17 May 2016

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube face French action over hate speech BBC News

Three organisations in France say they are planning legal action against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for failing to remove hate speech.

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14 April 2016

Banging Your Head Against A Wall: China Shrugs at U.S. Criticism of Censorship Council on Foreign Relations

Last week, the U.S. government claimed that the Chinese government's Internet censorship system, colloquially known as the Great Firewall, is a barrier to trade. In its annual National Trade Estimate Report, the United States Trade Representative's (USTR) office stated that "China's filtering of cross-border Internet traffic has posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers," a fairly strong statement.

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12 April 2016

China internet regulator says web censorship not a trade barrier Reuters

China's online censorship system protects national security and does not discriminate against foreign companies, the country's internet regulator said, after the United States labelled the blocking of websites by Beijing a trade barrier.

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06 April 2016

Architect of China's 'Great Firewall' Bumps Into It New York Times

Anyone who tries to scramble over China's "Great Firewall" knows the feeling of frustration when those attempts fail. So, too, does the man credited with developing the system, which blocks access to unapproved foreign websites.

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03 April 2016

EFF to Copyright Office: Improper Content Takedowns Hurt Online Free Expression Electronic Frontier Foundation

Content takedowns based on unfounded copyright claims are hurting online free expression, the Electronic Frontier Foundation told the U.S. Copyright Office Friday, arguing that any reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) should focus on protecting Internet speech and creativity.

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26 February 2016

Crackdowns on Free Speech Rise Across a Europe Wary of Terror New York Times

A puppet show at an open square in Madrid during Carnival festivities this month featured a policeman who tried to entrap a witch. The puppet officer held up a little sign to falsely accuse her, using a play on words that combined Al Qaeda and ETA, the Basque separatist group.

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06 February 2016

Twitter suspends 125,000 'terrorism' accounts BBC News

Twitter says it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 "for threatening or promoting terrorist acts".

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05 February 2016

Blocking all offensive websites is impossible, says Pakistan Telecommunication Auhtority Express Tribune

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has finally admitted that it is virtually impossible to block all offensive websites as hundreds of sites emerge every day and even if blocked these may be accessed through proxy sites.

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19 January 2016

Pakistan lifts ban on Youtube after launch of own version Reuters

Pakistan said on Monday it had removed a three-year ban on YouTube after the Google-owned video-sharing website launched a local version that allows the government to remove material it considers offensive.

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01 January 2016

Egypt Officials Stop Facebook Program for Free Access to Internet New York Times

A program that provided more than three million Egyptians with free access to Internet services was abruptly shut down on Wednesday, according to Facebook, the social media company that provided the program in cooperation with an Egyptian cellphone company. The reasons for the suspension were not immediately clear. A person familiar with the program, called Free Basics, which provides free access to text-only versions of Facebook and other services, said the Egyptian government had ordered it closed down. Reuters quoted an Egyptian telecommunications official as saying that Etisalat, the cellphone company that carried the services, had been granted a two-month permit for Free Basics that had expired on Wednesday.

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28 December 2015

ISIS Influence on Web Prompts Second Thoughts on First Amendment New York Times

It is one of the most hallowed precepts in modern constitutional law: Freedom of speech may not be curbed unless it poses a “clear and present danger” — an actual, imminent threat, not the mere advocacy of harmful acts or ideas. But in response to the Islamic State’s success in grooming jihadists over the Internet, some legal scholars are asking whether it is time to reconsider that constitutional line. Appeals for a tougher response to the Islamic State’s online recruiting efforts have, not surprisingly, emerged from the political realm. Donald J. Trump said the government should call on Bill Gates and others to somehow close off dangerous Internet sites, and called First Amendment concerns foolish.

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18 December 2015

Brazil’s ban on WhatsApp is lifted less than 24 hours after it began Washington Post

The day after a Brazilian judge ordered the suspension of the Whatsapp cellphone chat and voice service for 48 hours, cutting off millions of users from one of the country's most popular communication services, another judge overturned the ban.

