July, 2015

Stories from July, 2015

Digital Citizen 3.4

Digital Citizen is a biweekly review of news, policy, and research on human rights and technology in the Arab World.

Russian Censors Threaten to Shut Down Business Website for Writing About Bitcoin

Officials today told a Russian business-news website today that it must delete or edit within the next three days an article it published about bitcoins.

Russia to Web Anonymizers: Shut Up and Go Away

Russian censors are now officially adding anonymizing websites to their blacklist registry, on the grounds they enable access to extremist content that is already blocked in Russia.

#HackingTeam Leaks: Lebanon’s Cybercrime Bureau Exploited Angry Birds to Surveil Citizens’ Mobile Devices

Lebanon's Cybercrime Bureau seems to be conducting surveillance outside the boundaries of local law — and using Hacking Team software to do it.

Malaysia Blocks News Website and Suspends Two Local Papers for Reporting on Government Corruption

"Our report is based on evidence corroborated by documents that include bank transfers and statements. How can the work we have done be deemed as a political conspiracy?"

Russia Says Twitter Doesn’t Need to Comply With Its New Data-Localization Law

State officials have announced that Twitter can ignore a new law coming into force that will require online services to store all Russian user data on servers located inside Russia.

Russia's Internet Censor Threatens New YouTube Block

Roscomnadzor says the latest block, spurred by uploaded unauthorized copies of two Russian TV shows, may make all of YouTube unavailable to some RuNet users at the end of July.

Netizen Report: You Can’t Encrypt, But We Can Spy

"...the revelations have touched a nerve with certain Global Voices community members who are now virtually certain that their own communications devices were infected and monitored using Hacking Team spyware."

After 6 Years in Jail, the Iranian ‘Blogfather’ Says Today's Internet Has Changed—for the Worse

Derakhshan, a former Global Voices writer, was incarcerated for six years for his blogging. His first English-language piece since his release criticizes the current state of the Internet.

China Blocks Telegram Messenger for ‘Aiding Rights Advocates’

Chinese state-run newspaper People's Daily accused Telegram of aiding human-rights lawyers and advocates, who allegedly used the app and its "Secret Chat" mode to engage in “anti-government" activity.

President Putin Signs Russian ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Into Law

Vladimir Putin signed the "right to be forgotten" search engine law into force, while publicly coming out in support of "minimal restrictions" for the Russian Internet.

What You Need to Know About Ethiopia v. Zone9 Bloggers: Verdict Expected July 20

Ethiopia's Zone9 bloggers have appeared in court 30 times in 15 months, and been adjourned each time. "This is no anomaly in Ethiopia’s highly compromised judiciary system," says Endalk Chala.

Cuba Si, Google No: Cuban Officials Rumored to Reject Google's Free WiFi Offer

In the words of a journalist who has resided in Havana since the early 1990s, "They say that when the donation is too large, even the poor become suspicious."

Netizen Report: Leaked Documents Reveal Egregious Abuse of Power by Venezuela in Twitter Arrests

China moves to "legalize" the Great Firewall, Telegram gets DDoSed, and Russia passes its own Right to Be Forgotten, plus more highlights from the Hacking Team hack.

Australian Artist Jailed in UAE For Posting “Bad Words” on Facebook

An Australian artist found herself thrown into an Abu Dhabi prison and deported for posting a photograph of a car blocking a disabled parking spot.

In Sweeping Effort to Spy on Civil Society, Macedonia Broke Its Own Privacy Laws

"When such a government wiretaps you, it means that you are on the right track," says NGO worker Xhabir Deralla.

Bahrain Releases Human Rights Activist Nabeel Rajab, Only to Send Another Activist Back to Jail

Bahrain released from prison rights activist Nabeel Rajab, and then renewed the detention of political leader Ibrahim Sharif for 15 days. Is the government playing chess with political dissidents?

Serbian Authorities Take Control of A Man's Facebook Account Following Alleged Threats Against PM Vucic

Police in Serbia seem to have overstepped boundaries in search and seizure proceedings, taking over a personal Facebook account without a court order.

Ethiopians React to Bloggers’ Release With Compassion, Criticism

Supporters of the Zone9 blogging collective are expressing both joy and bitterness at the release of some -- but not all -- of the bloggers from prison last week.

Legalizing the Great Firewall: China's New Cyber Security Law Would Codify Censorship, Shutdowns

A new comprehensive cyber security law in China would legalize censorship, authorize network shutdowns, and make real-name registration mandatory.

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