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WeGov

Chinese Social Media App Poses a Threat to Activists and Authorities Alike

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, December 13 2012

The most popular new social media app in China is raising suspicions over its geolocational abilities. WeChat, a phone app that combines the functions of Skype, Twitter, and Facebook with the power to locate nearby users, has ousted traditional texting as a contact method for many young people in China. But as the Guardian reported last week, a technology that tracks its users’ movements can be dangerous: Read More

WeGov

The EU’s New Digital Media Strategy Was Crowdsourced

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, December 12 2012

MEP Marietje Schaake (credit: flickr / ALDEADLE)

The EU is poised to adopt its first Digital Freedom Strategy, after a majority in the European Parliament endorsed a resolution sponsored by Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake yesterday. Read More

WeGov

For Afghan Women, Bright Screens and Uncertain Futures in Mobile Learning Effort

BY Naheed Mustafa | Wednesday, December 12 2012

Literacy program for Afghan women (credit: Aga Khan Foundation/ Sandra Calligaro)

Mobile phones are in the hands of about 15 million Afghans and some 85 percent of the population lives in a part of the country with network coverage. Given high mobile penetration and low literacy levels for women, the Paiwastoon Networking Services recently developed the Ustad Mobil literacy program using $80, 000 in U.S. aid money. But while the project's initiators are no doubt well intentioned, they have not taken into account obstacles resulting from local culture and custom. Read More

WeGov

Proposal to Allow Police Internet Monitoring Shot Down in UK Parliament

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 11 2012

Deputy PM Nick Clegg (credit: Liberal Democrats/Flickr)

The deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom is leading efforts to block a bill that would give law enforcement unmitigated monitoring of Internet use in the UK. Nick Clegg criticized the scope of the proposed Communications Data Bill, which would require ISPs to store users’ email and web browser data for up to a year and permit law enforcement agencies to access this information without permission. Read More

WeGov

No Internet For You! In North Korea, A Small Elite Accesses Limited Online Content

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 11 2012

Screengrab of Naenara, North Korea's state-sanctioned Internet portal

Though North Korea remains as isolated as ever from the technological community (as TechPresident wrote last year,it was a full 48 hours after the death of Kim Jong-Il before the news broke on Twitter), the Internet is a temptation both for the country’s citizens and for the government of Kim Jong-Un, as the BBC reports. Read More

WeGov

Russia Advocates State Regulation of the Web, Then Pulls Back

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 11 2012

WCIT 2012 panel (credit: Flickr/ITU Pictures)

A Russian-led proposal intended to give world governments regulatory power over the Internet has been effectively withdrawn, says the International Telecommunications Union. The plan was presented at the UN World Conference on International Telecommunications, held in Dubai this past week, where members of the ITU are renegotiating an upgrade its 1988 communications treaty. Read More

WeGov

Hacking Some Transparency into the Secretive Corridors of the EU Lobbying System

BY Jon Worth | Friday, December 7 2012

At a recent London hackathon organized by the Open Knowledge Foundation, participants looked for ways to make the European Union's complex lobbying system more transparent. Read More

WeGov

Phone Apps for Toilets: Hackathon Mobilizes Techies for Hygiene Solutions

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, December 6 2012

Last weekend the International Sanitation Hackathon took place simultaneously in 40 cities across the globe, from Vancouver to Jakarta and Helsinki to Porto Alegre. The World Bank-organized event brought together development workers and techies to brainstorm solutions to a problem that confounds the developing world — poor sanitation and waste disposal, which causes disease and raises mortality rates. Read More

WeGov

Newly Discovered Malware Used to Hack Dalai Lama Website

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, December 5 2012

A website associated with the Dalai Lama's YouTube account has been hacked using Dockster, "...a rare piece of Mac malware which can secretly log users' keystrokes," reports Neal Ungerleider for Fast Company. Read More

WeGov

In Canada, Online Campaign to Protest Gov't's Digital 'Snooping Bill' Turns Nasty

BY Elisabeth Fraser | Wednesday, December 5 2012

MP Charmaine Borg outside of Canada's parliament (credit: Max Walker)

In Canada the issue of online privacy has become contentious, with experts, law enforcement officials, and legislators sharply divided. Bill C-30, formally called the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, was tabled in the House of Commons in February. The bill proposes expanding police powers so that telecoms and Internet Service Providers would be required to turn over subscriber data without a warrant. The opposition responded with a furious online campaign that took a bizarre turn into the realm of personal attacks. Read More