February, 2019

Stories from February, 2019

Journalists, teachers, and activists targeted in attacks on free speech in the Philippines

"These are attempts by those in power to drown out the voice of the marginalized...displaying Duterte’s fear of committed journalism that seeks to inform, educate and guide the public."

As Putin preaches ‘sovereignty’ and tech modernization, experts lament loss of online freedoms

As Vladimir Putin promises Russians a faster, more reliable internet, two reports by independent expert groups paint an unrelentingly bleak picture of more crackdowns on online freedom of speech.

Samoa arrested blogger ‘King Faipopo’ accused of defaming prime minister

"New legislation, based on old criminal libel laws from colonial times, forces Samoa leaders to look backwards, not forwards."

Netizen Report: Both Bangladesh and South Korea are waging a ‘war on porn’ — and paving the way for political censorship

South Korea and Bangladesh are blocking porn and "obscene" content, Venezuela is blocking YouTube, and Uzbekistan has finally stopped blocking Facebook and VK.

A Tibetan-Canadian student was attacked online after winning student council elections. She thinks Beijing is to blame.

Chemi Lhamo faced a barrage of threatening comments on social media from overseas students who appeared to be from mainland China.

EU proposal pushes tech companies to tackle ‘terrorist content’ with AI, despite implications for war crimes evidence

AI tools can assess whether a video is violent or graphic. But can they determine the video’s intended purpose?

Censored on WeChat: As tensions in China-US trade conflict rose, so did WeChat censorship

The second installment in our series looks at the most censored topic in the 2018 WeChatscope dataset: the China-US trade war.

Venezuelans see the politics of humanitarian aid play out in online attacks

A unique and technically sophisticated attack this week targeted VoluntariosxVenezuela, an opposition-aligned humanitarian aid website.

Netizen Report: Will India’s regional internet shutdowns ever end?

Internet shutdowns continue apace in India, Venezuela's opposition websites are under pressure and Uganda's social media tax is driving down internet use.

Users flood Reddit with China censorship memes, balk at $150 million investment from Tencent

While Chinese companies regularly invest in US media companies, this makes for an unusual match.

Iranian environmentalists fear death penalty after a year behind bars

Public prosecutors built much of their case against the group from a forced confession made by one of the activists.

Bulgaria's parliament and an educational institute named top privacy violators in ‘Big Brother Awards’

The Bulgarian edition of the Big Brother Awards is back as a means of shaming the worst violators of citizens’ privacy.

Censored on WeChat: A year of content removals on China's most powerful social media platform

Our team tracked censored posts from more than 4,000 public accounts covering daily news on WeChat. Here is what we found.

Uganda's social media tax is leaving people disconnected — and failing to meet revenue targets

Prior to the tax's implementation, 47.4% of people in Uganda were using the internet. Three months later, that number had fallen to 35%.

Netizen Report: Philippine news outlet faces ‘cyber libel’ charges

Philippines DOJ takes another swing at Rappler news site, Facebook tackles disinformation in Indonesia and Russia moves to outlaw fake news.

Russian ‘anti-fake news’ bill rushed through parliament despite vocal opposition

Both the "anti-fake news" bill and its twin initiative against offending the authorities use Germany and other Western countries' laws as inspiration.

#FreeAmade: Journalist arrested and tortured after reporting on violence in northern Mozambique

The journalist was detained by Mozambican police while reporting a story in Cabo Delgado.

With tensions rising ahead of 2019 presidential elections, Nigerians fear internet shutdown

The use of social media to call attention to the government's violations and illegal actions have led to fears that of online censorship in upcoming elections.

Netizen Report: How Venezuela’s political crisis is playing out online

As Venezuelans continue to face internet censorship, Turkmenistan is blocking Google Play, Lebanon is blocking Grindr and Brazil is chipping away at is FOI law.

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