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In Macedonia, a Draft Law on Defamation May Lead to Online Censorship

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, October 17 2012

The Macedonian Parliament is discussing a draft law on defamation related to online communication which may lead to strong censorship of online communication, the European Digital Rights reports.
The bill considers online service providers liable for penalties, along with the author, for any damage resulting from offensive or defamatory information the provider has allowed access to, but it fails to provide a clear definition of what a provider is, thus allowing the possibility of an arbitrary judgement. Read More

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New iPhone App Allows Reporting of Bribes in Russia

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 9 2012

Screenshot from Bribr website.

A group of Russian entrepreneurs have released an iPhone application that encourages the reporting of bribes, the Moscow Times reported. Read More

British PM Cameron Joins Twitter

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, October 8 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron joined Twitter on Saturday afternoon. His account, @David_Cameron, gathered 50,000 followers in the first few hours, the Guardian reports. As of Monday evening, he has more than 96,000. His first steps, though, show some flaws in the communications strategy. Read More

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Russia to Restrict Access to Public Free WiFi

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, October 5 2012

In its latest move to control Internet access, the Russian government plans to put into effect a law that will restrict minors from accessing public, free WiFi. Read More

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Putin Expels USAID; Organization Contributed to Russian NGO that Mapped Electoral Balloting Irregularities

BY Natalia Antonova | Friday, October 5 2012

Screenshot from the Golos election mapping site

The Russian government booted USAID out of the country following accusations that the well known aid agency had been "meddling in internal affairs," as Vladimir Putin put it. He was referring to Golos, a group that mapped balloting fraud in the Russian election. A Russian journalist provides the background and some valuable insight into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Read More

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NGO Project Will Allow Local Gov't to Use Voice Recognition Instead of Transcribers

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, September 13 2012

mySociety, the U.K. transparency NGO, is developing software that would allow cash-strapped local governments to keep and transcribe minutes of their meetings using voice-activated technology. Read More

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Spanish Physicians Mount Online Campaign to Protest Cuts to Immigrant Health Care

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, September 11 2012

Screenshot taken from Derecho a Curar website

In response to budget cuts that would eliminate free health care for undocumented immigrants, Spanish physicians created an online protest campaign under the auspices of Medicos del Mundo. Read More

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Crowdsourcing Disaster Response Via Social Media and SMS

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, August 27 2012

In two detailed and important blog posts, Patrick Meier explains how grassroots activists are using social media platforms and mobile phones to coordinate disaster relief, often when the government's response is inadequate. In many cases, Meier points out, the grassroots networks existed already, having been created as a means of coordinating political protest. Read More

Personal Democracy Media at the State of the Net conference, Italy

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, June 21 2012

The State of the Net conference, taking place tomorrow and Saturday in the historic city of Trieste, aims at describing the state of the art of the Internet in Italy and the challenges that the country is facing in a global perspective. Personal Democracy Media is partnering with the conference and curating the transparency section, happening this Saturday. Read More

How Activists Coordinated European Opposition to ACTA

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, June 20 2012

ACTA protest in Berlin on June 9 (Flickr/Digitale Gesellschaft)

Tomorrow morning, one last European Parliament Committee, the International Trade Committee, will vote on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The European Parliament as a whole plans to vote on the treaty in the first week of July, and its members are expected to base their votes on the recommendations of the committee votes. The current momentum of opposition surrounding ACTA is the culmination of a monthlong effort by advocacy groups across Europe, particularly in Germany, to use video and social media to keep the issue in the public consciousness, just under the radar, and to turn out protesters for one final day of action on June 9th. Read More