May, 2013

Stories from May, 2013

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Interview: Ali Abdulemam on Human Rights in Bahrain

  30 May 2013

Bahraini blogger, political activist, and Global Voices author Ali Abdulemam, who had been living in hiding in Bahrain for two years, appeared in London in early May, where he has been granted political asylum by the British government. Global Voices Advocacy Director Hisham Almiraat interviewed Abdulemam shortly after his escape from the island nation.

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Latin American and Caribbean Governments Discuss Internet Policies

  30 May 2013

Government leaders and experts from across Latin America and the Caribbean participated in the 4th annual Latin American and Caribbean ministerial conference on the information society. On the agenda were topics like cyber security, open government, and the role of new technologies in innovation.

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A Technological Solution to the Challenges of Online Defamation

  28 May 2013

When people are insulted or humiliated on the Internet, they often feel that someone should pay for the personal damages inflicted. Search engines have been this "someone" in many online defamation cases, a process that often results in search engines being forced to remove large amounts of content from search results. Is this the only way to address the issue? What if we could use technology to help satisfy the problem instead?

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Advocates Challenge Use of FinFisher Surveillance Software in Pakistan

  23 May 2013

The Pakistani human rights organisation Bytes for All is challenging the use of invasive surveillance software by the government of Pakistan. FinFisher, produced by Gamma International, a UK-based company named by Reporters Without Borders as one of five "corporate enemies of the internet" and "digital era mercenaries," is notorious for its advanced spying and surveillance capabilities which are used to target human rights movements all over the world.

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Irrepressible Voices: A New Human Rights Video Website

  21 May 2013

This post introduces the newly launched project Irrepressible Voices, a citizen video platform. Irrepressible Voices aims to fill the gap between citizen journalists' work and mainstream media coverage of human rights issues by connecting online activists, bloggers, and citizen journalists with the mainstream media as well as with policy and decision makers.

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Chad-Senegal: A New Axis of Blogger Persecution?

  18 May 2013

On May 7, Chadian blogger Makaila Nguébla, who had lived in exile in Senegal for eight years, was arrested by Senegalese intelligence services and deported to Conakry (Republic of Guinea) from Dakar. Nguébla is the editor of the collective blog Makaila Info, an information and opinion site that is highly popular among Chadians inside the country and abroad. Advocates fear this may be part of a larger trend of online censorship and blogger persecution in Chad.

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Netizen Report: Bahraini Blogger Surfaces After Two Years in Hiding

  16 May 2013

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. This week we begin with the stories of two prominent political bloggers from Bahrain and Chad, both living in exile and facing unique challenges in the online and offline worlds.

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Peruvians To President: Our Digital Rights Are Non-Negotiable

  12 May 2013

Peruvian NGOs have launched a campaign asking President Ollanta Humala Tasso to set clear, non-negotiable limitationss to ensure that Peruvians' fundamental rights in the TPP are respected. The treaty could threaten Internet user's rights to free expression and access to information online, increase controversial aspects of Peruvian copyright law, and restrict the ability of Peru's Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs and realities of Peruvian citizens and their growing technology sector.

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Internet Governance and ICANN: Reflections from Beijing

  11 May 2013

Last month’s ICANN meeting in Beijing was the largest in the Internet governance body's history. Held in Beijing, the meeting, featured a broad range of topics that often connected complex issues such as top-level domain name allocation with issues of free expression and human rights on the Internet. This post offers readers an inside look at the ICANN in its current state.

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Hungary: Government Limits FOIA Transparency Law

  8 May 2013

Last week, Parliamentarians in Hungary took action to change the country's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in an effort to limit the scope of data accessible to the public under the law. The Freedom of Information Act, known as Act CXII of 2011 in Hungary, is vital to the work of Hungarian journalists who cover government activity and corruption. If President János Áder signs the amendment, it will become law.

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Peru: How Will the TPP Affect Users?

  4 May 2013

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a free trade treaty that looks to integrate the economies and markets of the Asia-Pacific region, could have adverse effects on Internet users' abilities to access and share information online. This post examines Peru's involvement in the TPP process.

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Malaysia: News Sites Face Attacks on Eve of Elections

  4 May 2013

The general election campaign period in Malaysia has triggered what independent news site MalaysiaKini is calling “China-style censorship.” In recent weeks, independent news sites Harakah Daily and MalaysiaKini have suffered from DDoS attacks and connection disruption at the ISP level. With elections on May 5, both sites are calling on ISPs and government officials to protect the open Internet.

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In Violation of Constitution, Ethiopian Blogger Will Face 18 Years in Prison

  3 May 2013

On May 1, the Ethiopian Supreme Court upheld the conviction and extreme sentence of award-winning online journalist Eskinder Nega, who now faces 18 years in prison. Mohamed Keita of the Committee to Protect Journalists said in response to the Court’s ruling, “The persecution of Eskinder and other journalists is the hallmark of a regime fearful of the opinions of its citizens.”

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The Future of the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean

  2 May 2013

Nearly 60 specialists and members of civil society gathered in Montevideo, Uruguay, to discuss the future of the Information Society in Latin America in the Caribbean. In the two sessions, which took place on April 1st and April 2nd, attendees from all over the region tackled issues such as privacy, new cooperative business model and copyright.

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