FOR RELEASE: DFRLab Democracy + Tech Initiative launches Task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web

WASHINGTON, DC – December 8, 2022 – While the Internet of today is rife with unsolved challenges impacting everyday life and democracy, the internet of tomorrow is already being built. The Atlantic Council’s Democracy + Tech Initiative at the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) is proud to announce the launch of its new Task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web.

The Task Force will chart a clear and action-oriented roadmap for future online ecosystems to protect users’ rights, support innovation, and center trust and safety principles. Its work is timely given the fragility of platforms, the imperative to tackle critical yet oftentimes overlooked trust and safety challenges, and the need for new tools and approaches. It is a unique opportunity to pull together leaders from across the social media, gaming, ad-tech, and XR industries; global civil society and research groups, and public sector bodies to collaborate on building a vision for a healthier digital world.

The community and work we’ve built at the DFRLab was made for this moment. This task force is about moving from a reactive to proactive agenda for the role these technologies play in our lives today, tomorrow, and a generation from now,” said Rose Jackson, Director of the Democracy + Tech Initiative.

Led by DFRLab Resident Senior Fellow Kat Duffy, the Task Force will be guided by a steering committee of experts representing the broad cross-section of expertise required to build a healthier, more trustworthy web.

We need to build off what we’ve already done well to protect people online and thoughtfully apply that to the different realities of future digital ecosystems.” said Camille François, Senior Director of Trust and Safety at Niantic. “But we also need to invest in identifying and filling the gaps where new tools, research, and knowledge can help us improve trust and safety moving forward.”

The Task Force is designed to be global in scope to ensure the needs of the majority of the world are integrated from the start.

“It is imperative to build a future digital world that reflects the needs and concerns of people and communities around the globe, rather than an elite few.” said Nighat Dad, Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan and Oversight Board member. “To do so, we need stronger, sustainable mechanisms not only for incorporating the expertise of global civil society, but also for shifting power to the Global Majority to set our own agendas for collaboration and innovation.”

With generous support from Schmidt Futures and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Task Force will generate rigorously researched, community driven, and transparent proposals to mitigate digital harms.

The Task Force will be housed at the Atlantic Council’s Democracy + Tech Initiative at the Digital Forensic Research Lab; an action-oriented center producing timely research, driving policy change, and building a global coalition dedicated to ensuring human rights, transparency, and accountability in our global information ecosystem.

For more questions about the Task Force, please reach out to [email protected].

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