Pandemic for digital rights in South East Europe

Pandemic for Digital Rights – Report

The global public health crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic confirmed that the decades-long discussion on striking a better balance between interests of safety and privacy still hasn’t provided the world with a better framework. Concentration of information, censorship, fake news, security breaches and the government officials response to these violations were some of the most notable takeaways from the report. 

Since 2014, SHARE Foundation has been running the Digital Rights Monitoring Project in an effort to sample violations and assess overall conditions in the online sphere of Serbia. Last year, the project was expanded in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) to include monitoring of incidents in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Romania. Given the current global situation, the first joint report coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, and this led to the uncovering of some worrisome events and trends in the region.

The report presents an overview of the main violations of citizens’ digital rights in each country in the period from 31 January to 30 September 2020. Following the analysis, a list of recommendations for authorities is proposed in an attempt to curb gross digital rights violations in future situations of social crisis.

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