Last week, it was SOPA and a blacked-out Wikipedia, amid a wave of Internet protests against controversial U.S. legislation to stop online piracy. This week, the acronym is ACTA, with more than 10,000 people marching in the streets of Poland’s cities against an anti-counterfeiting treaty that they say will lead to Internet censorship. Read More »
The last week a wave of publications about increasing Internet control in Belarus has spread across the Western Internet. It has come back to the Belarusian segment in translations suggesting that “the citizens of the small country will no longer be able to use the foreign websites as they will be fined for that” and the Internet is close to being completely closed off.
Despite tight government reins on the Internet, citizens of Uzbekistan are coming online in increasing numbers, according to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Citing a year-end report by the state communications agency, the news service says that of the country’s 28 million residents, almost 8 million were registered Internet users in 2011. Twenty percent had access to mobile Internet. Read More »
In Belarus there is something jokingly Belarus called the “Albanian Virus”. This is a virus that asks the user to delete all his sensitive content and spam his friends manually. This joke became been popular in Belarus in the time of virus pandemics during the ’90s. Read More »
A story started making its way around the Belarusian Internet several days ago when the state ISP Beltelecom sent its subscribers a request to change the DNS servers manually in order to “comply with the legislature on controlling Internet access”. 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.
Though Nursultan Nazarbayev’s oil-rich Kazakhstan may be the wealthiest country in Central Asia, its Internet is certainly not the freest these days, as the latest crackdown on supposed “extreme” websites proves. Read More »
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 »
Supposedly inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings and the ongoing debate around online whistleblowing, last week the United Nations sent out a report declaring that internet access is a human right, stating that “the Internet has become a key means by which individuals can exercise their right to freedom and expression.” Read More »
Welcome to Net Prophet, a blog produced by Transitions that will be providing updates and analysis on the latest in new media and IT developments across Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
For years now, we’ve been reading the fascinating information that our project managers have been sending it from the field for grant reports, and felt it was a pity that only a few donors were privy to such updates. It has also seemed to us that blogs on new media/tech development rarely cover this part of the world, even though a wealth of interesting stuff is happening out there on the ground, with very little press internationally. Read More »