Kyrgyzstan’s secret police are set to begin monitoring the Internet for what it calls hate speech, according to the Institute for War & Peace Reporting. The country’s security agency, the GKNB (State Committee for National Security), will launch a system next April that will search Kyrgyz-language websites and .kg websites for, “content liable to incite hatred on grounds of ethnicity, religion and even regional origin,” following recommendations from a Kyrgyz parliamentary commission. Read More »
Russia’s largest social media site, Vkontakte, will now allow users to show that they are in a same-sex relationship on their profile page, according to The Moscow Times. The feature was announced just days after the social network told a user that it had no plans to do such, Radio Free Europe reports. Read More »
A project in Montenegro is hoping to kickstart tourism in the country’s north using the location-based social networking app Foursquare to help visitors figure out where to go. Read More »
A technology-focused incubator opened its doors 27 June to entrepreneurs and innovators in Kosovo. Funded by Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Innovation Center Kosovo will provide business incubation services – training, mentoring, consulting, and an innovative office environment, reports the tech and innovation blogg Goal Europe. Read More »
In case anyone still doubts that a 1,400-year-old religion is compatible with a 21st-century social-networking tool, a new Twitter-based project in Kyrgyzstan should put those doubts to rest. Read More »
Bulgaria will start publishing daily data on government spending in August as part of the country’s Open Government Initiative. The Ministry of Finance will post .xls spreadsheets with information on fund transfers to ministries, municipalities, universities, and other public organizations. Read More »
Russia intends to diversify its economy away from dependence on the export of raw materials by funding its own version of Silicon Valley an hour outside of Moscow. While this project isn’t exactly new, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov announced earlier this week that state-owned companies will start transferring billions of rubles into an endowment fund for a flagship research institute at Skolkovo.
A bill proposing a single blacklist of illegal websites came under fire from the Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council because it could potentially lead to censorship on the Runet (Russian internet), according to RIA Novosti. Head Mikhail Fedotov, along with twenty other members of the council, expressed concern that, “the bill envisions the introduction of real censorship in the Russian sphere of the internet,” in a signed statement. Read More »
Google released its transparency report for 2011 last month, revealing that more governments in Eastern Europe were monitoring the online activity of their citizens than ever before. Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Hungary appeared again, while Ukraine and the Czech Republic are on the list for the first time.