18 March 2020

Coronavirus Outrage Spurs China's Internet Police to Action New York Times

Online enforcers are dragging in hundreds for questioning as an assault on online speech continues. They are a sign how Beijing has given censors a more punitive role.

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05 March 2020

Freedom in the World 2020: A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy Freedom House

Democracy and pluralism are under assault. Dictators are toiling to stamp out the last vestiges of domestic dissent and spread their harmful influence to new corners of the world. At the same time, many freely elected leaders are dramatically narrowing their concerns to a blinkered interpretation of the national interest. In fact, such leaders—including the chief executives of the United States and India, the world’s two largest democracies—are increasingly willing to break down institutional safeguards and disregard the rights of critics and minorities as they pursue their populist agendas.

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27 January 2020

The Kremlin is notorious for global meddling online. But controlling cyberspace at home has been trickier. Washington Post

On a stretch of Norway’s Arctic border known for its views of the Northern Lights is the small town of Kirkenes. Its population is under 4,000, and the local online newspaper has a staff of just two.

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18 January 2020

Vietnam's battalions of 'cyber-armies' silencing online dissent Al Jazeera

'Force 47', thought to be 10,000-strong, seen as government's online enforcers as new cybercrime law takes effect.

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15 January 2020

India Lost at Least A$1.88 billion to Internet Shutdowns Last Year Bloomberg

India lost more than A$1.93 billion to internet restrictions in 2019 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government pushed ahead with his party’s Hindu nationalist agenda, raising tensions and sparking nationwide protests.

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10 January 2020

Internet shutdowns cost the global economy $8 billion last year, report says CNN

More than 18,000 hours of internet shutdowns around the world caused by deliberate government action cost more than $8 billion in 2019, a new report estimates.

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29 December 2019

Iran internet 'disrupted' ahead of protests BBC

Internet services have been disrupted in parts of Iran amid reports it is being cut off ahead of planned anti-government protests on Thursday.

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Internet banned in India's Uttar Pradesh amid anger over killings Al Jazeera

Indian authorities have stepped up security in major cities and mobile data services were suspended in some places amid nationwide protests against a new citizenship law.

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21 December 2019

Why India shuts down the internet more than any other democracy BBC

As protests over a controversial citizenship law rage across India, authorities resorted to shutting down the internet in cities where demonstrators flooded the streets. These are the latest shutdowns in a country which has seen the highest number of internet blocks in the world so far this year.

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20 December 2019

India's internet curbs are part of growing global trend The Guardian

On Thursday, internet shutdowns came to the capital city of the world’s largest democracy. The suspension of data services, phone calls and texting to curb protests in parts of Delhi was an inauspicious milestone for a tactic that is becoming an increasingly common tool for authoritarian governments – but practised most often by India.

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18 December 2019

India Adopts the Tactic of Authoritarians: Shutting Down the Internet New York Times

As the government of India pushes increasingly provocative policies, it is using a tactic to stifle dissent that is more commonly associated with authoritarian regimes, not democracies: It is shutting down the internet.

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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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