Stories about Free Expression from December, 2012
10 New Year's Resolutions to Browse the Internet Safely in 2013
As 2012 draws to a close, dear reader, here at team Advox, we've decided to suggest 10 resolutions for 2013, presented in the form of a review of the tools and strategies to protect yourself online.
China Introduces New Rules to Tighten Government's Grip Over the Internet
On Friday, December 28, China's legislature approved a new set of rules intended to tighten government control over the Internet, forcing internet and online service providers to require real name registration from all their users. What do Chinese netizens think of the new regulations? What are the implications of the these new measures?
Bahrain: Tweet Leads Human Rights Activist to Prison
Sayed Yousif Almuhafda is the Vice President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. He is also member of the rights groups Front Line Defenders and Amnesty International. He was arrested on December 17th as he was monitoring a non violent demonstration in the capital Manama and reporting about it on Twitter.
What does the WCIT really mean for Internet users?
The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai failed to reach consensus last Thursday, leaving many delegates frustrated after nearly two weeks of intense negotiations. The final text of the treaty will not drastically change the state of Internet policy for the world, but it could push us further in the direction of a fractured network where user experiences differ substantially from country to country.
China: Government Willingness to Expand Control Over Internet Worries Netizens
A series of articles published by state-run media outlets that justifies online real-name registration and cracking down of cyber crimes makes Chinese netizens worried about the beginning of a new wave of campaign against online dissent.
#FastforBassel: Campaign Launched for Syrian Netizen Facing Military Trial
Bassel Khartabil, also known as Bassel Safadi, is on military trial in Syria, where he is denied a lawyer. The open source software engineer and Creative Commons volunteer has been in jail since March. Supporters around the world have just launched a #FastforBassel campaign on Twitter to raise awareness about his case.
Free Bassel: Netizen Under Serious Threat
Bassel Khartabil Safadi, a Syrian open source developer and pro-democracy activist, has completed 9 months in jail. His friends and family fear for his life as he is being prosecuted by a military court.
Right to Forget: Between Data Protection, Memory and Personal Life in the Digital Era
A new essay from the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information addresses the question of the "right to forget," one that might give back to individuals the control over their own information and, additionally, free them from their “digital past”.
Global Voices Where Every Voice Counts
The idea that every voice counts is one that is very close to the notion of Global Voices as a platform and as a community. As netizens unite to have their voices heard when the world's authorities argue on who should run the internet, we decided to ask our diverse community to participate and speak out on issues that matter to them and look back at issues we have covered over the year bearing in mind that every voice counts.
Human Rights Day: Defending Free Expression, Online and Off
If we want to reap all the civic, educational, political, and economic benefits of an open Internet, human rights -- and freedom of expression in particular -- must be baked into the technology and the policies that govern its use from the very beginning. On this year's Human Rights Day, the UN has placed a spotlight on the rights of all people “to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making,” a theme particularly relevant to the Internet and its unique civic power.
Human Rights Day in United Arab Emirates
While millions of people from all over the world are celebrating the International Human Rights Day activists in United Arab Emirates are not able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly (whether by organizing protests or writing about authorities' violations).
Saudi Activist: “Public Trial Reveals Their Mentality and Lack of Evidence”
The eighth hearing session of one of Saudi Arabia's first public trials of two prominent human rights activists Mohammad Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamid was held today at the Riyadh Criminal Court
Speak Justice: Voices Against Impunity
Murder is the ultimate form of censorship against journalists. In most cases killers remain free, generating self-censorship among those still risking their lives to do their job. To break the cycle of fear and silence, the Committee to Protect Journalists is launching Speak Justice: Voices Against Impunity.
Costa Rica: President Signs Internet Freedom Declaration
Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, signs the Declaration of Internet Freedom and calls upon the leaders of the world to "join us in preserving and nurturing this openness and freedom upon which a bright future can be built."
Cuba: Democracy Advocate Rodiles Released; Blogger Diversent Remains Detained
Antonio Rodiles, curator of the independent scholarly forum Estado de SATS, was released in Havana last Wednesday after enduring over three weeks of detention. Rodiles was arrested on November 7, along with numerous other bloggers and civil society advocates on the island, including well-known blogger and attorney Laritza Diversent, author of the blog Jurisconsulto de Cuba (Cuban Legal Advisor). There has been no report of Diversent’s release as of December 3, 2012.
Ecuadorian Blogger Paúl Moreno Detained
Ecuadorian blogger Paúl Moreno (@paulcoyote) was detained on charges of fraudulent access to computer systems, after he accessed President Rafael Correa's personal database in an attempt to show the vulnerability of an official website.
Saudi Activist: “This is an inquisition, prosecuting us for our opinions”
The seventh hearing session of the ongoing trial of the two prominent human rights activists Mohammad Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamid was held today morning at Riyadh Criminal Court. In the last hearing session, the defendants responded to the charges, and today, the public prosecutor provided more ‘clarifications.'
Open Letter: To the Netizens of China, From a Netizen of Pakistan
In an effort to build solidarity between people who suffer similar restrictions online, Pakistani activists are launching a campaign to reach out to their Chinese counterparts. As the Pakistani government tries to emulate China's policies to control the internet, Sana Saleem, a Pakistani netizen and Global Voices contributor, sends an open letter to Chinese netizens.