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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
What Russia censored in December
December provided further evidence that the Russian authorities’ prime targets in their quest to censor allegedly illegal websites are not those containing content harmful to children, as they have claimed, but those publicising “extremist” political views and offering online gambling. In the meantime, a new trend has emerged in Russia. Institutions providing public access to […]