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Surveillance revelations take centre stage at global internet summit

Activists went head to head with government representatives as mass surveillance dominated discussions at the 2013 Internet Governance forum. Mike Harris reports

Burma: Freedom of expression in transition

Index on Censorship report: Burma is at a crossroads. The period of transition since 2010 has opened up the space for freedom of expression to an extent unpredicted by even the most optimistic in the country.

Why is the UK so silent on Burma’s human rights abuses?

Without increased pressure from the US and UK, the apparatus of Burma's military dictatorship will continue to exist, says Mike Harris

Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Politics and society

alt informationFifty years of authoritarian rule has left its mark on Burmese society affecting the speed and process of transition.

Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Media freedom

It will be argued in this chapter that the media in Burma is freer now than at any point in the last decade, yet significant challenges remain and there are troubling signs on the horizon. The abolition of the pre-censorship of the printed press, the return of daily newspapers and of formerly exiled independent newspapers […]

Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Artistic freedom

“In the past political art was very easy – ‘this government is bullshit’ – but now due to the transition period and role of Aung San Suu Kyi in government it’s more complex, people are wary of making sweeping statements.”[21] The abolition of pre-censorship in the print media has created a more widespread relaxation of […]

Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Digital freedom

alt informationReal improvements have been made that strengthen digital freedom of expression in Burma from ending the blocking of Skype calls, to restrictions on internet cafe use being lifted and a reduction in SIM costs which will open up access to the internet and mobile telecoms. However, the legal framework remains largely unchanged during the transition […]

Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Conclusion

Burma has made significant advances during the transition period, with progress across all the categories of this report: politics & society, media freedom, artistic freedom and digital freedom. The situation in the country has significantly improved since the beginning of the transition. Underpinning the increased freedom of expression are the significant political changes that have […]

Fine words on open government don’t match actions

From America to Azerbaijan, leaders have pledged themselves to a new era of openness and transparency. So why are whistleblowers and journalists still punished, asks Mike Harris

Stormont must give us a libel law fit for modern age

MLAs will today be told that reform of Northern Ireland's outdated law is needed or else the province will lose out on investment, writes Mike Harris.

Freedom Online Conference 2013

The third annual Freedom Online Conference is taking place in Tunis. Government and business representatives, civil society, academics and net activists are discussing how freedom of expression on the Internet is helping to promote social, cultural and economic development worldwide. Mike Harris collects the highlights

Theresa May betrays our values by banning extremists from the airwaves

alt informationTheresa May’s proposals to ban radical preachers from the airwaves and block extremist websites are illiberal, impractical and may breach the UK’s commitment to human rights, Michael Harris writes.