Stories about South-Asia

Pegasus spyware revelation indicates Indian state snooping on journalists, activists and politicians

The Pegasus Project released a report detailing the potential hacking and surveillance of more than 1,000 activists, journalists and politicians from India using the Israeli-made spyware, Pegasus.

Social media companies could be liable for user-generated content in India

Twitter in India has found itself outside the “safe harbour” that otherwise would have protected itself legally from being implicated for the content generated by its users.

Twitter vs India: The battle of BJP and Congress over a ‘fake toolkit’ on COVID-19

Twitter expressed concern about the “use of intimidation tactics by the police” and “the potential threat to freedom of expression” for the Indian users.

Israeli phone hacking firm stops sales to Belarus and Russia

Cellebrite, an Israeli software company known for making tools used to extract data from smartphones, has announced it will halt sales to Russian and Belarus state bodies and law enforcement.

Pakistan bans TikTok for the second time

TikTok was blocked in Pakistan for 10 days in October 2020. Access was restored after the app's parent company ByteDance assured authorities it would bolster moderation.

Protests erupt in Bangladesh after writer charged under the Digital Security Act dies in prison

Ahmed was arrested after he criticized the government's pandemic response on social media. He was charged with "tarnishing the image of the nation" and "creating hostility" -- all offenses under the...

How India's new internet regulations will change social media, online news and video streaming

If failing to comply, social media platforms could lose intermediary immunity, which means they could be prosecuted for content posted by its users.

Arrest of Indian climate activist Disha Ravi over protest ‘toolkit’ draws backlash

'Editing a Google Doc in support of farmers is an act of sedition in this country now,' a writer said.

Indian farmers’ protests: Twitter withholds, then restores, prominent accounts by government order

Twitter restored the accounts after concluding they were "speech and newsworthy," a decision the Indian government decried: "Twitter cannot assume the role of a court and justify non-compliance."

In Pakistan, social media platforms risk bans under new ‘draconian’ rules

New rules vesting the government with the power to regulate online content and ban entire platforms drew criticism from human rights groups and tech companies.

October – A bleak month for freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

This article offers a snapshot of challenges to freedom of expression in Sri Lanka during the month of October, 2020.

Pakistan lifts ban on Tiktok with conditions

Pakistani social media users strongly reacted to the ban on TikTok and initiated #UnBanTikTok #TikTokbanned hashtags against it and criticized the telecom industry regulator.

Facebook denies accusations of fuelling hate speech and pro-BJP bias in India

On September 16, Facebook India’s chief issued a statement denying accusations that the social media giant is making profits by giving a platform to hate speech in India.

Policing the digital frontiers: Is India weaponizing technology to silence civil society?

In the word's largest democracy, the targeting of human rights defenders through spyware poses a threat to fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and privacy.

Journalists face sedition charges under cybercrime law in Pakistan

"The alarming increase in such actions against journalists confirms that the government is bent on muzzling freedom of expression."

Moderate globally, impact locally: A series on content moderation in the Global South

''Even as the platforms have grown and spread around the world, the center of gravity of these debates continues to revolve around D.C. and San Francisco.''

Journalist's abduction raises concerns about media freedom in Pakistan

On the morning of July 21, renowned Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan was abducted in Islamabad. Though he was released about 12 hours after, fingers are being pointed at state security...

India bans TikTok, 58 other apps amid rising anti-China sentiment, border clashes

The border clashes and the stand-off between India and China reached naught after India decided to ban video-creation platform TikTok and 58 other apps due to “security issues”.

India's digital ID system deepens exclusion of vulnerable communities amid pandemic

The use of Aadhaar-based authentication makes exclusions more likely.

Students arrested for demanding internet facilities in Balochistan

A number of students were manhandled, baton-charged and arrested in Quetta, Balochistan, for protesting against non-availability of internet after their classes shifted online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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