Human rights online proves a popular issue at conference held at the West Suffolk College


A conference on cyber security and human rights run by Amnesty International and West Suffolk College attracted more than 100 delegates who engaged in lively debate and workshops as they learned how to protect themselves online.

Students from the college, King Edward VI School, Thurston School and the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College, as well as people from Bury St Edmunds, listened to speakers that included Sherif Elsayed-Ali, (pictured above) Amnesty’s director of global issues and research; Vivian Ng from Essex University, a senior research officer for the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project; Sophie Ellis, a researcher at Cambridge University and Robin Herne, course leader for Religious Studies and Ethics at  the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College.

Subjects included online offenders, challenges in the digital age, cybersecurity for human rights defenders and cyber ethics.

Robin Herne, who organised the day said: “The conference proved popular and everyone was very engaged with the speakers. There was a lot of debate and discussion on this important issue.”

Kathryn Vernon, who is studying Religious Studies & Ethics at the University of Suffolk in Bury, said: “The speakers opened the minds of young and old to the problems of cyber issues that come up against human rights. Everybody must have left with a much clearer understanding how governments and companies can use peoples information – how we use the Internet, phones and loyalty cards. Which now bears the question how safe is the privacy of an individual?”

The next free conference will be on Friday, February 16, on Freedom of Speech. A selection of speakers from different religious traditions will reflect on issues concerned with freedom of speech, blasphemy, and proselytising. The day will include workshops and debates.

To book a place contact  01284 701301


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