Digital Rights and Ukraine

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The war in Ukraine is having profound impacts on the digital rights of people in Ukraine, Russia and the UK. While the day to day devastation and displacement of people will be uppermost in all of our minds, changes in surveillance, censorship and monitoring of people across all of these countries is having profound and dangerous impacts. Open Rights Group will want to play our role protecting rights in the UK and beyond, as a matter of solidarity and ensuring that human rights are treated as universal values.

As an organisation, we are working on both Internet issues, and migration issues, as part of our strategy to protect the digital rights of vulnerable communities. The impact of the Ukrainian crisis can be felt in both these areas of our work. Many concerns we have had about privacy and free expression have been thrown into sharp relief.

The impact of privacy and Internet censorship on Ukrainian and Russians

Ukrainians and Russian citizens are now profoundly reliant on the free flow of information that the Internet can provide. Ukrainians need to communicate with each other, and the rest of the world, so that they are heard. We can be thankful that they are much more able to do this than in the pre-Internet era.

Censorship in Russia targeting the Internet, VPNs and Tor cannot be as successful as press and broadcast clampdowns. Nevertheless, the privacy of readers is paramount, if they are to find information while limiting the risks of access. Twitter’s

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