Stories about Free Expression from June, 2013
Taiwan: Internet Policy Reforms Spark Fears of Censorship
Since this spring, the Taiwanese government has proposed multiple policy reforms that have sparked concerns of Internet censorship among Taiwanese netizens. Some are comparing these amendments to Chinese-style speech control, while others have observed the influence of the United States behind the legislation.
Nepali Journalists Arrested for Reporting on College Students’ Sex Lives
Three Nepali journalists were arrested on charges of publishing indecent and defaming content online. Police took them into custody after officials at a public university complained that the journalists had written about female students using eggplants as sex toys.
Vietnam: Bloggers Arrested, Accused of Spreading “Anti-State” Propaganda
Three prominent bloggers in Vietnam have been arrested in less than a month. All three are accused of spreading anti-state propaganda.
Orphaned in US, SOPA Finds Home in Russia
America’s controversial Stop Online Piracy Act is back—and it’s poised to become law in a matter of weeks. SOPA, however, isn’t coming to the US, where a wide coalition defeated the legislation in January 2012. A law that creates similarly harsh penalties for online copyright violations is on the cusp of finding a home in Russia.
Everyone's Rights are at Stake: Global Reach of US Surveillance Programs
Last week's revelations about phone and Internet surveillance programs run by the US government's National Security Agency (NSA) sent shock waves throughout the United States and the western media, but also around the globe. While in the US, many privacy-minded lawmakers and even digital rights advocates used the news as an opportunity to demand better protections for Americans' online privacy, Internet users worldwide were left wondering how to protect their own data in the face of these threats.
US Spying Whistleblower Edward Snowden Takes Refuge in Hong Kong
The man behind the bombshell intelligence leaks that revealed top secret US phone and Internet surveillance programs said he fled to Hong Kong because they "have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent". But some in Hong Kong aren't so sure about the government's willingness to him.
VIDEO: Turkish Protests Filmed by the People, for the People
As the #OccupyGezi protests have surged, Turkish mainstream media has foundered, failing to cover the anti-government demonstrations for fear of retribution. Citizen journalists have stepped up to fill the role, reporting and filming so that the Turkish people and the world can see what's happening in the country.
VIDEO: How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Hurt Internet Users
A new animated video explains how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement being negotiated by the United States and ten governments from around the Pacific region, could have alarming consequences for Internet users.
As Protests Continue, Turkey Cracks Down on Twitter Users
The critical role that social media and the Internet are playing in the anti-government protests engulfing Istanbul and other parts of the country has not gone unnoticed by Turkish authorities. Police have arrested dozens of people accused of publishing “misinformation” on Twitter to encourage others to join in the ongoing unrest.
Saudi Arabia Blocks Instant Messaging App Viber
Following the Saudi threat to block encrypted communication software unless the government is allowed to spy, the instant messaging application Viber was blocked earlier yesterday. The website can no longer be accessed and the application does not connect.
Philippines Offers ‘Enhanced’ Cybercrime Prevention Law
The Philippine government is ready to submit an ‘enhanced version’ of the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act in response to the widespread opposition to the law, saying it will drop the online libel provision in order to focus on organized cybercrimes. Some groups welcomed the news, but others still pressed for the whole law to be scrapped.
If Your Blog Gets Hacked, Can WordPress Help?
In March, Vietnamese political news blog Anh Ba Sam underwent a series of attacks that left its content compromised and its administrators unable to access the blog’s back end. Although the site is now back under their control, restoring their ability access the blog was more difficult than administrators imagined.
‘Free My Internet’ Movement Rises in Singapore
A new licensing scheme for news websites announced by Singapore's Media Development Authority has been denounced by many as a censorship measure. A group of concerned netizens calling themselves the ‘Free My Internet’ movement has invited the public to join a rally this coming Saturday to demand the withdrawal of the controversial regulation.
Mexico: Local Cyberbullying Law Could Threaten Free Expression
In the Mexican state of Nuevo León, as of last week, anyone who uses social networks to publish messages or images that cause "harm, dishonor, discredit to a person, or exposes him or her to contempt" can be incarcerated for up to three years.