April, 2016

Stories from April, 2016

Imprisoned Iranian Cartoonist Hadi Heidari Goes Free

"By the grace of God, I was released from Evin Prison tonight after serving time. Thank you all for the kindness," Hadi Heidari wrote on Instagram.

A University Professor Is Hacked to Death, Another Victim of Deadly Intolerance in Bangladesh

Rezaul Karim Siddique joins a long list of intellectuals, bloggers and foreigners who have lost their lives in similar killings purportedly carried out by Islamist militants.

Iranian Cartoonist Atena Farghadani's Prison Sentence Reduced From 12 Years to 18 Months

"To my cartooning colleagues around the world: let's keep watching and speaking out for Atena Farghadani."

Azerbaijan's Hunger Games: Independent Media on the Brink

"We declare yet again, by opening this absurd criminal investigation the government of Azerbaijan is creating barriers to freedom of speech, and journalism activity."

Malaysia Will Likely Force ‘Political Blogs’ and News Websites to Register With the Government

Human rights groups and media freedom advocates denounced the proposal as a curtailment of free speech, adding that the move reverses Malaysia's earlier stated commitment to promoting Internet freedom.

Facial Recognition Service Becomes a Weapon Against Russian Porn Actresses

Users of the Russian imageboard “Dvach” (2chan) have launched a campaign to deanonymize Russian actresses who appear in pornography, utilizing a controversial new service called “FindFace.”

Netizen Report: That Time When the Internet in Ecuador Died

Ecuador weathers a sudden mass Internet outage, insulting Tanzania's president proves costly, Twitter gets settled unsettlingly in China, and more.

New App Helps Citizens Find Out What Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Know About Them

Access My Info generates a letter for users to send to relevant privacy officers of internet service providers and mobile phone companies to request data about themselves.

Dissidents Worry #TwitterisDead After Company Hires Former Chinese Military Officer

"This is a severe threat to the Chinese struggling for free speech."

Tanzania's Cybercrime Act Makes It Dangerous to “Insult” the President on Facebook

Tanzanian netizen Isaac Habakuk Emily is accused of posting a controversial Facebook message "insulting" the president of Tanzania.

LGBT Activists Arrested at Bengali New Year March, Later Released

Police held five persons for reportedly suspicious behaviour, alleging that they were trying to initiate a "gay rally".

Cambodian Human Rights Group Criticizes Telecoms Law

Some observers suspect that the law reflects the ruling party's desire to stifle online discussions as elections approach in 2017 and 2018.

#FreeShawkan: After 900 Days in Jail, Egyptian Photographer Finally Faces Trial

"I look around and I am left with the reality of four ugly windowless walls and a never ending dream of freedom."

Netizen Report: Advocates Stand Up to Cybercrime Legislation in Brazil and Pakistan

Cybercrime battles rage in Pakistan and Brazil, Italian regulators put a lid on Hacking Team, and Wikimedia loses copyright fight in Sweden.

A Breakdown of the Current Version of Brazil's Cybercrimes Bill

Following criticism, the Commission made some changes to the most controversial elements of the legislation. But a battle still lies ahead.

Under Brazil's Cybercrime Bill, Social Media Sites Could Become ‘Permanent Agents of Vigilance’

"If somebody insults a politicians on a social media platform, the platform will be obligated to remove the content in a maximum of 48 hours."

Iranian Blogger Struggles for Health and Freedom After 18 Days on Hunger Strike

Anti-censorship activist and blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been on hunger strike since March 26, and his health is deteriorating rapidly.

Netizen Report: US-Iran Tensions Rise Over Cyber Conflict, Human Rights

Death toll rises yet again for secular Bangladeshis, China scrubs #PanamaPapers from the Web and Egypt exploits two-step verification to target activists' online accounts.

The Russian Art of Meta-Stalking

Russian photographer Egor Tsvetkov says his work exposes how “digital narcissism” often “provokes online stalking.” But is his latest project doing the same thing?

Secular Activist Targeted and Killed in Bangladesh

The 28-year-old law student was murdered by three assailants in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 7, 2016. The young man was most likely targeted for his critiques of religious conservatism.

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