· February, 2016

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2016

Anti-Extremism Police in Yakutia, Russia, Say They Have Ways of Finding You on WhatsApp

WhatsApp messenger is hugely popular in Yakutia—and the anti-extremist police force are on it.

Ukrainian Court Equates Social Network Profile With Mainstream Media

The social media pages containing "calls to overthrow authorities" were determined by the court to be "mass media" because they were public and accessible to an unlimited number of people.

Hard Labor for Woman Who Reposted Online Criticism of Russia's Actions in Ukraine

A Russian court found Vologzheninova guilty of "discrediting the political order" and of "inciting enmity" by reposting or liking online material critical of Russia’s actions in Crimea and in Donbas.

A Blogger Exposes Personal Data Protection Flaw on Macedonia's Election Commission Website

"The mishap is at a very amateurish level from the perspective of professional principles of working with personal data on the open Web."

Kremlin Censor Finally Brings Down the Hammer on the RuNet’s Pluckiest Freedom Advocates

Government censors have blocked the website of Russian digital rights organization RosKomSvoboda for a page with instructions on how to circumvent online censorship and access blocked websites.

ISPs Take Kremlin to Court Over Online Surveillance

“We’ve found a couple of brave providers that are ready to come with us on a crusade against SORM,” announced Leonid Volkov, co-founder of the Society for Defending the Internet.

Russian Social Network VK Claims to Protect Users From Warrantless Surveillance

VKontakte's Ukrainian spokesperson says the social network abhors censorship and only shares user data with secret services when presented with court orders. The website's turbulent history paints a different picture.

New Ukrainian Draft Bill Seeks Extrajudicial Blocking for Websites Violating Copyright

A new bill in the Ukrainian parliament wants to replace the common pre-court notice and takedown procedure for copyright violations online with a faster blocking mechanism bypassing the courts.

Russia and Chile Join the Global Campaign to Save a Saudi Poet From Execution

Poets and activists in Moscow and St Petersburg expressed their solidarity with Ashraf Fayadh, who's been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Similar events were held in Chile and Mexico.

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