Friday, October 20, 2017

Open Policy + Advocacy at MozFest 2017

It's been a difficult year. Hacks, breaches, foreign interference in national elections, nationalism and racism rearing their ugly heads on the global stage, just to name a few challenges. And while MozFest doesn't try to solve all of these problems, we are focusing this year's Policy and Advocacy related sessions on building a better digital future for all.

In previous years the MozFest "spaces" have been organized around programmatic areas of work that Mozilla and our partners focused on. This year, we've organized around our Internet Health Issues. This means the Policy and Advocacy sessions will be interspersed throughout the building. The team has a great new scheduling app to help guide you through the week; to find the Open Policy & Advocacy sessions, click on the three lines on the lower right which pops up all the spaces and tracks:

Don't forget to click "apply" in the upper right, or it won't filter properly!



  • Decentralization and Dignity against Digital Colonialism: a debate with the World Wide Web Foundation and others about control and freedom not of the individual, but of entire populations and regions by tech companies.
  • Just Numbers: a workshop with the ACLU and others to introduce how police and law enforcement collects data from citizens through surveillance equipment, followed by a discussion on how to analyze open records and government datasets. 
  • Mozilla -- A role model for modern diplomacy: a discussion with Open Labs Hackerspace about how technology affects diplomacy and policy-making around the world.
  • Where did the internet go? Fighting shutdowns around School Exams: A discussion with Access Now about governments who use school exams as a pretext for clamping down on free expression to block, filter, jam or other wise obstruct access to the internet.
  • Will the Open Internet Survive?: a conversation with tech policy experts about different approaches to net neutrality legislation in the US, EU, India, and Brazil.
  • The Big Open -- Joining Forces on the Quest for the Free and Open: A mapping session with Wikimedia, Creative Commons, and Mozilla to show where our communities are joining forces, and where the opportunities still exist.


  • Defiance in the Digital Age: a hands-on session to explore creative approaches to social justice advocacy under oppressive societies in unique cultural contexts, and the role of digital platforms in forging these efforts.
  • Enforcing Net Neutrality Around the World: a discussion with experts representing Europe, the US, West Africa, South Asia, and Latin America about how net neutrality laws are  protected and enforced in practice.
  • Internet Shutdown in The Gambia: a conversation with the Give1Project about the economic and social impacts of internet and telecommunications shutdown, and the human rights violations associated with cutting access to information and communications.
  • Open Ears for Open Access: a discussion with SPARC to celebrate global Open Access Week, the Open Access movement, and issues around inclusion, access, and equity in scholarship and academia.


  •  Copyright on data?!?! Whiskey Foxtrot Tango?!: a talk with Wikimedia and friends about how the current EU copyright reform proposes to limit access to data, and a brainstorm about possible future actions to counter this proposal.
  • Copyright Battle: a role-play session with real tug-of-war! to show the current state of the EU copyright reform proposal, and the various stakeholders.
  • Solving the Social Challenges of Artificial Intelligence: Where do we go from here?: A roundtable discussion with Tech Policy Fellows about how AI systems are impacting our day-to-day, where the AI field is headed, and how we can support this conversation worldwide.
  • // Visualising Human Rights: a hands-on session using a dataset from The Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies to where participants will learn to analyze and create data visualization products that can be used in future advocacy work.
  • Bath bombs and digital rights: a conversation about the collaboration with Access Now and Lush, and how they created the Error 404 bath bomb to amplify the #KeepItOn campaign and raised money to support grassroots digital rights organizations around the world.


  • Blocked! How (and why) to check which websites your ISP is blocking: a hands-on workshop looking at Open Rights Group's website with a discussion about why websites might be blocked, and how to report incorrect blocks to ISPs.
  • Information and Consent: how do we create real data control?: a discussion with data science experts about the challenges citizens have to control the sharing of their personal data within existing data protection laws. 
  • The Right to Privacy in India: A Look at Digital Identification and Aadhaar: a panel with leaders that shines light on the implications of the Right to Privacy judgement on the Aadhaar project, and where the welfare of 1.2 billion citizens goes from here.
  • Our Data Bodies: a conversation with Our Data Bodies exploring how data-driven systems impact the ability of marginalized communities to access basic human needs, and how those communities have been responding.
  •  Towards a Pan-African Culture of Freedom of Expression Online: a discussion with Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Digital Freedom Fund, and Web Foundation about freedom of expression online in Africa.
  • Data in politics: why privacy matters for free and fair elections: an exploration of hard and soft regulations for online political advertising, privacy protections for voters, and how monitors the effect of information during elections.


  •  Tech for Good: How do we get more technologists working in the public interest?: a discussion led by experts on how to build the community of technologists working in the public interest, and how to create career paths for their work.
  • Tech Policy Fluxx: a hands-on workshop to create a game in the style of the card game Fluxx, where the rules and win conditions change as you play the cards, around internet health issues and about tech policy.


  • Threatened Voices: Activating a Database of Threats Against Digital Activists: a demo of the Threatened Voices database to teach participants how to use the data and visualization tools for research and activism.
  • Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index: a review of RDR's Corporate Accountability Index which viewed 22 of the world's most powerful telcos, internet and mobile companies.
  • Speaker Series: experts from around the world share their stories and insight into today's pressing issues. See the full list here.
  • Fringe events: this year, Mozilla Festival has a full list of sessions and activities happening during the week in the lead up to the celebratory weekend. These include:

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