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WeGov

In Tiny Archipelago, Tensions Over the Future of Telecom

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, February 12 2013

The Spratly Islands (Wikimedia Commons).

Tiny, disputed Pacific archipelagos have been in the news recently, with Japan bolstering online security against Chinese hacks related to the Japanese claim on the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.  Now another island chain is caught in a tug-of-war between several East Asian countries – and this time, the weapons of choice are mobile networks

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WeGov

Open Letter Urges Skype to Come Clean on Data Collection and Monitoring

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, January 28 2013

TOM-Skype, the partner site that operates Skype service in China.

Skype has been coming under fire from Internet freedom advocates for its lack of transparency on user privacy. An open letter to Skype appeared online last week – undersigned by Reporters without Borders and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others – calling it “effectively…one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies,” and decrying “persistently unclear and confusing statements about the confidentiality of Skype conversations.” Read More

WeGov

Weekly Global Readings: Wellbeing

BY Lisa Goldman and Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, January 16 2013

The theme for this week's global readings is wellbeing. In China, cartoonists use social media as a platform for cartoons lampooning state censorship, evoking the old line about laughter being the best medicine. In Kenya, smartphone users can access healthcare services via a phone app. And in the Netherlands, a human rights organization is launching a campaign to show bloggers how to protect themselves. Read More

WeGov

China's State Media Shows Unusual Transparency in Beijing Smog Crisis

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, January 15 2013

Beijing seen from the International Space Station in 2010 (Wikimedia Commons).

Dangerously high levels of air pollution in Beijing have prompted remarkable transparency from the Chinese state media this week, with the safety of children and others vulnerable to smog apparently trumping censorship mandates. Read More

WeGov

China's WeChat Now Automatically Censoring Social Media Updates

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 10 2013

Screengrab from WeChat's website

The Chinese mobile social media app WeChat is now automatically censoring certain keywords, in a further development to the Southern Weekly scandal that has rocked China’s netizens over the past week. Read More

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Weekly Global Readings: Repression

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 9 2013

From today, techPresident will publish a weekly global mashup of stories about the intersection of technology, democracy and civil society. Read More

WeGov

Chinese Microblogging Platform's Censor Claims the Company is On Netizens' Side

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, January 8 2013

A long post on the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo from a user claiming to be a manager at the company raises questions over Sina’s stance on government regulations that require it to censor user-generated content. Read More

WeGov

Without Fanfare, Google Removed Censorship Warnings from China Search in December

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, January 7 2013

Google's Hong Kong homepage

Google China appears to have removed a feature that warned users of the search engine that they were querying words censored by the government. The change to the Google.cn homepage is speculated to have occurred sometime early last month. Read More

WeGov

Chinese Social Media App Poses a Threat to Activists and Authorities Alike

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, December 13 2012

The most popular new social media app in China is raising suspicions over its geolocational abilities. WeChat, a phone app that combines the functions of Skype, Twitter, and Facebook with the power to locate nearby users, has ousted traditional texting as a contact method for many young people in China. But as the Guardian reported last week, a technology that tracks its users’ movements can be dangerous: Read More

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Newly Discovered Malware Used to Hack Dalai Lama Website

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, December 5 2012

A website associated with the Dalai Lama's YouTube account has been hacked using Dockster, "...a rare piece of Mac malware which can secretly log users' keystrokes," reports Neal Ungerleider for Fast Company. Read More