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First POST: Oh, Canada

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, January 31 2014

Canada's NSA exposed copying its Big Brother to the south; a former TSA screener tells all about those full-body scanners; Salesforce's Marc Benioff pushes back against Silicon Valley's libertarians; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Reports Show The Dark Side of the Sochi Winter Olympics

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, January 30 2014

Screen shot of The Anti-Corruption Foundation's Encyclopedia of Spending

There is a side to the Winter Olympics that won't be shown on NBC, but corruption watchdogs like Alexei Navalny are on it. Both Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation and Human Rights Watch have released interactive reports on the corruption, human rights abuse and environmental harm behind the scenes of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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WeGov

"Prism On Steroids" At The Russian Olympics

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, January 28 2014

Beefing up surveillance (Jedimentat44/Flickr)

New Internet legislation in Russia is scheduled to go into effect on February 1, just one week before the XXII Winter Olympics Games begin in Sochi. Less than a year after Russia outlawed “homosexual propaganda” online (or off), it has now set its sights on the use of social media platforms to organize protests. Starting in February, Internet providers can be ordered to block sites if someone tries to organize “participation in mass public events.”

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First POST: Bitcoin Agonistes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 22 2014

Is Bitcoin going to change the world? One of the inventors of the web browser thinks so; Edward Snowden denies being a Russian puppet; the Ukrainian government geolocates protesters and sends them a scary SMS; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Leeway

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 20 2014

President Obama unburdens himself to David Remnick of The New Yorker; Rep. Mike Rogers says Edward Snowden may be a Russian tool; Jody Avirgan catalogues all the crazy things the NSA is doing; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

"We're Not Like China!" Turkey Bleats, About Censorship Law That Makes Them More Like China

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, January 15 2014

Erdogan poster: "Istanbul is Ready, Target 2023" (Myrat)

The Turkish media outlet Hurriyet Daily News reported that a draft bill by the ruling party contains legislation expanding the government's right to surveil and restrict the Internet. If passed, the government could record and store Internet users' information (browser history, Internet searches, social network activity) for up to two years.

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WeGov

Examining Russia's Censorship Record

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, December 4 2013

Pussy Riot (Wikipedia)

Russia wants to protect children. That is their excuse for a law that gives them the power to selectively censor Internet content. Information about homosexuality or suicide, which Russia refers to as propaganda, are among the banned subjects deemed harmful to children. Earlier this year a Russian prosecutor asked a court to block the website Pobedish.ru (“you win”), part of the suicide prevention resource group Perezhit.ru, which incorporates input from psychologists, psychiatrists, forensic experts and the clergy. Because that makes sense.

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WeGov

Tajikistan Blocks YouTube and News Site On Eve of Election

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, November 5 2013

Rakhmon with Dmitry Medvedev (Wikipedia)

On the eve of Tajik elections, clients of certain Internet providers were unable to access YouTube or the popular new portal Ozodagon. A source close to the Tajik government told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that the blocks were ordered by the State Communications Service.

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First POST: Malala, Malia

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 14 2013

The Snowden backlash is getting bigger; Malala tells the Obamas (and Malia) what she thinks of US drone strikes; and HealthCare.gov mess gets the New York Times' front-page treatment; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

As "War Games" Escalate, Russia Blocks Over 26,000 Websites To Get At One Art Blog

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, October 3 2013

This may not surprise you, but Russia's law banning “homosexual propaganda” does not make exceptions for satirical online art projects. The Russian censorship agency Roskomnadzor added the art blog and multimedia platform Looo.ch [NSFW] to its registry of “forbidden websites” on September 19 after they uploaded two racy multimedia “textbooks.” But blocking Looo.ch backfired on Roskomnadzor in a big way. To get at Looo.ch, the agency cut access to the website host SquareSpace and 26,439 other websites went down in Russia. The art blog was thrust into more prominence as a result of the gaffe. Meanwhile, other websites frustrated by the increasing frequency of down-time and inadvertent blocks are trying to train their users to be tech-savvy in these times of “war games.”

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