Autumn magazine 2015: Spies, secrets and lies


The autumn 2015 issue of Index on Censorship magazine focuses on comparisons between yesterday’s and today’s censors and will be available from 14 September.

In the latest issue on Index on Censorship magazine Spies, secrets and lies: How yesterday’s and today’s censors compare, we look at nations around the world, from South Korea to Argentina, and discuss if the worst excesses of censorship have passed or whether new techniques and technology make it even more difficult for the public to attain information.

Smuggling documents and writing out of restricted countries has helped get the news out, and into Index on Censorship magazine over the years. In this issue, you can hear three stories of how writing and ideas were smuggled into or out of countries. Robert McCrum swapped bananas for smuggled documents in Communist Czechoslovakia; Nancy Martínez-Villarreal used lipstick containers to hide notes in Pinochet’s Chile and Kim Joon Young tells of how flash drives hidden in car tyres take information into North Korea.

Also in this issue, an interview with Judy Blume on over-protective parents’ stopping children from reading, Molly Crapabble illustrates a new short story from Turkish novelist Kaya Genç, Jamie Bartlett on crypto wars and Iranian satirist Hadi Khorsandi on how writers are muzzled and threatened in Iran. Don’t miss Mark Frary mythbusting the technological tricks that can and can’t protect your privacy from corporations and censors.

There’s also a cartoon strip by award-winning artist Martin Rowson, newly translated Russian poetry and a long extract of a Brazilian play that has never before been translated into English.

Autumn 2015: Spies, secrets and lies

Journalists in the former Yugoslavia on the legacy of the post-war period
Interview: Judy Blume and her battle against the bans
Editorial: Spies, secrets and lies and how yesterday’s and today’s censors compare
Full contents of the autumn issue
Subscribe to the magazine

CONTENTS: Issue 44, 3

Spies, secrets and lies: How yesterdays and today’s censors compare?


New dog, old tricks – Jemimah Steinfeld compares life and censorship in 1980s China with that of today

Smugglers’ tales – Three people who’ve smuggled documents from around the world discuss their experiences

Stripsearch cartoon – Martin Rowson’s regular cartoon is a challenge from Chairman Miaow

From murder to bureaucratic mayhem – Andrew Graham-Yooll assesses what happened to Argentina’s journalists after the country’s dictatorship crumbled

Words of warning – Raymond Joseph, a young reporter during apartheid, compares press freedom in South Africa then and now

South Korea’s smartphone spies– Steven Borowiec reports on a new law in South Korea embedding a surveillance tool on teenagers’ phones

“We lost journalism in Russia” – Andrei Aliaksandrau examines the evolution of censorship in Russia from the Soviet era to today

Indian films on the cutting-room floor –  Suhrith Parthasarathy discusses the likes and dislikes of India’s film boards over the decades

The books that nobody reads –  Iranian satirist Hadi Khorsandi reports on how it is harder than ever for writers in his homeland to evade censorship

Lessons from McCarthyism – Judith Shapiro looks at the impact of the McCarthyite accusations and fasts forward to address the challenges to free speech in the US today

Doxxed – When prominent women express their views online, they can face misogynist abuse. Video game developer Brianna Wu, who was targeted during the Gamergate scandal, gives her view

Reporting rights? – Milana Knezevic looks at threats to journalism in the former Yugoslavia since the Balkan wars

My life on the blacklist – Uzbek writer Mamadali Makhmudov tells Index how his works continue to be suppressed having already served 14 years on bogus jail charges

Global view – F0r her regular column, Index’s CEO Jodie Ginsberg writes about libraries; how they are vital communities and why censorship should be left at their doors



Battle of the bans – US author Judy Blume talks to Index’s deputy editor Vicky Baker about trigger warnings, book bannings and children’s literature today

Drawing down – Ted Rall discusses why US cartoonists are being forced to play it safe to keep their shrinking pay cheques

Under the radar – Jamie Bartlett explores how people keep security agencies in check

Mythbusters – Mark Frary debunks some widely held misconceptions and discusses which devices, programs and apps you can trust

Clearing the air: investigating Weibo censorship in China – Academics Matthew Auer and King-Wa Fu discuss new research that reveals the censorship of microbloggers who spoke out after a documentary on air pollution was shown in China

NGOs: under fire, under surveillance – Natasha Joseph looks at how some of South Africa’s civil rights organisations are fearing for the future

“Some words are more powerful than guns” – Alan Leo interviews Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp

Taking back the web – Jason DaPonte takes a look at the technology companies putting free speech first



New world (dis)order – A short story by Kaya Genç about words disappearing from the Turkish language, featuring illustrations by Molly Crabapple

Send in the clowns – A darkly comic play by Miraci Deretti, lost during Brazil’s dictatorship, translated into English for the first time

Poetic portraits – Russian poet Marina Boroditskaya introduces a Lev Ozerov poem, never before published in English, translated by Robert Chandler

Index around the world – Max Goldbart rounds up Index’s work and events in the last three months

A matter of facts – For her regular Endnote column, Vicky Baker looks at the rise of fact-checking organisations being used to combat misinformation

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