Stories about Privacy from June, 2013
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.
Under China's new real name registration policy, Internet users are being asked to submit personal information such as their home address, national ID number, and a photograph, in order to register for social media services. A recent case illustrates how some platforms may be using this new information to discriminate against Uyghurs, an ethnic minority group.
Human rights activists and journalists in Mexico are demanding an investigation of the possible use of FinFisher surveillance software in Mexico. Advocates suspect that the software has been used to spy on journalists and activists in the country.
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.
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.
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.
One company stands to profit in a big way as China pushes forward with a policy to require Internet users to register their real names and their national identification numbers in order to participate online.
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.
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.