Authorities in Tajikistan have blocked access to Facebook for the second time this year, saying citizens are too tired of the “mud and slander” emanating from the site, according to Reuters. The blockade is one of several measures seen as aimed at dampening public dissent as the country looks ahead to a presidential election in 2013. Read More »
Originally published by EurasiaNet.org.
Civil society activists in Azerbaijan are trying to push back against government efforts to restrict space for public debate. And they’re hoping a recent global Internet forum in Baku will expand international support for their cause.
Earlier this month, Russia’s controversial new Internet blacklist law went into effect, raising serious concerns from bloggers, activists, and human rights watchers. The law, with the particularly Orwellian name “On Amendments to Federal Law On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation”, officially gives Kremlin agencies the legal right for deep surveillance of its citizenry. Read More »
The Internet is becoming ever more accessible in Russia, offering unlimited possibilities for the distribution of every kind of content. Cyberspace is also censored very minimally. This gives everyone an opportunity to speak their minds and cyber-antagonism is widespread in the Russian Internet community. Read More »
About a month ago, the Swedish non-profit Civil Rights Defenders (CDR) released their version of CAPTCHA, the system that is used to verify that the user of the web site is a human (as opposed to a programmed robot). Read More »
Journalists in Tajikistan have launched a campaign to protect press rights and protest a recent increase in government censorship online, according to Asia-Plus.
International criticism is mounting over the arrest of an activist blogger in Azerbaijan last week. On 3 October, Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned the arrest of 25-year-old Zaur Gurbanli, saying, “There is little doubt that Gurbanli’s arrest is linked to his blogging and political activities.” Read More »
Mobile phone users in an autonomous region in Tajikistan are upset at their cell providers for cutting off their phone services without any explanation or apology for more than a month during a period of heightened political tension. Now a group is organizing a boycott this weekend via Facebook by switching off their phones, saying the outage was an unlawful violation of human rights, according to Asia-Plus. Read More »
Unknown hackers have hacked a popular opposition community page in the social network of VKontakte.ru, and at the same time several of the pages’ moderators have been arrested. Read More »
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 »