"Al Sur" is a consortium of organizations which operate in the civil society and academia in Latin America, working together towards strengthening human rights in the region’s digital environment.
To face the challenges to human rights that digital technologies pose today in the region, Al Sur seeks to work together to:
strengthen communication and coordination among members
share common experiences and technical and professional capacities
analyze public policies as well as international initiatives that may have a regional impact on the different matters within their reach
generate knowledge and agreements to participate in various advocacy spaces that strengthen members' local work as a regional position
Al Sur has a secretariat that supports member organizations in coordinating and executing tasks.
Al Sur works in six areas of interest:
Al Sur takes interest in strengthening the balance between copyright and the access to culture and information provided by digital technologies. In its work, Al Sur seeks to build capacities among its members in the face of this increasingly complex issue, coordinate regional positions in forums and spaces for deliberation on the matter, and encourage partnerships with different interested sectors.
In addition, Al Sur also recognizes that in Latin America a regional coordination of issues related to Internet access of the least advantaged populations is a priority, as well as the protection and strengthening of human rights in this process. In this sense, the “zero rating” plans offered by telcos, the principles of net neutrality, the technical infrastructure and the role of community networks, among others, are of interest to Al Sur.
With regard to state surveillance and that which is exercised by platforms when monitoring their potential clients, Al Sur's organizations focus on denouncing how digital technologies facilitate surveillance and social control on our continent, affecting human rights such as privacy, the right to assembly or freedom of expression, among others.
Along these lines, Al Sur is particularly interested in denouncing the trends in electronic surveillance in Latin America, the responsibility of private companies who sell this type of technology, as well as the effects on the human rights of journalists and activists resulting from its use.
In societies such as those in Latin America, that are increasingly reliant on data for most interactions, Al Sur investigates trends in the use and abuse of personal and sensitive data by governments and companies, and seeks an ecosystem of public policies that can offer guarantees to people's human rights.
Likewise, Al Sur seeks to strengthen the participation of the civil society from our continent in different forums and instances of regional and international advocacy, where protocols, regulations and trends in personal data and new technologies are discussed.
Beyond digital security plans for infrastructure, information and people, cybersecurity is today a concept widely used by governments, international organizations, the private sector and public opinion. In this context, Al Sur seeks that the language of human rights prevail in cybersecurity plans, both at the regional level and in its international dimension.
To this end, Al Sur seeks to contribute and consolidate coherent positions on the subject from a human rights perspective, through the creation of reports, the participation in forums and the search for associations with different actors and regions.
The role of intermediaries on the Internet has become increasingly complex, especially in regard to their role as mediators of the human rights of users. Furthermore, the international discussion is riddled with attempts at self-regulation or the imposition of regional standards.
In this context, Al Sur seeks to set inter-American standards on the matter in local, regional and international discussion, to strengthen and protect human rights, particularly those related to freedom of expression.
Among the most worrisome trends today at the local, regional and international level is the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and all the challenges that this implies, not only in terms of public policy, but also in its impact on human rights.
Al Sur seeks to unite the various research and advocacy efforts that members of the consortium have recently made, in order to create technical capacities and find common positions in the face of key challenges that these new technologies bring to the continent.