For Immediate Release

Press Release

May 18, Almaty, Kazakhstan. The 14th Central Asian Internet Forum  “Development of the Internet Sphere in Central Asia Internet CA-2023” began in Almaty today. The two-day forum focuses on finding a reasonable balance in regulating digital rights. The 14th Internet Forum gathered experts in the field of digital rights, fact-checking, media literacy, freedom of speech, human rights and propaganda counteraction from Central Asia, Europe and the USA.  

Ninety percent of Kazakhstan’s citizens over the age of six use the Internet. It is an everyday part of life, but technology provides users with both new opportunities and possible problems. 

Acting Regional Mission Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Luis Rivera said, “USAID is committed to promoting technological innovation, but at the same time it is essential to strike a reasonable balance between the regulation of digital rights and the protection of fundamental freedoms. This requires a careful and informed approach, based on a clear understanding of the risks and opportunities of the digital age, and a commitment to international standards and best practices.” 

The topics for discussion at InternetCA 2023 include the regulation of digital rights and risks, free speech and censorship on the Internet, prospects and risks of artificial intelligence, and more. 

Separate sessions are devoted to propaganda and disinformation. The Internet has become an effective and indispensable weapon in information wars. Along with other factors it has led to the polarization of society and the growth of hate speech. Under these conditions, as never before, a thoughtful balance between the necessary digital safeguards and their regulation by the state is needed to prevent an even greater reduction of civic space.

“Today it’s social networks that remain the springboard for freedom of expression and, consequently, the desire to control and regulate them. Legislation in the Central Asian region has always had a repressive approach to regulating freedom of expression, but recent trends are increasingly worrying,” said Victoria Tyuleneva, Director of Freedom House Kazakhstan. 

Over the 14 years of the InternetCA Forum’s existence, over 2,200 people have participated. During this time, over 300 speeches, presentations and master classes have been given by experts from 26 countries on topical issues of the Internet’s development. 

The event is organized by the International Center for Journalism MediaNet Public Foundation with the support of the Open Society Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Internews Network, OSCE Program Office in Astana, and Freedom House.


For more information contact Snezhana Tsoi,

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