Category : internet freedom

Four places where social media could land you in jail

Facebook has nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users –that’s nearly 20% of the total global population. Yet, in some countries harsh sanctions and time in jail can be imposed on those who comment on social media, in the majority of cases for speaking out against their government.

Four things you might not have known about the internet

Do you know which country employs over 2,000,000 people to monitor microblogging sites?

Vietnamese bloggers launch online network to push for human rights

The Network of Vietnamese Bloggers has called on the government of Vietnam to uphold its commitment to human rights in wake of the country's election to the United Nations Human Rights Council

Regime repression stifles Sudan’s net freedom

Sudan has widespread and affordable internet access - the problem is the oppressive regime, writes Dalia Haj-Omar

Azerbaijan extends libel law to web speech

Index on Censorship and partner organizations have strongly condemned moves by Azerbaijan's government on Tuesday to criminalise online slander and abuse in the run-up to the country's October Presidential election.

Threats to online free speech are a civil society defeat, says Internet Bill of Rights sponsor

Brazil’s constitution protects free speech, but antiquated local laws often threaten this fundamental right in digital spaces. The latest statistics from Google’s Transparency Report show that Brazil issues the third most court orders for content removal behind the US and Germany. Recent cases, including the arrest of a Google executive for refusing to take down a video from YouTube, highlight the growing need for reform. The Marco Civil da Internet, a draft bill that’s been in the works for several years, aims to guarantee greater freedom of expression, net neutrality, and the protection of private user data online in Brazil. I recently spoke with Alessandro Molon, a congressman from Brazil’s centre-left Workers’ Party and the bill’s rapporteur, about what many are calling the first Internet Bill of Rights. The idea [...]

Index on Censorship launches new-look magazine

Index on Censorship has had a makeover! Find out more about how we're leading the global debate on freedom of expression with our fresh new look

Freedom to Connect conference: Aaron Swartz remembered, calls for copyright law ammendment

Freedom to Connect conference: Aaron Swartz remembered, calls for copyright law ammendment

Belarus: Pulling the plug

Europe's last dictatorship plans even tighter controls over citizens' access to the digital world, Index shows in a new report Read the report in full here Press Release: Internet explosion backfires for Europe’s last dictator

Brazilian schoolgirl threatened with death for Facebook page exposing school problems

A thirteen-year old Brazilian girl claims she has faced death threats through a Facebook community page she created to denounce problems in her school. Isadora Faber created Diário de Classe (or “Classroom Diary”) in July 2012 to “show the truth about public schools,” as she writes on the page description, leading her to become an internet celebrity and a teen champion of free speech through new media. Isadora filled the page with updates on life at Maria Tomázia Coelho School in Florianópolis — capital of the southern state of Santa Catarina — addressing problems in the school including exposed wires, damaged doors, transparency issues and improper teaching practice. On 17 February, Isadora alerted her 581,000 subscribers to a message published on Diário de [...]

What Russia censored in January

January saw a dramatic escalation of internet filtering in Russia. The League for Internet Safety, an organisation backed by the Kremlin, launched an experiment in the Kostroma region in central Russia in which 29 local internet service providers signed new contracts with users, giving them access only to a sanitised internet – in other words, websites included on a “white list”. Those wishing to surf beyond the confines of the white list are required to notify their provider explicitly. At the start of the experiment the white list included about 500,000 sites; by the end of the experiment,  scheduled for April, it is expected to include up to 1 million. The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has stated that it [...]

High threshold set for social media prosecutions

Guidelines issued today on when criminal charges should be brought against people posting offensive or abusive comments on social media sites could boost free speech Plus: Read the guidelines here Index Press Release: Social media guidelines recognise there is no right not to be offended