January, 2016

Stories from January, 2016

How Netizens Are Pushing Back Against ISIS’ Social Media ‘Propaganda Machine’

Alongside the efforts of big companies and governments, many independent groups and individuals are making their own efforts to combat ISIS' activities online.

Activist-Blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki Returns To Jail

While much hope and happiness came with the lifting of nuclear sanctions and the release of Iranian-American prisoners in Iran, a blogger and activist returned to jail.

Why I Went Into Exile: A Bangladeshi Blogger Tells His Story

"...[the assailants] want our keyboards, pens to stop...Now its the time to write even more...Otherwise the darkness will win, religious fundamentalism and extremism will win."

#Justice4Morocco: 7 Defenders of Free Expression Face Trial

Since the mid-2000s, the regime of King Mohammed VI has systematically targeted and persecuted Moroccan citizens working to hold their government accountable to its people.

Meet the Thai Facebook User Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Insulting the Monarchy

"It made me question why Thailand is still so poor, and why the poor in Thailand are so repressed.”

Is ISIS Trying To Manipulate the Crypto Debate? Tech Experts Debunk Encrypted Email Video

ISIS releases a new video that aims to play into fears over encrypted communication.

Chinese Netizens Climb Over the Great Firewall to Go After Advocates of Taiwanese Independence

A mainland Chinese netizens’ movement aimed at silencing pro-independence Taiwanese "through civilized methods” has become a humourous emoji battle and a tech lesson in scaling the Great Firewall of China.

Russian LGBT Activist Fined for ‘Propaganda of Homosexuality’ Online

LGBT activist Sergey Alekseenko was accused of "gay propaganda" after posting a quote from a state regulator's report describing another LGBT community on social media.

‘Hands Off Our Privacy': Polish Citizens Speak Out Against Surveillance Law

Poland's parliament is considering a surveillance law that would give authorities fast access to citizens' Internet and telecommunication usage data without prior approval from a judge.

Internet Censorship in Pakistan is Not Just About YouTube

If at all, Internet regulation in Pakistan has been based on ad-hoc decisions that are made in the absence of transparency and accountability.

Netizen Report: Egyptian Activists and Authorities Brace for January 25 Protests

Egyptian activists confront rising tensions approaching the 5th anniversary of the 2011 revolution, Morocco is blocking VoIP apps and China unveils a new assault on circumvention tools.

China is Blocking Circumvention Tools With Help of Cloud Service Providers

Experts estimate that between 1% and 3% of China's internet users are using circumvention tool to visit overseas websites. But this could change with new restrictions.

Arrrrrr! Putin's New Internet Advisor Tied to Online Piracy

Vladimir Putin's new Internet advisor is known as a hardliner against foreign online resources that break Russian law. Now German Klimenko has been tied to a questionable torrent tracker.

Russian Blogger Shipilov Granted Political Asylum in Ukraine

Dmitry Shipilov, a Russian journalist and blogger sentenced to community service for insulting the governor of Kemerovo region on his blog, has been granted political asylum in Ukraine.

Moroccans Protest Ban of VoIP Calls, Including Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook and Skype

Moroccans have decided to boycott telecom companies for blocking VoIP services to teach them a lesson. Do such boycotts work?

Ukrainian Separatists Block 100+ News Websites in ‘Lugansk People’s Republic’

News websites in the self-proclaimed "Lugansk People's Republic" are being censored as separatist authorities seek to minimize the "destabilizing" influence of the Ukrainian media.

Printers Censor Another New York Times Article, Shedding Light on Pakistan's Stifled Speech Environment

"...this blank space in the newspaper speaks volumes about the conditions under which we live and write in Pakistan today."

Netizen Report: Keeping the Spotlight on Syria’s Independent Media

As protests continue in Ethiopia, Bahrain is contracting for new Internet filtering tools. Meanwhile, another Ecuadorean politician faces jail time for critical tweeting.

How Sharing Porn Became a Felony in Russia

While ordinary Internet users in Russia today still have no problem finding adult content, police have begun cracking down on individuals who share porn on social media and peer-to-peer networks.

Two Arrested and then Released for Taking Selfies with Burning Dubai Hotel in the Background

Two men who posted their selfies on social media with Dubai's 63-storey The Address hotel on fire in the background were arrested -- and then released.

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