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Blackouts in Cambodia Spark Online Demands for Explanation

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, March 28 2013

Reports of local blackouts in Phnom Penh on the Urban Voice website. [Screengrab]

As the dry winter season interferes with hydroelectric power production in Cambodia, the capital city of Phnom Penh has been facing rolling, unpredictable blackouts.   Now, an urban mapping platform has taken up a campaign to understand when and where in the city the outages are happening, and to make the government answerable to residents who are living in the dark. 

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WeGov

In Russia, Independent YouTube Programming Lures Viewers Away from State TV

BY Natalia Antonova | Tuesday, March 19 2013

Screenshot from Russia's independent Dozhd TV

In Russia, state owned television's coverage of high profile cases and events has been losing credibility amongst educated, middle class viewers who see it as anodyne, patronizing or insufficiently critical. A notorious recent case of poor television reporting occurred with the prosecution of feminist collective punk band Pussy Riot. It was impossible to miss the strong difference between state-owned television’s coverage and analysis, versus the reporting offered by independent Russian programming on YouTube. 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

EU Fines Turkey for Blocking Google Sites

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, December 19 2012

An EU court has ruled against a blocking of the Google Sites service in Turkey, in a case filed by a Turkish citizen. A 2009 ruling by a regional court in the southwestern city of Denizli blocked all pages hosted on sites.google.com, apparently after a single page was found to insult Republic of Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Defamation of Atatürk or Turkish identity is illegal in the country. Read More

WeGov

In Egypt, the Government Issues Official Announcements on Facebook

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, December 17 2012

Cairo protester's sign says "no to the constitution" (credit: Hossam El Hamalawy)

Last week the Egyptian government announced draconian tax increases and subsidy reductions that caused a huge wave of protest. Within hours, the president revoked the announcement — in the middle of the night, on Facebook. Read More

WeGov

In Canada, Online Campaign to Protest Gov't's Digital 'Snooping Bill' Turns Nasty

BY Elisabeth Fraser | Wednesday, December 5 2012

MP Charmaine Borg outside of Canada's parliament (credit: Max Walker)

In Canada the issue of online privacy has become contentious, with experts, law enforcement officials, and legislators sharply divided. Bill C-30, formally called the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, was tabled in the House of Commons in February. The bill proposes expanding police powers so that telecoms and Internet Service Providers would be required to turn over subscriber data without a warrant. The opposition responded with a furious online campaign that took a bizarre turn into the realm of personal attacks. Read More

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Reporting from Uzbekistan With a Lens Hidden in Plain Sight

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, November 26 2012

A BBC journalist who recorded interviews with her iPhone and Skype in order to circumvent official restrictions on the media discovered that these tools were so effective in producing broadcast quality content that she no longer needed the bulky conventional equipment, reports Journalism.co.uk. Read More

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"Don't Retreat, Retweet": The Story of Ai Wei Wei, China's Leading Netizen

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 29 2012

Exhibition poster for exhibition "So sorry" of chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

There are really two stars of the new documentary "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"--the artist himself, and the Internet. The two are inseparable in the film, which both documents the life story of the man who has become one of China's most creative and courageous dissidents, and shows how he has maneuvered through the cracks in China's vast system of social control by using social media to reach a global and local audience. Read More

WeGov

Internet Users Learn to Protect their Online Privacy at Crypto Parties

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, October 9 2012

CryptoParty symbol taken from Wikipage.

Even ostensibly transparent, liberal democracies are increasingly considering legislation that would limit online freedom and privacy. To combat these measures, CryptoParties bring together ordinary Internet users at events held at cities around the world where they learn how to protect their right to online privacy. Read More

WeGov

Iranian Gov't Blocks Downloading of Foreign Media Files

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 8 2012

The Iranian government is now blocking the downloading of MP3, MP4, AVI and SWF files hosted on foreign servers, reports Storify Middle East. Read More