Stories about Feature from March, 2017
Emirati Hardline Nationalists Target Human Rights Defenders on Twitter
It is no longer unusual for governments to maintain a robust online presence. They understand well the power of the internet in forming public opinion and manipulating political discourse.
The Internet Blackout in English-Speaking Cameroon Continues
How and why Cameroon has denied internet access to its English-speaking population.
Netizen Report: India Had 31 Internet Shutdowns in 2016. How Many Did Your Country Have?
Venezuelan independent media sites suffer online attacks, Japan may use mass surveillance to punish “preparations” for crime, and the UK calls for backdoors on encrypted messaging apps.
Global Inequality in Your Pocket: How Cheap Smartphones and Lax Policies Leave Us Vulnerable to Hacking
People who are poor, socially marginalized, and less tech-savvy bear the greatest risk of attacks via mobile phones.
Iranians See Arrests and Intimidation of Telegram Administrators and Journalists Ahead of the Elections
Revolutionary Guards have previously attempted to limit Telegram's free flow of information with arrests for immoral or obscene content. This is the first time crackdowns have focused on political affiliation.
China's Great Firewall Gives Rise to a Robust Industry of Information Smugglers
More often than not, information smugglers prioritize things like click rates over hard-hitting public interest journalism.
Is Jamaica Preventing Cybercrime or Cyber Activism? The Tambourine Army Goes to Court
"Making threats through social media is a criminal offence, but making accusations is not. In interpreting the new act, the courts must ensure [...] the right to freedom of expression.”
Netizen Report: Why Did YouTube Censor Your Videos? You May Never Know.
A Brazilian blogger is forced to identify his sources, Iran cracks down on speech pre-election, and Tunisia's Truth and Dignity Commission hears testimony from bloggers persecuted under Ben Ali.
UAE Authorities Arrest One Rights Activist and Extend the Detention of Another
On 20 March police arrested human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor from his home. Meanwhile, UAE authorities have refused to release Osama al-Najjar, despite him having served out his prison sentence.
‘Those who tortured him [should] tell us the truth': Tunisian Commission Hears Net Freedom Testimonies From Dictatorship
The Truth and Dignity Commission is investigating rights abuses committed during the dictatorship era, including internet freedom violations.
Alleged Attacks on Online Media Follow the Tragic Death by Fire of Young Women in Guatemala
A local media outlet that published testimonies of some of the victims of the shelter fire suffered a DDoS attack.
Fake News and Fake Solutions: How Do We Build a Civics of Trust?
When posing solutions to fix fake news, we need to be careful not to build our own self-censorship machines.
Brazilian Facebook User Prosecuted for Posting a Joke About a Politician
The administrator was prosecuted not for defamation, but rather for violating Brazil's anonymity laws.
UAE Court Sentences Jordanian Journalist Tayseer al-Najjar to Prison
UAE authorities took issue with a Facebook post that Tayseer al-Najjar published before he had even moved to the country.
Netizen Report: Azerbaijani Bloggers Targeted with Legal Threats, Spearphishing
Censorship is up in France, China is censoring scientists (again), and Facebook tells developers to stop using network data for surveillance.
Jaysh Al-Islam Is Leading Peace Talks in Geneva, While Clamping Down on Speech in Syria's Eastern Ghouta
The group controlling the region has shut down a magazine and five well-known civil society organisations, according to activists.
In Kyrgyzstan, Prosecutors Sue Media for Offending President
"By advising him to sue internet publications, they are really doing him a bad turn."
Chinese Scientists Speak Out Against the Great Firewall (Again)
"...it takes at least 10-20 second to access a page. Sometimes it takes more than half an hour to access some university websites…"
South Africans Want Their Government's Hands Off Social Media
South Africa's Minister of State Security announced that his government is contemplating regulating social media to counter false narratives and the spread of fake news.
France Sees Sharp Rise in Blocked and De-listed Websites
Authorities have blocked or de-listed more than 2,700 websites in the fight against child pornography and terrorism, but with little oversight.