ARTICLE 19’s Team Digital is looking for public interest advocates to join the 2023-2024 Internet of Rights (IoR) Fellowship, a 12-month fellowship, beginning in April 2023.
Upon selection, fellows work with their A19 mentor to develop a workplan and schedule. The Fellowship is designed to be flexible and dynamic to account for each fellow’s skills, interests, and experience. In line with the workplan, mentors will provide assistance such as advocacy coordination, support during meetings, ad hoc training, and in-depth research collaboration. Mentors will also facilitate fellows’ inclusion in global and regional networks of experts and activists working on digital rights and Internet governance issues, including current and former fellows.
A cornerstone of this programme is to support fellows’ participation in Internet governance bodies: therefore, all fellows are expected to participate in three Internet technical standards or policy meetings over the course of the year. This participation will be pursuant to the workplan, and meetings will be selected with support from mentors. This aspect of the programme is intended to further develop fellows’ capacities and knowledge in certain fields of Internet infrastructure and human rights. The Fellowship will cover any costs associated with attending these meetings and/or conferences.
The general goals of the IoR Fellowship are:
- To protect and promote freedom of expression, freedom of association, privacy, and other human rights in key Internet technical standards and policy bodies.
- To bridge the knowledge gap in these bodies regarding human rights and their relevance to Internet infrastructure.
- To support sustained and effective participation of civil society advocates in Internet technical standards and policy bodies.
- To support and champion the consideration of underrepresented people and communities in decision-making processes within these bodies.
This year, A19 is soliciting applications for the following tracks:
- Censorship: This track focuses on participation in the development of technical standards and policies that improve resilience to censorship and communications security. IoR fellow(s) may engage in technical discussions related to routing protocols that determine how data moves from source to destination within and across IP-enabled networks, contribute to networking protocols to address vulnerabilities exploited by censors, or work with internet infrastructure providers such as internet registries to address content moderation issues at the DNS level. Fellows may participate in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), or the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
- Connectivity: This track focuses on ensuring all people have choices in how they connect to the internet, particularly local communities dependent on last-mile networking technologies and infrastructure. IoR fellow(s) may advocate for spectrum management standards and policy frameworks that support small, non-profit, and alternative service providers or improve wireless networking standards to better enable community network provision. Fellows may participate in the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802 working groups or the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).
- Datafication: This track focuses on advocating for human rights in discussions of data-driven infrastructure technologies such as facial recognition, emotion recognition, and other biometric-based systems and the internet of things (IoT). IoR fellow(s) may engage in groups working on the standardisation of specific biometric or “AI” technologies or participate in the development of conformity assessments for the deployment of smart cities infrastructures. Fellows may participate in technical standards developing organisations such as the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC), or the European Committee for Standardization and European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CEN/CENELEC).
ARTICLE 19 is looking for the following qualities:
- Technical competence. While this may include knowledge of and experience in computer networking and protocols, systems design, and architecture, it is recommended but not necessary. ARTICLE 19 is looking for candidates who are capable of digesting complex or difficult concepts in technical policies or standards and explaining them to a wider audience.
- Some prior experience of participating in Internet governance bodies, and/or in-depth knowledge of the Internet governance processes and, where possible, the specific standards or protocols that are relevant to the applicant’s workplan proposal. Examples of broad, intersectional experience include: taking part in public policy consultations on local and/or regional levels regarding universal connectivity and Internet access; engaging in academic research on internet infrastructure and governance as part of undergraduate or graduate studies; engaging in research related projects with country-code top level domains (ccTLDs) or partaking in the ICANN fellowship or [email protected] Program. ARTICLE 19 welcomes applicants who are familiar with global internet technical standards and policy processes, but do not yet have opportunities to sustain long-term engagement in them. ARTICLE 19 also recognises that experience can come in many forms and especially encourage early career professionals to apply, even if they haven’t been engaged in this field for very long.
- Strong research, writing, and speaking skills in English. The program will be conducted entirely in English and will require fellows to attend highly technical, fast-paced meetings where English is the working language.
- A clear commitment to protecting and promoting human rights and Internet freedom.
Applicants from the global south, women, and other individuals that identify as part of underrepresented groups in Internet governance are especially encouraged to apply.
For more information, visit ARTICLE 19.