Meet the People Behind BIRN: Matteo Mastracci

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Each month, BIRN introduces you to members of its team. For November, meet Matteo Mastracci, our new Digital Rights Researcher.

Matteo, 35, is from Italy and studied International Law and Human Rights. He joined BIRN’s multinational team in October.

“One great thing to be a researcher at BIRN is working in a big and multi-skilled team, and this means there is always a lot to learn from everyone,” says Matteo.

In November, BIRN introduced its new focus page, COVID-19 Crisis Tech Response Livefeed, a unique tool to track and map the use of technology and digital solutions (both good and bad) in Central and South-East Europe amid the ongoing health crisis. “Our goal is to keep revealing wrongdoings, trends and connections that would otherwise remain hidden in order to help civil society organisations and media respond more quickly and efficiently to future crises,” says Matteo.

We live in an era in which digital rights matter more than ever, he explains. “We are now living much more online than before. In a way, our protection and presence on the net is guaranteed by digital rights,” adds Matteo.

He says that BIRN wants to continue to expose the effects of digital violations. “Our programme will also have a special focus on gender-based violence occurring in the digital environment. We will also publish a new report on digital rights which will cover violations recorded from August 2020 to August 2021,” he says.

BIRN’s monitoring platform, BIRD, already covers six countries in Southern and Eastern Europe, and will soon expand to include cases from other two countries, Montenegro and Kosovo, he adds.

“Finally, we have also launched a biweekly review on Balkan Insight – Ongoing Tensions in Fragile Environments is the newest one – in which we update readers on the latest digital rights violations recorded in the region,” Matteo says.