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WeGov

92% of Pakistanis Encounter Online Hate Speech, Survey Finds

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 9 2014

Malala Yousafzai meets with President Obama (Photo: Pete Souza/White House)

In 2012, just after then 14-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by masked Taliban gunmen, the Pakistani cyberspace was briefly united—as pro-women and pro-education—but not for long. Soon a counter-narrative emerged, depicting Yousafzai as a pawn of the United States, or even a willing operative, and obscured the facts of her attack. Even a journalist who claims to support Yousafzai's cause, the universal right to education, has dismissed her as a “good native” that the West is using to act out their “savior complex,” which one could argue illustrates the “warped mindset” that the pro-Taliban narrative has spread amongst Pakistanis, and the potential real-world effects of hate speech.

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WeGov

SIM Card Registration Newest Assault on Privacy and Freedom of Expression in Zimbabwe

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, October 9 2013

Harare, Zimbabwe (Wikipedia)

As of October 1, Zimbabweans have 30 days to register their SIM cards with their service providers, or risk a fine or imprisonment of up to six months. The Zimbabwean government is also establishing a single subscriber database of all the subscribers' personal information. The government justifies these measures as necessary to safeguard national security, but human rights activists in Zimbabwe say that they pose a threat to citizens' privacy and free expression.

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Prizes for Most Innovative Digital Rights Projects To Be Unveiled Monday

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, December 7 2012

As this dramatic account of the beating of a Syrian protestor attests, sometimes dissidents' devices can betray them even when their comrades will not. Similar stories are playing out across the globe, and New York City-based digital rights group Access is keenly aware of all this. So it's devoting itself to developing and promoting technologies to protect individuals' ability to speak freely and to organize politically. On Monday evening, the group will hand out $20,000 each in prizes to the five most innovative technology and media projects designed to help people to freely communicate, tell stories and organize themselves. The awards categories: "Blackout Resilience," "Making Crypto Easy;" "Freedom of Expression;" "Grassroots Technology," and "Facebook." Read More

WeGov

Portuguese Activist Blog Shut Down by Google for Defamatory Content

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, November 28 2012

Over the past few days, the Portuguese blog Precários Inflexíveis (Inflexible Precarious Workers) has reportedly been silenced and then blocked by Google. The blog was devoted to exposing the working conditions of freelance workers without permanent contracts: Google allegedly shut the blog down because of a complaint made by BF Grupo after the “precários” accused the company of illegal work and tax evasion”. Read More

A Last Word on Internet "Blocking" in Belarus

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, January 11 2012

Photo by El Bingle/ Flickr

A new law obliges Belarusian businesses that use the Internet to sell goods or services inside Belarus to host those services on servers physically inside Belarus, bringing that country's businesses more closely under the control of its government. So as an argument now rages in the United States about how to regulate access to foreign websites for purposes of copyright protection, in Belarus, the discussion focuses on the particulars of how to regulate its domestic Internet. Read More

Is Belarus Really Cutting Out The "Foreign Internet?"

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, January 4 2012

Photo by covilha/ Flickr

At the end of last year the government of Belarus issued a law that will regulate the use of foreign websites, with a particular focus on business activities. The law will be effective starting Jan. 6.
Some commentators believe that these measures will block people in Belarus from accessing websites hosted outside the country. This interpretation was quickly reprised by many media outlets and labeled as a block of the foreign Internet by the Belarusian government — but the situation may be different. Read More

The Dawning of Internet Censorship in Germany

BY Markus Beckedahl | Tuesday, June 16 2009

[Markus Beckedahl writes the German political blog netzpolitik.org, from which this post is republished with his permission. "We are doing a huge open source campaign against censorship at the moment," he writes us. At a ... Read More

Facebook, Free Speech and Holocaust Denial

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 12 2009

"I am not happy when censorship wins, and I don't believe in winning battles via censorship… The way of fighting Holocaust deniers is with history and with truth." --Historian Deborah Lipstadt, February 20, 2006, in ... Read More

Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, Embarrassed Online? [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 13 2008

Uh-oh. The day has finally arrived, when future White House employees must ask themselves, "Is that Facebook wall post still up where I ______?" "Did X tag me in that photo on Flickr, or will people not recognize me?" ... Read More