The Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF) and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) are co-organising the one-day “Digital Citizen Summit” with the objective of learning, information sharing, encouraging South Asian regional dialogue; and developing strategic partnerships between individuals and organisations working towards a better understanding and advocacy on individual rights in the online space.

The Summit will conclude with the formation of working groups divided in thematic areas. These working groups will work together for the next 6 months to discuss, share and strategise. We aim to extend this initiative into an annual regional summit to facilitate long term collaboration towards policy advocacy and action on internet rights.


The Royal Orchid
1, Golf Avenue,
Adjoining KGA Golf Course, Hal Airport Road,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008


The Internet is a driving force for development, a tool for information exchange, learning, business and e-governance which now connects more than 3.2 billion people globally. In the past 5 years, increasing penetration of the internet and digital media, particularity in developing countries has driven the incredible growth in the number of individuals expressing themselves, engaging, socialising and conducting business online.

As a result of the number of people coming online, questions about privacy, access, expression and assembly etc. in the online space have been on the rise. All these factors have a bearing on the ability of the individuals to exercise their human rights online.


logo-1Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) is a New Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation. It was born out of the deep understanding that marginalised communities living in socio-economic backwardness and information poverty can be empowered to improve their lives almost on their own, simply by providing them uniform access to information and knowledge using digital tools. 

fnfSince 1958 the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF), is the “foundation for freedom” in the Federal Republic of Germany. It aims to promote the goal of making the principle of freedom valid for the dignity of all people and in all areas of society, both in Germany and abroad. fnfsouthasia.org/

Media Partner

techportalThe Tech Portal is an intensely tech-driven digital media startup with new age content platforms in India. We are here to change the outdated digital media scenario with curated web and video content, along with insightful products for India’s next generation of viewers and entrepreneurs.

Event Report



The Digital Citizen Summit was an overall success. It saw participation from over 100 stakeholders from academia, civil society and industry. The rapporteur’s report can be read here…


The event rapporteur was Ms. Shivani Lal from the Digital Empowerment Foundation, New Delhi

Curtain Raiser

As a prelude to the summit, DEF had organised a ninety-minute panel discussion that brought together pre-eminent thinkers and academicians working for individual rights in online space, specifically on the topics of access, openness, security, privacy, policy, regulation and ethics. The curtain raiser also formally introduced the summit along with the important milestones towards the final event.


“Social Media and Internet Rights”

Confirmed Panelists

  • Aakar Patel – Executive Director, Amnesty International India
  • Anja Kovacs – Director, Internet Democracy Project*
  • Chinmayi Arun – Research Director, Centre for Communication Governance (NLU-Delhi)
  • Pankaj Pushkar – MLA (Timarpur, Delhi)
  • Rai Mahimapat Ray – Deputy Commissioner, Bokaro District
  • Rohit Prasad – Professor, MDI Gurgaon
  • Ruben Dieckhoff – Regional Project Manager, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit
  • R. Sukumar (Chair-cum-Moderator) – Editor, Mint

* Did not attend final panel


Stien Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi – 110003 (https://goo.gl/maps/PE8zVM5JtsS2)



The Digital Citizen Summit aims to provide a platform to facilitate dialogue and share learning and experiences about individual internet rights. It aspires to develop strategic partnerships through long term collaborations between citizens and other stakeholders such as the government, civil society organisations, private sector, and academia.


1. Facilitate collaborative approach towards advocating for internet rights.
2. Build strategic and long-term multi-stakeholder partnerships.
3. Establish working groups to develop strategies and action plans.
4. Formulate action-oriented recommendations to lobby with policy makers and experts.


The Royal Orchid
1, Golf Avenue,
Adjoining KGA Golf Course, Hal Airport Road,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008


9:00 a.m - 10:00 a.m - Registration of Delegates and Participants

10:00 a.m - 10:10 a.m - Welcome & Introduction by Digital Empowerment Foundation

10:10 a.m - 11:00 a.m - Inaugural Session

11:00 a.m - 11:30 a.m - Networking Tea

11:30 a.m - 01:00 p.m - Access

11:30 p.m - 01:00 p.m - Privacy

11:30 p.m - 01:00 p.m - Communication Blackouts – Threat to Civil and Political Rights

01:00 p.m - 02:00 p.m - Networking Lunch

02:00 p.m - 03:30 p.m - Digital Literacy and Empowerment

02:00 p.m - 03:30 p.m - Freedom of Expression

02:00 p.m - 03:30 p.m - Online Violence against Women

03:30 p.m - 04:00 p.m - Networking Tea

04:00 p.m - 05:00 p.m -Summit Outcome



The session will focus on affordability; accessibility; infrastructure; usability, last mile connectivity; network discrimination and provide low-cost solutions that is enabling uniform access.


The session will focus on right to privacy; big data; encryption; digital attack; data mining, cyber security; anonymity and surveillance.

Digital Literacy and Empowerment

Advancing literacy though ICT’s, Internet economy, youth engagement, enhancing accessibility for person with disability.

Freedom of Expression

The session will focus on free speech; multi-stakeholder cooperation; interconnection and price regulation, violence against women, dangerous speech, freedom of association, freedom of expression, etc.

Social Programme

Networking Dinner and Organiser’s Reception (INVITE ONLY)

Date: Thursday, 10 November 2016

Time: 19:30 – 21:30

Welcome by Dr. Ronald Meinardus, Director, The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Osama Manzar, Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation.

Morning Tea (OPEN TO ALL)

Date: Friday, 11 November 2016

Time: 11:00 – 11:30

Networking Lunch (OPEN TO ALL)

Date: Friday, 11 November 2016

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

High Tea (OPEN TO ALL)

Date: Friday, 11 November 2016

Time: 15:30 – 16:00


Digital Empowerment Foundation

House No. 44, 3rd Floor
Kaalu Sarai, (Near IIT Flyover)
New Delhi – 110016