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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05 August 2015

India withdraws order to block pornography sites Reuters

India has partially revoked an order to block hundreds of pornographic websites following an uproar on social media, but the government ordered Internet service providers to shut down sites that promote child pornography.

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04 August 2015

India blocks access to 857 porn sites BBC News

India has blocked free access to 857 porn sites in what it says is a move to prevent children from accessing them.

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02 July 2015

China passes new national security law extending control over internet The Guardian

China has passed a wide-ranging national security law expanding its legal reach over the internet and even outer space as concerns grow about ever-tighter limits on rights.

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14 June 2015

Chinese Hackers Circumvent Popular Web Privacy Tools New York Times

Chinese hackers have found a way around widely used privacy technology to target the creators and readers of web content that state censors have deemed hostile, according to new research.

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04 June 2015

The Myth of a Borderless Internet: Where you are changes what you can see online: Americans can see tweets that Pakistanis can't. The Atlantic

Almost a decade ago now, McDonald's made a seemingly innocuous decision. On the side of Happy Meals distributed in Morocco in 2008, it put a small map of the region. The map showed a border between the disputed territory of Western Sahara and Morocco -- a vision of reality that differed from, among other accounts, Morocco's official stance.

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02 June 2015

China's "Internet police" open a window on Web censorship Reuters

The branch of China's police in charge of censoring "illegal and harmful" online information will make its efforts more visible to the public from Monday with the launch of their own social media accounts, the Ministry of Public Security said.

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25 May 2015

Africa's Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could be Coming to South Africa Electronic Frontier Foundation

Only once in a while does an Internet censorship law or regulation come along that is so audacious in its scope, so misguided in its premises, and so poorly thought out in its execution, that you have to check your calendar to make sure April 1 hasn't come around again.

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22 May 2015

Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations Reuters

Russia's media watchdog has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian Internet laws and a spokesman said on Thursday they risk being blocked if they do not comply with the rules.

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16 May 2015

Digital age poses a new challenge to Iran's relentless book censors The Guardian

Writers and translators turn to internet to publish their work - and to avoid the anonymous scrutineers who remove words such as 'kiss' and 'wine'

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14 May 2015

Surveilling and censoring the internet in Pakistan Al Jazeera

A new bill before parliament could severely limit internet freedom and raises concerns the state is legalising censorship and mass digital surveillance, rights activists say.

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09 May 2015

Why Google and other tech giants are creating tools for political dissidents The Guardian

When Saudi Arabia announced plans to flog dissident blogger Raif Badawi earlier this year, Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, and his sister, Samar Badawi, took to the internet, joining Movements.org. An online platform set up to crowdsource human rights support from around the world, the site isn't the brainchild of an activist organization or a nonprofit. Rather, it is the product of a company that has drawn a great deal of criticism for its fraught relationship with free speech: Google.

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03 May 2015

New EFF '404' Report Shows How Draconian Copyright Policies Stifle Online Speech Worldwide Electronic Frontier Foundation

Overly broad intellectual property (IP) laws in Russia, Colombia, and Pakistan -- which U.S. trade regulators say aren't tough enough -- stifle access to innovation and threaten artists, students, and creators around the globe with prison, censorship, and state prosecution, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a new report released today.

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10 April 2015

Twitter Says It Suspended 10,000 ISIS-Linked Accounts in One Day New York Times

Activists and experts who monitor the Twitter traffic of the Islamic State and its supporters noticed something odd last week when many accounts suddenly disappeared.

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08 April 2015

Google Dodges a Ban in Turkey Over Hostage Photo New York Times

Google was spared on Tuesday from a recent wave of Internet bans in Turkey after it reportedly complied with a court order to remove links to images of Mehmet Selim Kiraz, a prosecutor who died after leftist militants took him hostage at an Istanbul courthouse last week.

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07 April 2015

Turkish Internet Users Circumvent Government's Ban on Twitter Wall Street Journal

Turkey's government is no match for the country's savvy Internet users, whose expertise in skirting bans was once again on display Monday as authorities blocked Twitter and YouTube, Google Inc.'s video platform.

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Turkey Twitter block lifted after image removed BBC News

Social media restrictions are being lifted in Turkey, as sites comply with a court order to stop sharing images of a prosecutor being held at gunpoint.

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06 April 2015

Turkey blocks Twitter, YouTube over hostage photos BBC News

A Turkish court has ordered blocks on Twitter and YouTube for sharing photos of a hostage taken during an armed siege last week.

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25 March 2015

Beijing official says Chinese have no need for blocked websites Reuters

If Beijing is successful in its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics then foreigners who attend will get uncensored Internet access, but this isn't an issue for Chinese who "don't like" sites like Facebook and Twitter, an official said on Wednesday.

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20 March 2015

Reuters websites become inaccessible in China Reuters

The news websites of Reuters, including those in English and Chinese, were inaccessible in China on Friday, after users first experienced difficulties accessing them late on Thursday.

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17 March 2015

French government orders website block BBC News

The French authorities have used new powers to block five websites, which they claim condone terrorism, without a court order.

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Facebook Clarifies Rules on What It Bans and Why New York Times

With 1.39 billion active users worldwide, Facebook's social network is the closest thing we have to a universal communication platform. And people post -- or try to post -- just about everything you can imagine.

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14 March 2015

Islamist Websites in Turkey Manage to Evade Strict Internet Censorship New York Times

The websites of an atheist association, the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Kurdish separatist organization are blocked to Turkish Internet users. But many sites that promote extreme Islamist messages -- even some that are outright sympathetic to the Islamic State, the militant organization that has marauded through Iraq and Syria -- escape Turkey's censors.

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