CIS Cybersecurity Series (Part 11) - Anja Kovacs

CIS interviews Anja Kovacs, researcher and activist, and director of the Internet Democracy, Project as part of the Cybersecurity Series.

"Having the cyber security debate become more and more important was a real challenge for civil society. I think in part because many of us who were focused on human rights aren't necessarily techies. And so, when you have a conversation with a government bureaucrat, and ask questions about the kind of decisions they decided to take, very often they will come up with a technical answer in response. And then, if you don't have that expertise, it is difficult to react. In the meantime though, I think it has become clear that this is one of the biggest issues in the internet field at the moment. It is also one of the big issues that is driving the desires of governments to have a bigger role to play in internet governance. So it is an area that is unavoidable for activists. What has happened slowly is that we have come to realize that the first thing, as in most other areas, is not the technical details, but principles, and those principles are fairly similar to how they are in many other fields." - Anja Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project

Centre for Internet and Society presents its eleventh installment of the CIS Cybersecurity Series. 

The CIS Cybersecurity Series seeks to address hotly debated aspects of cybersecurity and hopes to encourage wider public discourse around the topic.

In this installment, CIS speaks to Anja Kovacs, director of the Internet Democracy Project. Her work focuses on a wide range of questions regarding freedom of expression, cybersecurity and the architecture of Internet governance as they relate to the Internet and democracy. Anja is currently also a member of the of the Investment Committee of the Digital Defenders Partnership and of the interim Steering Group of Best Bits, a global network of civil society members.

(Bio from 

Internet Democracy Project homepage:


This work was carried out as part of the Cyber Stewards Network with aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.