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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 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.

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