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In Denmark, Online Tracking of Citizens is an Unwieldy Failure

BY Torben Olander | Wednesday, May 22 2013

Screenshot from European Commission video advocating Internet privacy.

Six years after Denmark passed a law mandating that telecommunication companies retain and store their customers' personal data for up to two years, local advocacy groups and the telecom industry are pushing for immediate changes to the legislation. The practice of keeping records of private citizens' Internet use is an unjustifiable invasion of privacy, they say. The police, meanwhile, have concluded that requiring telecoms to store subscriber data has not helped them track criminals, which was the the ostensible purpose of the practice. But the Danish government still wants to postpone an evaluation of the law for another two years. Read More


Middle Eastern Telecom Accused of Working With Saudi Arabia to Spy on Citizens

BY Paul Mutter | Friday, May 17 2013

Screenshot from portal.

Mobily, an arm of the state-owned Middle Eastern telecom giant Etihad Etisalat, has been accused of working with Saudi Arabia to develop software that would allow the government to bypass protections for social media users. The exposé comes from Moxie Marlinspike (neé Matthew Rosenfield), an expert in a certain type of malicious Internet attack called MITM (man-in-the-middle), whereby attackers intercept and secretly alter private messages exchanged via email and other social media platforms. Read More


In South Africa, Organizers Combine Old and New Media to Take on Corruption

BY Anna Therese Day | Monday, May 6 2013

Screenshot from anti-corruption campaign video.

Civil society organizers engage South Africans in the fight against corruption by employing both an old and new media awareness strategy about the gravity of this issue. Read More


Iraq Shuts Down Aljazeera and 9 Other TV News Channels

BY Paul Mutter | Wednesday, May 1 2013

The BBC's correspondent in Iraq reporting on the suspension of 10 TV stations (image: screengrab)

The Iraqi government has banned eight television news stations from broadcasting in the country, accusing them of inciting sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. Read More


Canada's Liberal Party Holds Online Primaries While Security Experts Scowl

BY Elisabeth Fraser | Wednesday, May 1 2013

Justin Trudeau, newly elected leader of Canada's Liberal party (image: Flickr/justintrudeau)

Canada’s federal Liberal party elected a new leader last week. And for the first time in the party's history, the voting took place online. Justin Trudeau, the telegenic son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Canada's most famous leader, won in a landslide with over 80 per cent of the vote. But online voting critics say that despite the decisive results, the Internet remains an unsafe place to cast your vote. Read More


Denmark to Close Down on Openness in Government Administration

BY Jon Lund | Wednesday, April 24 2013

Copenhagen (credit: JamesZ_/Flickr)

A clear majority of Danish parliamentarians supports the new Freedom of Information Act, which would increase the right of government to keep internal documents and correspondence between members of the legislative and executive branches of government secret from the public. The law could prevent the media from exposing political scandals. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and it is the civil servant culture. Read More


Chechen Leader Issues Statement on Suspected Boston Bombers Via Instagram

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, April 19 2013

Ramzan Kadyrov posted this photo on his Instagram account.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the authoritarian and eccentric 36 year-old leader of Chechnya, has issued a statement regarding the Tsarnaev brothers, ethnic Chechens who are suspected of committing the Boston Marathon bombings. Kadyrov published his statement on Instagram. Read More


A Technological Spring in the South Caucasus

BY Onnik Krikorian | Wednesday, April 17 2013

Elva co-founder Jonne Catshoek (credit: Onnik Krikorian)

Riven by ethnic conflict and destabilized by geopolitics, the year ahead might prove to be a tumultuous one in the three South Caucasus countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Armenia held its presidential election in February but is still experiencing ongoing protests. Now eyes are already starting to focus on its two neighbors, which will hold their elections in the autumn. In 2013, with Internet penetration continuing to increase, new tools are playing a significant role in mobilizing citizens and in monitoring potential outbreaks of violence. Read More


Alternative Radio Stations For Malaysian Opposition Assert Cyber Attack by Government

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, April 12 2013

The owner of anti-government Malaysian media outlets based in Britain says they have been the victims of cyber attacks designed to shut them down. Radio Free Malaysia, Radio Free Sarawak and the news portal Sarawak Report have reported being targeted by DDoS (denial-of-service) attacks for weeks. Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the founder of all three news outlets, asserts that the Malaysian government is behind the attacks. In a press release she announced that on April 10th the Sarawak Report was targeted by 64 million hits and the sister sites were similarly attacked; on April 11 the sites finally shut down. Read More


Estonian President Submits Crowdsourced Proposals to Parliament

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 11 2013

Tallinn, capital city of Estonia (credit: Dennis Jarvis/Flickr )

This Tuesday, April 9, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of the Republic of Estonia presented the parliament with 16 proposals generated by civilians though the online platform Rahvakogu, or People's Assembly. As he handed the proposals over, Ilves requested that legislators take them seriously. The proposals cover topics related to Estonia’s electoral laws, political party laws, such a party financing, and civil participation. As opposed to other ongoing solicitations for citizen-generated proposals and feedback, the Citizen’s Initiative Act in Finland for example, People’s Assembly will apparently be a one-time housekeeping event not a necessary permanent institution. Read More