Stories about Free Expression from March, 2014
Viber Chat App Blocked in The Gambia?
Government officials say Viber and other Internet-based communications services are depriving local telcos of much-needed revenue. Critics suggest political concerns may be driving the blockages.
Advocates Hail Brazil's “Bill of Rights for the Internet”
Though privacy concerns remain, the approval of the Marco Civil "is important not only for the country, but also for the world," says Joana Varon, an original author of the law.
Brazilian Congress Approves Pioneer Bill of Rights for Internet Users
Brazil's Chamber of Deputies passed the Marco Civil da Internet, the now-famous "Bill of Rights" for the Internet, on the evening of March 25. Advocates worldwide are celebrating.
How Russians Are Outsmarting Internet Censorship
RuNet activists have created a sophisticated system of censorship evasion and counter-attack, which can potentially make life hard for both censors and pro-Kremlin websites.
Will Singapore’s Anti-Harassment Law Curtail Free Speech?
Cyber harassment, bullying, and online stalking are now criminalized in Singapore. Will it lead to the protection of Internet users or curtailment of free speech?
Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah Released on Bail
Celebrations continue as prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah is released from jail. In his first tweet after his release, the activist vows to "continue" the struggle.
Erdogan Vows to ‘Wipe Out’ Twitter in Turkey
Turkey blocked Twitter last week – along with Google's public DNS service, used to circumvent the block. Nevertheless, Tweets out of Turkey appear to be on the rise.
As Elections Approach, Denial Runs Deep for Erdogan
Turkey's Prime Minister is calling for democratic elections in a democratic state. Meanwhile, media outlets are under attack, Twitter is blocked, and protester oppression is at an all-time high.
Algerian Opposition TV Network Shut Down Ahead of Presidential Elections
Amidst escalating protests, independent television network Al-Atlas TV was shut down by Algerian authorities, who raided the network's offices and seized computers and recording equipment.
Venezuela's New Security Agency: Watching the Web With No Judicial Oversight
CESSPA, the new security agency in Venezuela, may bring yet another layer of state control over the flow of information online.
1000 Days in Jail for Ethiopian Journalist Reeyot Alemu
On March 16, 2014, jailed Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu spent her 1000th day in prison. Twitter users lent their support using the hashtag #ReeyotAlemu.
The Iran Expert May Not Exist, But the Persian Blogosphere Does
Understanding the Internet in Iran isn’t easy. A new study illuminates trends in the Persian blogosphere since 2008, providing a helpful tool in understanding broader social shifts both on and offline.
GV Face: Happy 25th Birthday, Web!
What's the difference between the Internet and the Web? Why is an open web so important? An all-star panel of techies and rights defenders talk it out on GV Face.
Russia Blocks Four Opposition Media Portals
"I don't even know if anyone is reading this anymore." - Putative opposition leader Alexey Navalny on his blog which was blocked today by order of Russia's Attorney General.
Zambia: President’s Son Warns Journalist, “We Will Kill You”
Beaten and threatened by Kazim Sata, independent journalist Thomas Zgambo will soon stand trial in a case linking him to the Zambian Watchdog, an investigative news website.
Russia’s Best News Portal Decimated
In Russia’s jingoist climate today, it is now much easier for corporate owners and state authorities to meddle in the politics of the country’s news websites.
TunnelBear VPN Service Blocked in Venezuela?
On Sunday, March 10, Venezuelan users reported that the VPN service TunnelBear was being blocked. Many reported that its website was inaccessible as well.
Facebook Status Criticizing Crimea Occupation Gets Journalist Fired
Alexander Erenko re-posted a critical comment calling on Putin to "occupy" Russia's Vologodsk Region, where public infrastructure is in disrepair and many are without access to healthcare.
Sultan of Brunei Threatens Critics of Sharia Law
Brunei will implement Sharia laws next month, disappointing many citizens and human rights groups. The sultan warned critics of possible prosecution if they continue to 'insult' the country's leaders
Mexico and US Censor Activist Site, with Help of GoDaddy
Activists in Mexico confirmed that the Government of Mexico worked with the US Embassy in Mexico and GoDaddy.com to censor 1DMX.org, a platform for news and discussion of social unrest in December 2013.