February, 2016

Stories from February, 2016

Saudi Arabia Sentences Twitter User to 10 Years in Prison and 2,000 Lashes for Apostasy

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a Twitter user to 10 years in prison in addition to 2,000 lashes for publishing 600 tweets "which spread atheism" online.

The Malaysian Insider News Website Blocked by Authorities for Posting ‘Unverified’ Report on Government Corruption

"Such unilateral action could also be construed as an attempt to intimidate the media against running critical news reports."

Anti-Extremism Police in Yakutia, Russia, Say They Have Ways of Finding You on WhatsApp

WhatsApp messenger is hugely popular in Yakutia—and the anti-extremist police force are on it.

Ukrainian Court Equates Social Network Profile With Mainstream Media

The social media pages containing "calls to overthrow authorities" were determined by the court to be "mass media" because they were public and accessible to an unlimited number of people.

Egyptian Writer Ahmed Naji Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for his “Sexually Explicit” Novel

A Cairo appeals court sentenced Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji for two years in prison for publishing a chapter containing “sexually explicit” scenes from his novel The Guide of...

Hard Labor for Woman Who Reposted Online Criticism of Russia's Actions in Ukraine

A Russian court found Vologzheninova guilty of "discrediting the political order" and of "inciting enmity" by reposting or liking online material critical of Russia’s actions in Crimea and in Donbas.

A Blogger Exposes Personal Data Protection Flaw on Macedonia's Election Commission Website

"The mishap is at a very amateurish level from the perspective of professional principles of working with personal data on the open Web."

Bangladeshi Authorities Arrest Publisher and Shut Down Book Fair Booth for ‘Hurting Religious Sentiments’

Bangladesh’s constitution enshrines the right to free expression, and atheists have the same rights as other citizens. But authorities have done little to stop attacks against those critical of religion.

A Pakistani Artist Remembers Sabeen Mahmud and her Valentine's Day Campaign

According to one of activist Sabeen Mahmud's killers, her '"un-Islamic" Valentine's Day rally was "the sin she eventually paid for."

Malaysian Police Threaten Internet Users for Sharing Clown Memes of Prime Minister

"Public scrutiny is part of the democratic process that serves as the foundation of Malaysia. Satirical images and comments made against government official[s] should not be considered as a crime."

A Colombian Official Takes Short-Lived Legal Action Against a Journalist Over His Tweets

"...limitation of freedom of expression must be necessary and proportionate, that is, it must be the only and most effective means, something which is not true in this case."

An LGBT Blog Is Suspended Over Mention of Cuba’s 1960s-Era Labor Camps

"I honestly hoped it was a technical glitch...I don't know how this 'defames the Revolution,' as the judgment issued to us says."

The Troubling Rise of Internet-Related Arrests in Cambodia

"They do plainly illustrate a deeply troubling trend, whereby those who criticize the political elite are routinely being arrested for expressing their views on social media."

Kremlin Censor Finally Brings Down the Hammer on the RuNet’s Pluckiest Freedom Advocates

Government censors have blocked the website of Russian digital rights organization RosKomSvoboda for a page with instructions on how to circumvent online censorship and access blocked websites.

Netizen Report: The EU Wrestles With Facebook Over Privacy

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

“A Good Day for the Internet Everywhere”: India Bans Differential Data Pricing

Indian Telecom Regulatory Authority bans differential data pricing and Facebook's large plans for Free Basics come to an end.

Netizen Report: From Egypt to Kenya to Venezuela, Online Political Speech Feels Riskier Than Ever

Social media activists face legal threats in Africa and Latin America, Malaysia blocks Medium over corruption coverage, and Saudi pulls back death sentence for Palestinian artist Ashraf Fayadh.

ISPs Take Kremlin to Court Over Online Surveillance

“We’ve found a couple of brave providers that are ready to come with us on a crusade against SORM,” announced Leonid Volkov, co-founder of the Society for Defending the Internet.

Saudi Arabia Reduces Ashraf Fayadh's Death Sentence to Eight Years in Prison and 800 Lashes

Saudi Arabia overturned the death sentence of Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, accused of apostasy and other blasphemy-related offenses which he denies, to eight years imprisonment and 800 lashes.

Russian Social Network VK Claims to Protect Users From Warrantless Surveillance

VKontakte's Ukrainian spokesperson says the social network abhors censorship and only shares user data with secret services when presented with court orders. The website's turbulent history paints a different picture.

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