Human rights activists taught online tactics

An international training institute to teach online tactics for human rights campaigners is being set up in the Italian city of Florence.

The first students, starting in the new year, will be drawn from human rights activists around the world — with the aim of arming them with the latest tools for digital dissent.

As the Arab spring showed, protests are as likely to be about individuals using social networking as much as public demonstrations. Street protests have become Tweet protests.

And repressive regimes are as likely to be hunting through Facebook as they are raiding underground meetings.

There is a dangerous, high-stakes, hi-tech game of cat and mouse being played — with protesters needing to balance their secrecy and safety with their need to achieve the maximum public impact.

This training centre, being set up by the European wing of the US-based Robert Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, wants to combine academic study with practical skills and training — via

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