17 November 2017

China cyber watchdog rejects censorship critics, says internet must be 'orderly' Reuters

China’s top cyber authority on Thursday rejected a recent report ranking it last out of 65 countries for press freedom, saying the internet must be “orderly” and the international community should join it in addressing fake news and other cyber issues.

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16 November 2017

New Report - Freedom on the Net 2017: Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy Freedom House

Governments around the world are dramatically increasing their efforts to manipulate information on social media, threatening the notion of the internet as a liberating technology, according to Freedom on the Net 2017, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of online freedom, released today by Freedom House.

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08 October 2017

When YouTube Removes Violent Videos, It Impedes Justice Wired

Among the half-million hours of video uploaded to YouTube on March 20, 2017, was a disturbing 18-second clip showing a gunman executing three people — bound and facing a wall — on a dusty street, purportedly in Benghazi, Libya.

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27 September 2017

68 Things You Cannot Say on China's Internet New York Times

Song Jie, a writer in central China, knows what she can and cannot write in the romance novels she publishes online. Words that describe explicit sexual acts are out, of course. So are those for sexual organs. Even euphemisms like “behind” or “bottom” can trigger censorship by automatic software filters or a website’s employees.

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China Blocks WhatsApp, Broadening Online Censorship New York Times

China has largely blocked the WhatsApp messaging app, the latest move by Beijing to step up surveillance ahead of a big Communist Party gathering next month.

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19 September 2017

Facebook Silences Rohingya Reports of Ethnic Cleansing Daily Beast

Rohingya activists—in Burma and in Western countries—tell The Daily Beast that Facebook has been removing their posts documenting the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people in Burma (also known as Myanmar). They said their accounts are frequently suspended or taken down.

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Internet shutdowns raise free speech concerns in India Al Jazeera

Government interference with Indians' internet usage has risen steadily in recent years, leading to fears authorities are attempting to curb free speech, digital advocacy groups say.

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18 September 2017

Facebook Navigates an Internet Fractured by Governmental Controls New York Times

On a muggy, late spring evening, Tuan Pham awoke to the police storming his house in Hanoi, Vietnam. They marched him to a police station and made their demand: Hand over your Facebook password. Mr. Tuan, a computer engineer, had recently written a poem on the social network called “Mother’s Lullaby,” which criticized how the communist country was run.

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02 September 2017

Where to draw the line on hate speech online? Washington Post

Before the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, the Daily Stormer — a neo-Nazi website involved in organizing the white supremacist rally that led to her killing — was easy to find: all you had to do was type in the Web address. Now the site has all but vanished from the Internet. That’s due to the decision of a handful of Internet companies to reject the publication as a customer in the wake of Charlottesville — a reasonable choice that nevertheless raises difficult questions about limiting speech online.

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22 August 2017

The Guardian view on censoring the internet: necessary, but not easy: Editorial The Guardian

Among the more absurd things ever said about the internet was that the network “interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it”. The epigram was half true, but the half that was false gets more important every year.

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19 August 2017

Chinese Watchdog Warns Alibaba on Sale of Web Access Tools Bloomberg

China’s top cyberspace regulators have warned Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and other online services against carrying illicit content, substances and tools to help users circumvent the nation’s internet content barriers.

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10 August 2017

China and Russia go further in squelching Internet freedom: Editorial Washington Post

China’s Great Firewall, a massive system of Internet filters and blocking, has long had a crack in it. The firewall prevents most users inside China from accessing platforms outside the country, such as Facebook, Google and Netflix, in keeping with China’s desire to censor what can be seen and read. But popular software known as virtual private networks, or VPNs, permit a user inside China to tunnel through the firewall. Now the crack is being gradually cemented up.

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'Bollywood blocks the Internet Archive' BBC News

Access to the Internet Archive is being barred within India. The move appears to be the result of two Bollywood production companies attempting to stop pirated copies of their films being viewed online within the country.

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04 August 2017

China's Internet Censors Play a Tougher Game of Cat and Mouse New York Times

The shutdown was unusual, and came without warning. Chinese censors tested on Thursday a new way of shutting down websites and cutting off the country’s internet users from the rest of the world. The censorship drill targeted tools that many in China use to thwart the country’s vast online censorship system, though internet companies said it also hit some sites at random.

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03 August 2017

Apple Caved to China, Just Like Almost Every Other Tech Giant Wired

Apple recently removed some of the virtual private networks from the App Store in China, making it harder for users there to get around internet censorship. Amazon has capitulated to China's censors as well; The New York Times reported this week that the company's China cloud service instructed local customers to stop using software to circumvent that country's censorship apparatus. While caving to China's demands prompts a vocal backlash, for anyone who follows US tech companies in China it was anything but surprising. Apple and Amazon have simply joined the ranks of companies that abandon so-called Western values in order to access the huge Chinese market.

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01 August 2017

Apple's Silence in China Sets a Dangerous Precedent New York Times

A year ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation made an extraordinary demand of Apple. To get inside a dead terrorist’s iPhone, law enforcement officials wanted the company to create a hackable version of the software that runs all iPhones.

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30 July 2017

Apple Removes Apps From China Store That Help Internet Users Evade Censorship New York Times

China appears to have received help on Saturday from an unlikely source in its fight against tools that help users evade its Great Firewall of internet censorship: Apple.

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28 July 2017

Crackdown on Online Criticism Chills Pakistani Social Media New York Times

Dr. Faisal Ranjha was examining a patient in the crowded critical-care unit of his hospital in northeastern Pakistan when a federal officer abruptly walked in, seized his cellphone and told him he was under arrest.

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19 July 2017

Facebook's WhatsApp Blocked in China Amid Censorship Push Bloomberg

Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp messaging service has been partially blocked in China, following a censorship crackdown by the government.

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11 July 2017

China Tells Carriers to Block Access to Personal VPNs by February Bloomberg

China’s government has told telecommunications carriers to block individuals’ access to virtual private networks by Feb. 1, people familiar with the matter said, thereby shutting a major window to the global internet.

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13 June 2017

Pakistan, in a First, Sentences Man to Death Over Blasphemy on Social Media New York Times

An antiterrorism court in Pakistan has sentenced a Shiite man to death for committing blasphemy in posts on social media. The man, Taimoor Raza, 30, was found guilty of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, his wives and others on Facebook and WhatsApp.

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07 June 2017

Twitter Users Blocked by Trump Seek Reprieve, Citing First Amendment New York Times

Lawyers for Twitter users blocked by President Trump after they criticized or mocked him are asking him to reverse the moves, arguing that the Constitution bars him from blocking people on the social media service.

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10 May 2017

China to further tighten its internet controls Reuters

China will further tighten its internet regulations with a pledge on Sunday to strengthen controls over search engines and online news portals, the latest step in President Xi Jinping's push to maintain strict Communist Party control over content.

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09 May 2017

What can the UN do if your country cuts the internet? Al Jazeera

It has been almost a year since internet access was declared a human right, yet infringements continue.

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04 May 2017

China announces tighter regulations for online news BBC News

The Chinese government has issued new regulations tightening its control over online news content.

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