“Freedom on the Internet”: Larger need for Education, Greater Awareness & Transparent Law Practice

Skopje, 5 May, 2018 - 18:10 (META) 

At the second public event “Freedom on the Internet” organized by the Metamorphosis Foundation and implemented in cooperation with the Faculty of Computer Science & Engineering – FINKI and the “Internet Governance Forum Macedonia”, it was concluded that there is a larger need for more education, greater awareness and a transparent law practice that will guarantee the rule of law and freedom on the internet, as well as specialized court departments and judges who preside over copyright law.

The event is dedicated to presenting preliminary reports from the project “Freedom on the Internet” funded by the American Bar Association – Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), whose mission is to protect human rights on the Internet, as well as presenting results from the measured openness of institutions from the project, “Institutional Openness Network in SEE”, supported by the EU.

The project “Freedom on the Internet” and the preliminary reports on freedom of expression, privacy and Internet security in Macedonia, were presented in general terms by Filip Stojanovski, program director for “Metamorphosis”. Lawyer Valentin Pepeljugovski, an expert on copyright and related rights, presented the Preliminary Report on the situation regarding the application of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights.

Alexandar Nikolov, executive director of the “Zenith” Association,  discussed the preliminary report on the situation related to the application of legal framework in regards to the recent wiretapping, while Liljana Pecova-Ilieska from “Metamorphosis” presented the results of the monitoring of institutional openness and transparency for the Republic of Macedonia from the project, “Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in SEE” (ActionSEE).

In the discussion for journalists, jurists, lawyers and activists, the message emphasized the raising of public awareness on international legal standards that ought to be implemented, as well as the sharing of experiences of jurists working in these areas in Macedonia, as well as law on internet-related cases.

NGOs demand that inspections and political persecution stop

Skopje, 29 May, 2017 - 14:27 (META) 

Today, NGOs called on the new government and institutions to immediately stop political pressure which, they say unfairly and deliberately exposed 20 CSOs since December, when VMRO-DPMNE called for the “persecution” of civil society organizations.

“We ask that the basis for the inspections are verified and the misconduct of political pressure and discrimination is investigated.We also ask that the decision by the current technical government is withdrawn to grant 800,000 euros to civil organizations, which the public heard for the first time in the publication of their names as recipients of government money – on behalf of 20 NGOs, Dona Kosturanova of the “Youth Educational Forum”, Filip Stojanovski from the “Metamorphosis” Foundation and Zekir Abdulov from organization KHAM – Delcevo.

They pointed out that in the past months these organizations were under constant pressure and inspections carried out by the Public Revenue Office, the Financial Police and the Interior Ministry, at the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Financial Intelligence Agency and the State Anti-Corruption Commission.

Kosturanova said that so far a few fines were given, and the most impressionable was the example of KHAM – Delcevo, who now have to pay a 3,500 euro fine for personal income tax divided for humanitarian aid and interest due to late payment.

With the request for the persecution to stop, the informal coalition of NGOs requested that the decision of the current technical government is reviewed to distribute 800,000 euros to unknown CSOs, as the sum is the largest to date.

“The call was open amidst the political persecution of non-governmental organizations, while the same government wants to allocate funds higher than any they have separated for NGOs. While last year, they signed contracts of 5,000 euros, and now that has increased to 50,000 euros. For all of these reasons, we ask that the decision on awarding public funds to be revised as soon as possible”, said Stojanovski.

SOS wants to harm civil society organizations with lies, slander and manipulation

Skopje, 7 February, 2017 - 14:52 (META) 

Today at a press conference, 21 civil society organizations demanded a public apology and a withdrawal of all the lies, slander and misinformation presented by “Stop Operation Soros” (SOS).

If they do not receive a public apology, they say that they will be forced to seek justice in court, in other words, they will file lawsuits against them for slander and insult.

“The SOS and the people who issue orders, are obviously frustrated with free and independent civil society organizations, freedom of expression and, in general, all democratic values and principles. So in public, they spread lies, manipulated data and misleading information with the intent to silence civil society organizations”, said Filip Stojanovski, Program Director at the Foundation for Internet and Society “Metamorphosis”.

Civil society organizations stressed that it is defamation and a lie and that they were working to destabilize the country that caused the crisis, that they worked for partisan purposes and were paid to go to the protests and received millions in their accounts for partisan purposes.

“We are sending a message to all state institutions which have information on the work of civil society organizations, not to exceed their legal powers and not be put in service of the undemocratic campaign against open minded civil society organizations”, said Sanja Bogatinovski from the Association of Young European Federalists.

Civil society organizations also sent a message that they will remain true to their commitment to freedom, democracy, equality, justice and respect for human rights.

“Microsoft” and “Metamorphosis”: Free “Office 365” for NGOs

Скопје, 17 March, 2015 - 13:52 (META) 

NGO sector for the first time has the opportunity to get free access to “Microsoft Office 365” on “Microsoft” day dedicated to the civil sector. Workshop and debate “Initiate changes with Microsoft Office 365 and cloud technology” organized by Foundation for Internet and Society “Metamorphosis” with the support of “Microsoft Macedonia”.

At the event, representatives of civil society were enabled to learn more about opportunities to get software donations from “Microsoft Cybergrants” program.

– “Microsoft” has long recognized the role and importance of NGO sector for progress and development of society and putting technology and IT software and equipment available to NGOs, it is trying to help NGOs in carrying out their important social missions. This year’s novelty is that the platform “Office 365” for cooperation and communication has become available for civil society in Macedonia. We hope that this will contribute to increase the productivity and effectiveness of NGOs – says Stefan Plavjanski, General Manager of “Microsoft Macedonia”.

“TechSoup Balkan” program, through which civil organizations have the opportunity to purchase software from different companies, was also presented at the event.

– The purpose of “Metamorphosis” is to help NGOs increase their capacity. We do this through ongoing activities in the form of trainings, and we also have this dimension of enabling access to software in our work. We have promoted free software in the past, but in situations where manufacturers of proprietary software are ready to help society, we cooperate with them. The best example of this is our collaboration with “Microsoft”. By enabling software donations, new opportunities are opening up for NGOs which want to use this software, particularly through “TechSoup Balkan” – said Filip Stojanovski, Program Director of “Metamorphosis” Foundation.