January, 2017

Stories from January, 2017

Journalists of Closed Hungarian Newspaper Népszabadság Score ‘Symbolic Posthumous Victory’ in Court

A Hungarian court has ruled that last October's sudden closure of the country's leading opposition daily, Népszabadság, was illegal.

In Moldova, Civil Society Stands Up to ‘Big Brother’ Law

Pressured by civil society, Moldovan legislators debating whether to amend the flawed surveillance-enabling legal changes, called the "Big Brother" Law, or to demand a completely new proposal by the government.

Netizen Report: Trump Administration Kicks Off With Media Gags, Anti-Protest Measures

The Trump era begins, Cameroon shuts down the Internet for English-speaking regions, and Iranians wonder if Telegram will be blocked on election day.

Russian Police Lose an Easy Way to Trap ‘Internet Extremists’

On Tuesday, by revising one of its default privacy settings, the Russian social network Vkontakte significantly reduced the number of shared photographs publicly visible on individual account pages.

Popular Chinese Selfie App Meitu Prompts Privacy Fears

"I think it’s just a very shady business practice to try to gather as much data as you can without asking for permission."

Russia Says No to Political Crowdfunding by Individuals

Russia's version of PayPal is shutting down the transfer of money to individuals collecting funds for political purposes—a decision that will undermine one presidential bid to challenge Putin in 2018.

China Officially Outlaws Unauthorised VPNs

The Chinese government has been blocking some VPN services in China since 2015, but the current policy has officially made unregistered VPN and web-hosting services illegal.

Hardliners Pressuring Iran's President Rouhani to Ban Popular Telegram App, This Time for 2017 Election

“This (the internet) isn’t freedom. It’s the worst kind of bondage. Polluted anti-religious networks are functioning in this country because the organizations in charge are not doing their jobs.”

Health of Detained UAE Academic Nasser Bin Ghaith at Risk, Rights Groups Say

Bin Ghaith was held incommunicado for nine months over and deprived of adequate food and clothing. Supporters are now concerned for his health.

Netizen Report: Bahrain Orders News Outlet to Stop ‘Using Electronic Media Tools’

Israeli lawmakers give nod to ‘Facebook Bill’, Oman suspends free speech cases against Facebookers, and Kenyans fear an election day Internet shutdown.

Bahrain Intensifies Media Crackdown Ahead of Protest Anniversary

On 16 January, the government banned the online edition of the country’s only independent newspaper al-Wasat, from "using electronic media tools".

#SaveArash: Jailed Iranian Activist Arash Sadeghi is Fighting for Human Rights — And His Life

Arash Sadeghi was on hunger strike from 23 October 2016 until January 3, 2017. He remains alive and conscious, according to close contacts of his family.

Kyrgyz Security Services Declare War on President’s Facebook Critics

“Now many Internet users have a common passion — to get on this list."

Netizen Report: Iran Sees Demonstrations and Dire Straits for Political Prisoners

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

Israel Advances New ‘Facebook Bill’, Threatening Free Speech

Between October 2015 and January 2016 alone, Israel arrested 150 Palestinians on the grounds of "incitement through social media."

Digital Activists Are Disappearing in Pakistan

At least six bloggers and digital activists have disappeared thus far in 2017. Despite being a serious human rights issue, the number of people missing in Pakistan is unknown.

Kenyans Fear a Possible Internet Shutdown During 2017 Presidential Election

Kenya would be not the first country in Africa to shut down its Internet during elections -- Uganda and The Gambia have already gone this far.

For Telegram Users, Iran's Registration Requirement Boosts State Snooping Powers

Telegram is Iran’s most popular messaging application and host to some 170,000 Iranian-owned channels. The new policy will require owners of popular channels to register with the government.

‘Most Efficient Trial in History’ Fines Serbian Magazine for Defamation of Interior Minister

"How can a journalist be 'unauthorised' to do their job: gathering information and suggesting conclusions based on the gathered evidence?"

Users Boycott Lebanon’s Mobile Phone Operators, Alfa and touch

In addition to the exorbitant mobile rates highlighted by this campaign, cell phone operators in Lebanon also engage in unethical practices.

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