Turkmenistan is infamous for its tightly controlled media, and is one of the world’s greatest Internet Enemies by Reporters Without Borders’ estimations. With the average Turkmen finding his or her Internet access intermittent, slow, and tightly circumscribed, it is perhaps unsurprising that cyber-optimism among Turkmen internet users is running at an all time low.
Think Skype is a secure way to make a call? Think again. That smartphone in your pocket? It could be a portable bug. And the camera on your laptop screen? You might consider covering it with duct tape. Read More »
In announcing that Georgia’s parliamentary elections would take place October 1, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration affirmed its commitment to conduct what one official said would be an “exemplary” vote. New technologies are helping election monitors hold officials to such pledges, but they still have limitations, experts say. Read More »
Turkmenistan remains one of the most closed societies in the world, ranked by U.S. based pro-democracy group Freedom House in their 2012 survey as low as countries such as Iran, Belarus, North Korea, and Uzbekistan. Authors of the report say that, in Turkmenistan, “independent media are either nonexistent or barely able to operate, the press acts as a mouthpiece for the regime, citizens’ access to unbiased information is severely limited, and dissent is crushed through imprisonment, torture, and other forms of repression”. Read More »
The Internet has never been very free in Central Asia, but recent crackdowns in the region have watchdogs worried the situation is actually deteriorating.
A report released this month by an international collection of human-rights groups looks at Internet control and censorship in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – especially in light of how these countries use threats of terrorism and religious extremism to justify tightening their grip on the Internet.
Satellite dishes have been declared a stain on Ashgabat’s landscape by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, but is the move to scrap the dishes a ploy to curtail access to international media? Read More »
Last week, a fatal explosion in Turkmenistan sparked a wave of citizen journalism in the country, signifying the very real strength of the Internet and social networks in the dissemination of factual information. Read More »