The CYRILLA Collaborative is a global initiative that seeks to map and analyze the evolution and impacts of legal frameworks in digital environments by aggregating, organizing, and visualizing distributed legal data through open research methodologies, data models, taxonomies, and databases.
CYRILLA stands for the Cyberrights Research Initiative and Localized Legal Almanac, referring to the Collaborative’s keystone initiative CYRILLA.org, an open, federated online database that facilitates and accelerates the sharing, comparison, visualization, and interoperability of legal information on digital rights. CYRILLA.org is built on Uwazi.
CYRILLA addresses an increasingly urgent need “for comprehensive databases aggregating legislation and case law across a variety of jurisdictions,” expressed by digital rights researchers, journalists, civil society advocates, human rights defenders, legal professionals, and others seeking to shape rapidly evolving legal frameworks for digital rights worldwide.
At its core, CYRILLA organizes and makes accessible legislation and case law that affects human rights in digital environments so that a wide range of actors can more readily and confidently assess legal trends and their impacts in digitally networked spaces. While the database is the most visible part of CYRILLA, the initiative comprises several open tools that can be adopted and adapted as needed by any individual or organization grappling with questions involving legal restrictions on digital rights. They include:
*A legal research methodology to help researchers locate laws that affect digital rights in existing and evolving legal frameworks
*An open data model on top of which developers will be able to build new applications, including those that pull and merge data from other similar datasets
*A taxonomy of digital rights topics
*A listserv for a community of practitioners seeking to better understand legal frameworks supporting or undermining digital rights (please contact us to join)
Specifically, CYRILLA helps users:
*Gain free access to digital rights–relevant law, articles of law, and case law, particularly from jurisdictions in the Global South
*Visualize legal frameworks for digital rights by country or issue
*Monitor emerging draft law and provisions
*Conduct content analysis of legal language used in the context of digital rights
*Identify and characterize regional and global legal trends
*Conduct comparative country analyses
*Visualize legal frameworks for digital rights and associated and trends in the passage and application of law
*Evaluate legislation for compliance with international human rights law and other norms.
So that they can:
*Identify problematic provisions and initiate rapid-response advocacy campaigns or shape model legislation,
*Track how law travels from one jurisdiction to another,
*Conduct country-level legal threat assessments (for instance, before hosting a digital security training, publishing an article, or establishing an online business),
*Evaluate legal trends in the context of a given issue, such as cybercrime or terrorism, and their effects on digital rights,
*Identify key targets for campaigners and lawyers by cataloguing the agencies and actors involved in digital rights law, and assessing potential for successful legal advocacy,
*Identify proper cause of action in strategic litigation cases,
*Incorporate analysis into training for legal professionals on digital rights,
*Propose standards for the open publication of digital rights legal information.
Formerly known as the Arab Digital Rights Dataset, CYRILLA was launched in late 2017 with a dataset of legislation, draft law, and case law from the 22 Arab League states. In 2018, with the addition of four new partners from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the initiative evolved to become a distributed a collaborative that will expand over the next two years to include digital rights–related statutes and jurisprudence from at least 90 countries.
If you would like to become a part of the collaborative and/or contribute legal data from your country, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.