01 December 2019

China due to introduce face scans for mobile users BBC

People in China are now required to have their faces scanned when registering new mobile phone services, as the authorities seek to verify the identities of the country's hundreds of millions of internet users.

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27 November 2019

A 17-year-old posted to TikTok about China’s detention camps. She was locked out of her account New York Times

Feroza Aziz started her TikTok video like a typical makeup tutorial, telling viewers she would show them how to get long eyelashes. Then the 17-year-old stopped abruptly, calling instead on viewers to start researching the harrowing conditions facing Muslims in China’s detention camps.

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25 November 2019

How Iran Turned Off the Internet: Cutting off internet access isn't as easy as flipping a switch. Slate

Ten years ago, a Senate bill proposed by Sens. John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe spurred considerable controversy. The bill, which never even came up for a vote, would have made it possible for the U.S. government to build an “internet kill switch” that would allow it to shut off the internet in the event of an emergency. The proposal drew significant criticism, and U.S. politicians backed off relatively quickly, but in other countries around the world, the kill switch model was—and is—very real, as Iran’s government has just demonstrated. On Nov. 16, amid widespread political protest, most of the country was cut off from the global internet. After five days of isolation, the government announced Thursday that access would be “gradually restored.”

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22 November 2019

Iran net outage first to effectively isolate a whole nation Associated Press

Internet connectivity is trickling back in Iran after the government shut down access to the rest of the world for more than four days in response to unrest apparently triggered by a gasoline price hike.

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21 November 2019

Iran's internet blackout reaches four-day mark BBC

A country of 80 million people - and practically no way to get online. Iran's internet shutdown has lasted for four days now, sparking international concern.

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18 November 2019

Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access New York Times

Iran imposed an almost complete nationwide internet blackout on Sunday one of its most draconian attempts to cut off Iranians from each other and the rest of the world as widespread anti-government unrest roiled the streets of Tehran and other cities for a third day.

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17 November 2019

Chinese Internet users are fascinated by a mysterious Web browser promising legal access to banned sites. They're also very skeptical. Washington Post

Many international social media websites are banned in China, and using special software called a virtual private network to access them can sometimes lead to jail time.

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12 November 2019

Study: Russia's web-censoring tool sets pace for imitators Associated Press

Russia is succeeding in imposing a highly effective internet censorship regime across thousands of disparate, privately owned providers in an effort also aimed at making government snooping pervasive, according to a study released Wednesday.

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09 November 2019

Why Spy on Twitter? For Saudi Arabia, It's the Town Square New York Times

In Saudi Arabia, where a relatively closed culture leaves citizens few public forums to discuss news and politics, Twitter has become a kind of town square, the place where citizens meet to swap information and debate the latest issues.

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08 November 2019

Social media are a growing conduit for electoral manipulation and mass surveillance Freedom House

Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2019, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of internet freedom, released today by Freedom House.

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30 October 2019

The fight to keep the internet free and open for everyone BBC News

Connecting the world is seen as a humanitarian mission for some technology evangelists – but ensuring a free and open web is a harder problem to solve.

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19 October 2019

Internet restrictions would only exacerbate Hong Kong's problems Al Jazeera

On October 4, after four months of increasingly violent protests, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, invoked a colonial-era law allowing her to make "any regulations whatsoever" during a time of public danger.

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26 September 2019

At Least 70 Countries Have Engaged in Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds New York Times

In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopia’s ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor.

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08 September 2019

The Post's View: More governments are shutting down the Internet. The harm is far-reaching. Washington Post

What’s a repressive government to do when the Internet gives protesters new ways to speak up? That’s easy: shut the whole thing down.

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03 September 2019

Life in an Internet Shutdown: Crossing Borders for Email and Contraband SIM Cards New York Times

... Internet shutdowns have become one of the defining tools of government repression in the 21st century — not just in Zimbabwe, but in a growing number of countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, that are seeking to quash dissent.

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15 August 2019

India Shut Down Kashmir's Internet Access. Now, 'We Cannot Do Anything.' New York Times

Pharmacists can’t restock medicines; workers aren’t being paid. But the government still loves to block the internet for “peace and tranquillity.”

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08 August 2019

Free speech and privacy on the wane across the world The Guardian

Nearly half the world’s people are living in countries where their freedom of speech and right to privacy are being eroded, researchers have found.

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25 July 2019

How Arab governments use cyber laws to shut down activism: Critical Arab voices are being silenced on Twitter, and laws across the Middle East are created to further this cause. Al Jazeera

For human rights activists, journalists, dissidents and free speech campaigners, social media has long been a double-edged sword, representing both the positive and harmful aspects of open communication on the internet.

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02 July 2019

The Government Cut Their Internet. Will Abuses Now Remain Hidden? New York Times

With ethnic conflict spreading in Rakhine State in Myanmar, a government-led online shutdown could hide human rights abuses and leave vulnerable populations in the dark.

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17 June 2019

Internet blackouts: The rise of government-imposed shutdowns Al Jazeera

Sudan's internet blackout has gained global attention, but it is not unique. Shutdowns are on the rise around the world.

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02 May 2019

Sri Lanka's President Lifts Ban on Social Media New York Times

Sri Lanka’s president on Tuesday called for the “immediate” lifting of a temporary ban on several social media networks, a clampdown that had been intended to prevent the spread of misinformation after devastating suicide bombings on Easter.

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26 April 2019

Tiananmen Square protests and China's fight for internet control Al Jazeera

Since President Xi took power in 2012, China has launched an unprecedented crackdown on online freedom.

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17 April 2019

Tiktok: India bans video sharing app The Guardian

The Indian government has ordered Google and Apple to take down the Chinese-owned Tiktok video app after a court expressed concerns over the spread of pornographic material.

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20 March 2019

Vladimir Putin signs sweeping Internet-censorship bills ars technica

President Vladimir Putin has tightened his grip on the Russian Internet Monday, signing two censorship bills into law. One bans "fake news" while the other makes it illegal to insult public officials.

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05 February 2019

China's Online Censorship Stifles Trade, Too by Tim Wu New York Times

As China and the United States engage in high-level negotiations over a possible trade deal, it’s puzzling to see what’s been left off the table: the Chinese internet market. China blocks or hinders nearly every important foreign competitor online, including Google, Facebook, Wikipedia in Chinese, Pinterest, Line (the major Japanese messaging company), Reddit and The New York Times. Even Peppa Pig, a British cartoon character and internet video sensation, has been censored on and off; an editorial in the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper once warned that she could “destroy children’s youth.”

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