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The View From Inside Cuba's Not-So-Worldwide Web

BY Anne Nelson | Friday, April 5 2013

"Palacio" Joven Club de Computacion in Havana (credit: Anne Nelson)

The “Palacio Central de Computacion” lies in the heart of central Havana, amid battered monuments and the crumbling shells of grand hotels. Despite its “palace” billing, the design of the squat blue two-story building recalls its origins as a pre-revolution Sears box store. At the entrance, a government employee sits at a desk, with two uniformed guards standing by. No, she states firmly, foreigners may not enter the facility, and no, photographs are not permitted. What are those intent young Cubans doing at the desktops behind her? “Computing,” she answers, that is, writing school essays and emails to their Cuban friends on the Cuban “Intranet.” Read More

[OP-ED] Singapore Doesn't Always Need Internet Censorship to Silence Critics

BY Phil Howard | Tuesday, March 5 2013

Singapore likes to promote itself as a business-friendly country where the government has a soft touch. But by firing a professor known for criticizing the government's censorship strategies, ruling elites have demonstrated that they still have a firm hand in controlling political conversation. It should make U.S. universities rethink their research partnerships with universities in Singapore, because such relationships actually help launder the regime's reputation. Read More

WeGov

A Russian Meteor, Press Freedom, and the "New Westphalian Web"

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 26 2013

When a meteor appeared over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, it did more than shatter windows and turn heads. The blast — and videos of the meteor taken by the many Russians who carry cameras as protection against more pedestrian hazards like car accidents or corrupt public officials — also rained shrapnel over the debate around music, TV and movie intellectual property in the digital age, linking it once again with questions about what press freedom means in what many think is, or should be, a borderless Internet. Read More

A TechPresident Podcast: On Internet Freedom Day, Politics and the SOPA/PIPA Fight

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 18 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: One year after the death of SOPA and PIPA fight, what does the nascent politically active web mean for members of Congress? For activists? And for individuals? In the first of what we hope to turn into a regular series of podcasts, editorial director Micah Sifry and I hash through how we think about these issues at techPresident. We sat down to record this for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers. Read More

The Three Different Meanings of "Internet Activism"

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 4 2013

In an article for its upcoming print edition, Economist discovers the politics of the Internet. In an extended primer appearing in its Jan. 5 print edition, the venerable magazine explores the world of Internet freedom activists — people who love the Internet as it is and view the fight to preserve freedom of information as political trench warfare across multiple theaters: before state regulators, in corporate boardrooms, in Congress, in the court of public opinion, and in the design of the hardware and programming of the software that keeps the Internet running.

The piece is worth a read, but the Economist has trouble sussing out two or three different forces at play when it comes to "Internet activism."

Read More

WeGov

At the 2012 IGF in Baku, the Azeri Government's Disdain for Freedom Was on Full Display

BY Nighat Dad | Tuesday, November 20 2012

IGF session. (Credit: Internet Society/Flickr)

The 2012 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan — a country that makes all the Top 10 lists of human rights violators, Internet censors and political freedom repressers. At this year's conference, their disdain for freedom of expression was all too apparent. Read More

Philippines Crowdsourcing Bill Filed; Seeks Crowdsourced Improvements

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 17 2012

Filipino Senator Teofisto "TG" D. Guingona III has filed a bill called the "Crowdsourcing Act of 2012." In a nice touch, he is also seeking public comments to improve it. The bill goes beyond other similar proposals aimed at opening up the legislative process in requiring the body to not just post the text of proposed bills and committee work online, but calls on several steps to ensure much greater public participation. Read More

Turkey Considering Law that Would Severely Circumscribe Internet Users' Privacy

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 11 2012

The Turkish government is considering legislation which, if passed, would require Internet users to submit a password and their national identity number to gain online access, reports Digital Civil Rights in Europe (EDRI). Read More

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Indonesian Grassroots Group Promotes Internet Freedom

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, October 5 2012

With the increase in around the region of government legislation that would limit online freedom of expression, Indonesian bloggers have formed an organization to raise awareness and possibly fight back. Read More

Belarusian Online Activists Detained, Drawing Inquiry From Dutch MEP

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, August 30 2012

Dutch Member of European Parliament Marietje Schaake is calling on the European Commission to take action in response to reports that the administrators of Belarusian opposition groups using the Russian social network Vkontakte were arrested in Minsk by the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko. Read More