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Weekly Global Readings: Repression

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 9 2013

In our first weekly global readings post, the theme is repression, whether it be the non-democratic government of China poised to mandate the end of Internet user anonymity, or the democratic government of Zambia threatening the editors of a digital citizen media watchdog publication with charges of treason.

The Chinese government is poised to approve rules that would require websites to verify the real identity of their users. That means that people who use social media sites like Sina Weibo, the local Twitter clone that has about 400 million registered users, would have to post under their real names.

In Iran, the government is developing "intelligent software" to restrict content on popular social networks.

A Kuwaiti citizen was entenced to two years in jail for insulting the emir on Twitter.

The Russian government has accused opposition bloggers of corruption, in what many believe is a politically motivated campaign to discredit them. Now a Russian journalist has stirred the pot by asking the accused bloggers to reveal their sources of income.

An angry minister has threatened to arrest the editors of the Zambian Watchdog, a digital publication that is critical of the government. The minister claims he would charge the editors with treason, which is a capital crime.

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