July, 2008

Stories from July, 2008

No to Kuwait's New Internet Law

  30 July 2008

Kuwaiti bloggers are angry at a proposed new Internet Law, which they claim would make their days as free bloggers numbered, after Attorney General Hamad Al Othman announced that a new law dealing with Internet crimes will be issued soon. Abdullatif Al Omar takes a closer look at the Kuwaiti blogosphere and their reactions to the impending law.

China: Another popular blog site shut down for the Olympics

  24 July 2008

Sohoxiaobao, not the prettiest but definitely one of the earlier blog service providers in China, has been out of operation for a week now. We've reported here on Sohoxiaobao before; some of you might remember the story of Chinese police officer and artist Wu Youming who lost his job due...

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NGOs: Defending the voices

  15 July 2008

At the end of our first day of open work, GV founder Rebecca MacKinnon put an important idea on the table: censorship is not only a political or technological problem; it is also a social problem. Thus, it is important to encourage bloggers to resist; to keep blogging. In this last task, the NGOs are one of the most valuable resources for bloggers who need help to keep blogging actively for their causes. The main question for the session was how NGOs can help more effectively.

China: Locking down IDC server rooms for the Olympics

  15 July 2008

While Chinese webmasters wait to see if the Olympics will bring tightened reins on the internet as is widely expected, more specific documents have recently appeared online which suggest part of Beijing's Olympic Plan is to place controls over Chinese internet data centers of severity that hasn't been seen since...

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Russia: One Year in Prison for Blog Comment

  15 July 2008

On July 7, Savva Terentyev, 22, a Russian blogger and musician, received a one-year suspended jail sentence for a comment he posted on Feb. 15, 2007, on the blog of a local journalist Boris Suranov. Below are rough translations of the comment and a small passage from the verdict, as well as an opinion poll on the impact of Terentyev's case on the freedom of expression in the Russian blogosphere.

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Belarus: The Blast, the Arrests, and Bloggers’ Solidarity

  15 July 2008

A week ago, a homemade bomb packed with bolts and screws tore through a crowd of thousands of people who had gathered for the Independence Day all-night concert near the World War II monument in central Minsk. The blast occurred around 12:30 a.m on July 4; some 54 people were wounded; Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko happened to be nearby when the bomb went off, but was not hurt.

Iran:Jahan News site was filtered

  14 July 2008

Several Iranian blogs and sites reported that Iran based Jahannews (means world news) site was filtered last week after it published a letter, written by an Iranian parliament member, criticizing Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran's chief prosecutor. The main issue in this letter was about corruption in one of Iranian universities.

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Guide: A DigiActive Introduction to Facebook Activism

  13 July 2008

The guide provides an overview some best practices with Facebook activism along with information about what and what not to expect. The end of the piece provides a closer look into three successful Facebook-driven campaigns from Egypt, Burma, and Morocco.

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Activists Meet the Academy: GVO Summit Day 1, Session 4

  12 July 2008

Participants of the fourth session of Global Voices first day of its Summit 2008, discussed the tools to help create better internet access while maintaining anonymity. The session, which carried the title “Front Line Activists meet the Academy: Tools and Knowledge,” provided hands-on information for internet users from repressive states and those with freer governments.

Iran: Students support Tavancheh, a leftist student

  11 July 2008

Abed Tavancheha, an Iranian leftist student and blogger, was sentenced to 8 months prison for his political activities. He has less than 3 weeks to request an appeal. More than 100 students signed a petition in Sos Tavancheh to support this leftist student.

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No Movement on Death Sentence for Afghan Internet User

  10 July 2008

Journalism student Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh, accused of supposedly copyng text from an Iranian website criticizing Islam's stance on the treatment of women and sentenced to death for heresy, was berated by his own judge at his most recent appeals hearing, according to Jean MacKenzie at IWPR.

China: Details on Olympic internet crackdown appear

  5 July 2008

Beijing's Olympic Plan for the mainland China-based portion of the blogging and BBSing netosphere is starting to take shape. While on one hand it's coming coated in talk of self-restraint and uses words like “professional” and “responsibility”, the wording in an official notice [zh] which appeared online this week and...

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Portugal: First blog ever to be blocked

  5 July 2008

June saw for the first time ever a blog suspended in Portugal because of a local court decision. The now defunct Póvoa Online blog had been taken to court by Póvoa do Varzim’s council president, Macedo Vieira, and his deputy, Aires Pereira, who claimed the bloggers had been using the blog merely to defame them. The court concluded that most of the blog’s content were opinionated articles, and that its authors criticized Macedo Vieira and Aires Pereira not only as the council’s president and vice-president, but also as “citizens, fathers, family members and friends”.

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China: Facebook blocked? Not quite!

  4 July 2008

Just as pictures from Hong Kong's annual march for democracy began appearing on Facebook, a segment of the users of the social networking site in mainland China began blogging their troubles accessing the site altogether, seemingly fulfilling predictions made when news that a localized Chinese version of Facebook was in...

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Iran: Death Penalty for Blogging?

  4 July 2008

On Wednesday, Iranian members of parliament voted to discuss a draft bill that seeks to “toughen punishment for disturbing mental security in society.” The text of the bill would add, “establishing websites and weblogs promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy,” to the list of crimes punishable by death. In recent years,...

Iran: Hardliners mull death penalty for Internet crimes

  3 July 2008

According to several news sites Iran's parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet. According to this draft bill bloggers can face the death penalty too.

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Towards a total human rights outlook

  2 July 2008

How can NGOs seeking to advance freedom of expression most effectively work with on-the-ground free speech activists to combat censorship? As a journalist, author and blogger living in Sydney, Australia, the opportunity to be involved in this Global Voices event is a privilege. I thank the organisers for the opportunity.

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Citizen Media and Online Free Speech

  2 July 2008

While the first session of the 2008 Global Voices Summit focused on how internet censorship works in Belarus, Japan, Egypt, and Pakistan, and how activists have responded to those limitations, the second session was specifically focused on how censorship affects bloggers and citizen media.

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A global anti-censorship network: GV08 Summit Day One, Session One

  2 July 2008

Also making opening remarks on Day One was Sami Ben Ghabia, Adcovacy Director for Global Voices. Sami is originally from Tunisia, but is now living in the Netherlands. Sami described how the Advocacy Project for Global Voices has been following how citizens are using digital media for social activism.

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