Speakers at a programme have stressed the need to improve atmosphere for the unobstructed practice of freedom of expression online.
At a time when the number of Nepali people engaging on digital space has grown in Nepal, safe, secure and free use of internet is imperative, they added.
Speaking on FoE online from gender lens, Shuva Kayastha from Body and Data viewed that anonymity was positive side of internet for those who do not want to disclose identity. But, anonymity must be used for good purpose, she underscored.
She shared the problems faced by sexual minorities and women while exercising freedom of expression online. "As in offline world, the online activities of the people from vulnerable community were adversely impacted," she said, adding that the benefit of internet must be reached to every common people. Legal hurdles on it could be wiped out with collective efforts.
Similarly, Executive Chief of Freedom Forum, Taranath Dahal viewed that in addition to social structure, the legal dimension of internet freedom warrants attention from various sectors. "When we talk of freedom of expression, even the freedom of the medium of expression should be taken into account. Free internet platforms help build free atmosphere for FoE online" he viewed. Dahal further said observation of current IT Bill from diverse sectors may help understand well the activities on cyberspace.
According to journalist Narayan Ghimire, the political parties, lawmakers, social activists and researchers, academia, and CSOs could build common minimum understanding on internet and issues around it as FoE, hate speech, cybercrimes, privacy and data protection, censorship, harassment etc so that any pressing issue can be addressed in a just manner.
At the virtual program organized jointly by Martin Chautari, Body and Data, and Freedom Forum on Tuesday, other participants spoke how citizens' rights could be upheld on internet.
Source: National News Agency Nepal