Stories from July, 2022
Digital authoritarianism in Bangladesh: Weaponising a draconian law to silence dissent in the pandemic era
The COVID-19 pandemic provided the government with a pretext to censor free speech, harass critics, and effectively curb dissent – accelerating what has been an ongoing turn towards authoritarianism in Bangladesh.
Vietnam’s Zalo Connect app: Digital authoritarianism hidden in peer-to-peer aid platforms
The app connects users in need with private donors. It exemplifies a humanitarian trend that centres on extracting data from vulnerable communities as a precondition to receiving aid.
A Chinese office platform confirms that users’ files on its cloud server are subject to censorship
Cloud platforms are required by laws to review and censor users' documents on private cloud drives in China.
Access the Unfreedom Monitor database
The Unfreedom Monitor is an Advox initiative to deepen our understanding of the relationship between technology and authoritarian power. In the first phase of this project, researchers working in 11 countries and four key themes conducted analysis of incidents, narratives, and media items, to explain acts of digital authoritarianism and...
Hong Kong set to implement a China-style health code and contact-tracing app
Hong Kong may adopt a health code system similar to the mainland Chinese three-colour version to curb the latest outbreak of COVID infections, according to the city's new health chief.
Indonesia's Covid tracker app PeduliLindungi: To care for and protect?
As PeduliLindungi and the government continue to fumble in its operations, one needs to ask: Is PeduliLindungi really caring for and protecting the Indonesian public?
Disinformation 2.0: Should we bring the notion of propaganda back into public discourse?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the unintentional spread of disinformation added a burden on health services when the rise of conspiracies was evident beyond the anti-vaccination movement.
China: Possible police database breach exposes at least 1 billion citizens’ personal data
"...the data breach is a fresh new case of a dictator’s dilemma: the more you concentrate, the more you lose control."
Indian police use old tweets as cause to arrest Muslim journalist known for debunking fake news
There has been widespread condemnation of the arrest of Indian journalist and co-founder of fact-checking website AltNews, Mohammed Zubair, over a 2018 tweet.
Turkey blocks access to two news websites
On June 30, Turkey’s Radio and Television High Council blocked access to the Turkish language websites of Deutsche Welle and Voice of America after two news outlets refused to obtain a broadcaster license.