Net Prophet

Welcome to Net Prophet, a blog tracking new media and tech developments across Central Europe and Eurasia

Russian government edits Wikipedia page on Flight MH17

A Russian government official has been accused of editing the Russian-lanugage version of the MH17 Wikipedia page. Malaysian Airline Flight, MH17, was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, 17 July. The flight was on a scheduled run from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed, killing all 298 people onboard. In recent days, the focus has shifted from the crash itself to the topic of who is responsible. As the world started pointing fingers at Russia, President Putin immediately placed the blame on the Ukrainian military. Read More »

Russians’ online data must be stored in-country: Duma bill

Jul 14, 2014
A bill adopted by the lower house of the Russian parliament 4 July will require Internet companies that store personal data on Russian citizens to locate such data on servers inside the country, The Moscow Times reports. Russian officials contend that requiring the use of Russian servers reduces citizens’ susceptibility to cybercrime and fraud. Read More »

Innovators welcome at Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum

Jul 7, 2014
Nearly 2,500 media and communication professionals from around the world gathered at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany from 30 June-2 July for the Deutsche Welle's annual Global Media Forum. This year's conference, "From Information to Participation: Challenges for the Media," featured panels and workshops focused on practical approaches to adjusting industry standards and practices to meet the needs of an increasingly global audience and market. Read More »

Crowdfunding campaign to support Russian eco journalists

Jun 24, 2014
On 6 June, Transitions launched a new crowdfunding campaign on IndieVoices Weathering the Storm: The Dangers of Going Green in Putin's Russia, to raise money for As the space for independent media in Russia continues to shrink, journalists face career and, in some cases, life threats for reporting on certain issues. Read More »

Dushanbe suspected in Google, YouTube blackouts

Jun 16, 2014
The disappearance of popular Internet services in Tajikistan this week appears to follow a recurrent pattern of foreign websites being blocked by the authorities. On 12 June, Internet users reported being unable to access Google, including their Gmail accounts, Radio Free Europe reports. The country’s Association of Internet Service Providers confirmed that most providers had blocked Google. Read More »

Czech IT potential up and coming among OECD countries

In a presentation at the American Embassy in Prague on 5 June 2014, Lucie Kelblova presented data from the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) as part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an organisation which serves to promote economic development and cooperation between member countries. Read More »

3 ways the Russian government plans to police the web

A new Russian law will go into effect on August 1, 2014, that requires a wide array of websites and online services to register formally with the government. Sites and applications that allow Internet users to communicate will be obligated to store the past six months of user-data on servers located inside Russia, making the information available to Russian law enforcement. Read More »

Serbian bloggers censored for criticizing flood relief efforts

  In late May 2014, Serbia was hit hard by flooding in what became the largest natural disaster the region has seen in the past century. The catastrophic floods not only have taken a yet unknown number of lives and homes, but have also brought to light the pressure and censorship the current government, led by the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), has been placing on media. Read More »

Youth@Work in Moldova

May 20, 2014
Youth in Moldova are taking the future into their own hands. It started with the United Nations Development Group’s decision to launch Post-2015 Dialogues on Implementation into 50 countries. Then, the UNDP, Emerson College's Engagement Lab and the National Youth Council of Moldova formed a coalition to tackle the issue of development in Moldova. Read More »

Google and Yandex integrate ad platforms

In a partnership announced in February, Google and Yandex, the most popular search engine in Russia, will cooperate to allow their respective advertising platforms to access each other's inventory.   Read More »

Move over, Berlin: Poland is the new playground for tech startups

Apr 24, 2014
You're an entrepreneur, and you want to found a startup. You have an idea that's sophisticated, adventurous, and could even develop a brand new business model for the tech world. If you could found your startup anywhere in the world, where would it be? San Francisco, Tel Aviv, New York, Berlin? How about Poland? Read More »

So long, Mr. Durov, and thanks for all the fish

This post is part of RuNet Echo, a Global Voices project to interpret the Russian language internet. After more than a year of rumors, the stockholders of Russia’s largest online social network, Vkontakte, have finally fired founder and CEO Pavel Durov. Read More »

Crowdfunding kicks off in the Czech Republic with the help of

Mar 19, 2014
The concept of crowd funding (a form of online fundraising and/or investment using small donations from a large number of donors) has caught on in the Czech Republic, according to Radio Prague., a successful Czech crowd funding site founded in 2012, exemplifies the trend. Although other crowd funding sites are available in the Czech Republic, according to an interview with Aleš Burger, Hithit co-founder, on, Hithit differs from the others because there people have a real chance of success.  Read More »

Ukrainians, Russians on Social Networks: ‘In Case of War, Everyone Will Lose!’

This post is part of our Special Coverage Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests. Almost a week after being ousted, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych surfaced in the Russian Federation, while Russian military forces have flooded Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine located on the Crimean Black Sea peninsula. Read More »
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