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17 December 2015

China's Xi Jinping says internet users must be free to speak their minds The Guardian

Chinese citizens should have the right to speak their minds on the internet, president Xi Jinping has claimed, just two days after a prominent free speech advocate was put on trial for sending seven tweets.

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16 December 2015

Tech companies must reject China's repressive internet rules Amnesty

Tech firms must reject the Chinese authorities' efforts to influence global internet governance in ways that would curb freedom of expression and exacerbate human rights abuses, Amnesty International said ahead of China hosting a major internet summit.

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12 December 2015

Turkey fines Twitter over 'terrorist propaganda' BBC News

Turkey's communications regulator has fined Twitter 150,000 lira (£33,000) for failing to remove "terrorist propaganda".

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09 December 2015

Why Donald Trump's Call to 'Close Up' the Internet Is Science Fiction New York Times

It is not clear what Donald Trump actually meant on Monday when he conjured up the idea of getting Bill Gates to help "close up" the Internet.

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04 December 2015

Kazakhstan Moves to Tighten Control of Internet Traffic New York Times

Government officials in Kazakhstan are borrowing a page from China, quietly devising their own version of China's so-called Great Firewall to unscramble encrypted web and mobile traffic as it flows in and out of Kazakh borders.

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24 November 2015

Stopping WhatsApp Won't Stop Terrorists New York Times

Is the ability to send encrypted messages making it hard to stop terrorists? That's what many intelligence officials and politicians have been saying about rumors that the terrorists in France communicated using encrypted services like WhatsApp or Apple iMessage.

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02 November 2015

China Censors Your Internet: Beijing thinks Taylor Swift's '1989' is code for Tiananmen Square and must be blocked. Wall Street Journal

Taylor Swift is lucky she didn't wait till this year to release her hit album "1989." To her fans, the title refers to her birth year. To Beijing, it's a veiled reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre. Unless the U.S. stops it, China has found a way to bar anyone anywhere in the world -- including Ms. Swift -- from using certain Web addresses it finds politically offensive.

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30 October 2015

China Ranks Last of 65 Nations in Internet Freedom New York Times

China ranks last in the world for openness among countries studied in a new report on Internet freedom by a prominent American pro-democracy group.

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29 October 2015

The Internet is getting less and less free Washington Post

Surveillance, attacks on digital speech, outright censorship and imprisonment are making the Internet less and less free, an annual Freedom House study has concluded.

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15 September 2015

Baidu and CloudFlare Boost Users Over China's Great Firewall New York Times

It is one of the best-guarded borders in the world, and one of the most time-consuming to cross. Yet in the past few months, a new agreement has let people speed over it billions of times.

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14 September 2015

Knowledge is power: How the Kremlin controls the Russian internet [book review] The Economist

THE Soviet Union was "the prison of information" and Vladimir Putin's Russia risks becoming one too. That is the grim message of "The Red Web", a well researched and disturbing book by two brave Russian authors. Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan caught global attention with "The New Nobility", an earlier book on the caste of spooks and strongmen who run Russia.

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26 August 2015

Russian Internet watchdog orders ISPs to block Wikipedia CNET

The Russian government has aimed its cyber crosshairs at Wikipedia, ordering the country's Internet service providers to block the widely read online encyclopaedia.

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10 August 2015

How India tried to ban porn and failed The Economist

This week Narendra Modi's government was left looking rather red-faced. Late last week it had quietly told telecoms companies around the country to block public access to 857 porn sites, citing the need to protect public morality. Days later, on August 4th, the telecoms minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, backed down, saying the sites should not be blocked after all, other than any proven to be showing child pornography. The reversal coincided with another official climb-down, as the government in effect gave up on important plans to change the way land is bought and sold. Together they suggest Mr Modi's administration is making a habit of misjudging policy and the public mood. In the case of pornography in India, what went awry?

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