In December 2011 Vice-President Kroes launched the "No Disconnect Strategy" (NDS), to support and assist human rights defenders, civil society organizations and individual citizens against arbitrary disruptions to the Internet and other electronic communication technologies and indiscriminate surveillance in authoritarian regimes.

You can find further information on the NDS in this speech by Vice-President Kroes at the Ministerial Conference on Internet Freedom (The Hague, 9 December 2012) as well as in these blog posts  "No Disconnect: European Commission to develop Human Rights guidance for ICT sector" and  "The EU fighting cyber-censorship abroad: an update on our work".

One of the components of the NDS is the development of a "European Capability for Situational Awareness" (ECSA) platform.

The purpose of the ECSA platform is to augment EU decision-making capabilities with reliable and real-time or almost real-time information concerning human rights violations and/or restrictions of fundamental freedoms in connection with the digital environment. ECSA would seamlessly aggregate public data from different sources and with innovative visualisation techniques, to provide information on:

  1. What is happening on the Net, in terms of network connectivity and traffic alterations or restrictions. The platform should integrate and visualize different data sets analysing the "state of the Internet" (nation-, region- or local disconnection, filtering, blocking and other forms of disruptions) in order to allow decision-makers to act upon reliable data concerning the "cyber-geography" of Internet connectivity.
  1. What is happening on the ground, in terms of human rights, media, legal and policy developments concerning the Internet. The platform should integrate and visualise data sets analysing legal and political developments (e.g. arrests of journalists, crack-downs on local NGOs, etc).

We are well aware that there are a number of projects which are working on very similar challenges – and some of these projects might have already developed parts of what the ECSA platform wishes to achieve.

Accordingly, the European Commission / DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology would like to invite you to a workshop which will take place in Brussels (Avenue de Beaulieu 25 – Building BU25 – Meeting room 0/S1) on 23 November 2012, from 09:30 to 17:00, in order to:

  • present and discuss the scope, objectives and "success criteria" of the ECSA platform;
  • present and discuss some of the projects that are working in this field;
  • provide the opportunity for (social) networking and;
  • identify the best way in which the EU can provide added value to strengthen on-going activities and achieve the objectives of the ECSA platform, including (where appropriate) via financial support; 

The workshop is meant to be as informal and operational as possible. If you think you are working on a project that should be presented / discussed during the workshop, please let us know by writing to Mr Andrea Glorioso (

If you wish to attend, send your name / family name, nationality and ID / passport number to Ms Katrin Alfano (

Please note that at this point in time the European Commission will not be in a position to reimburse travelling / living expenses for participants or speakers. Should the situation change we will inform you accordingly.

European Commission
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