and could not go to law enforcement. In that situation, how fast is the service?

And the last question is, if other countries in the other part of the world, they want to kind of replicate this reported mechanism, what would be the support they can expect from you?

Thank you.

>> ODINAKACHI NWAFOR: The question you asked, this is over two years we created it. This has been one year we created it. Like I'm saying from Nigeria, personally, I have been able to attend to ten cases reported. What happened is we don't just take all the reports. There is a verification process. Find out there is some of the reports that will come in that did not fall within the purview of digital violation. Not all the cases we receive, at the first level of verification. If it didn't meet the condition at our work area, we didn't drop it. That was one.

Then like you said, which is even one of the reasons why we're doing what we're doing is we're trying to get partners. How are we able to reach other people, say we work in partnership with other organizations in those countries?

Like, for example, the way you are saying you are in Nepal. We can be in partnership with you so if somebody reports Nepal, paradigm initiative doesn't need to be in Nepal. So we have people in those countries who understand how the law enforcement system works in those countries. And in partnership with them, able to action. We have also looking forward to beyond Africa. And how to establish this. Like, I will ask you to send us a mail. And interest to partner and see how we can duplicate something that looks like RIPOTI in Nepal. Even if we can't implement, we'll be able to share our experience of the platform to help you establish that. Just send mail to [email protected].

Thank you. Okay. And for those online, the link to these emails have been posted in the chat. If you want to get across to us to get more information about this, you can look up the email address on the chat.

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you so much. I am Ben. I want to know if so far you received -- how we as an individual – [inaudible].

>> BUANDA NKHOWANI: Thank you very much. We have not received any reports and like my colleague mentioned, platform has been existent for about a year now. We were refining the development process to ensure it works as it should. And the next phase is we get it into the hands of our partners and Stakeholders such as yourselves, so you are able to take it to the grass roots. A lot of the violations happen. We're not aware of it. And that's the gap to close.

In terms of how you can contribute to the reports, we do issue a call every year. And that already went out. But you have a chance to contribute to next year. We have the -- who are working around inclusion in Africa. So put down your contact details, I'll be happy to add you to that. It's -- if there are any opportunities, it's an open platform. You can post opportunities there. So I'd encourage you to sign up for it.

I see there is a question around what is the cost implications of using the platform? Almost next to nothing. Making a report is very straight forward. It's almost three-minute thing. Few of the details of the case and pick it up from there and get back to you. Really no cost implications apart from your data.

>> AUDIENCE:  When your colleague was talking about some of the cases that have been dropped because of the issues. Having a referral mechanism. So that also may be some of those issues have been attended to as prior initiative. Again, they are working towards a just society where everyone is justice and all of that. Thank you.

>> BUANDA NKHOWANI: That is noted. Thank you so much. We'll look into it. For us, we were aiming to not over stretch ourselves in the beginning. And focus on inclusion violations and move forward from there. On the back end, we have a referral mechanism. I don't address the violations ourselves, unless we have the capacity. If someone says “look, I have a digital security issue, my account has been hacked,” we have partnered in some organizations able to offer that support. So we also partnered with women's rights. If someone has an online gender-based case, we refer them to their organization. But, again, just to highlight that we are really looking to partner with other Stakeholders and organizations that will help us to deliver that justice. And like we see our colleague from Ghana already indicated his interest. It looks like we have exhausted our time. But perhaps just one last hand and then we can leave.

>> I just want to come back. When you want to do the report, how do you do it?

>> BUANDA NKHOWANI: So we issue a call for authors. You have to apply, and we have our research team that then give out what is the theme for that year. You get a writing guide that you and your coordinator from the research team. You have to agree on a writing guide. And pick it up from there. It's a lot of support and a lot of details that are provided once you apply and you have been selected. It's just one. But we also have reviewers within the regions. So we have about two review steps after that. Thank you.

>> ODINAKACHI NWAFOR: We want to use this opportunity to thank everyone. Time to be part of our section. For those online and those present on site. We want to say thank you. And we are going to have opportunities in future to keep engaging on these tools. Thank you, once more.