human rights

Tajikistan cuts access to Facebook, again

Tajikistan cuts access to Facebook, again

Nov 28, 2012
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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 »

Azerbaijan: How to Measure Free Speech on the Internet?

Azerbaijan: How to Measure Free Speech on the Internet?

Nov 20, 2012
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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.

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The Kremlin’s 21st-century thought police

The Kremlin’s 21st-century thought police

Nov 14, 2012
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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 uses and abuses of fighting extremism on RuNet

The uses and abuses of fighting extremism on RuNet

Nov 6, 2012
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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 »

Hooked on a feeling: The strange marriage of human rights and CAPTCHAs

Hooked on a feeling: The strange marriage of human rights and CAPTCHAs

Oct 23, 2012
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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 »

Tajik journalists cry foul over blocks to ‘TajNet’

Tajik journalists cry foul over blocks to ‘TajNet’

Oct 16, 2012
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Journalists in Tajikistan have launched a campaign to protect press rights and protest a recent increase in government censorship online, according to Asia-Plus.

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Uzbekistan targets proxy servers in continued Net crackdown

Uzbekistan targets proxy servers in continued Net crackdown

Oct 12, 2012
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Internet users in Uzbekistan have reported being blocked from accessing proxy servers, according to Uznews.
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Azeri blogger’s continued detention sparks international condemnation

Azeri blogger’s continued detention sparks international condemnation

Oct 5, 2012
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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 »

Platform allows Skopje women to report harassment

Platform allows Skopje women to report harassment

Sep 18, 2012
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React!, a recently launched online platform that allows Macedonian women to self-report incidents of gender-based harassment, is attracting new users and positive reviews, according to Global Voices. Read More »

Tajik activists blame telecoms for unlawful outages

Tajik activists blame telecoms for unlawful outages

Aug 31, 2012
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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 »

Belarusian opposition VK groups hacked, admins arrested

Belarusian opposition VK groups hacked, admins arrested

Aug 30, 2012
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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 service to scour Internet for hate speech

Kyrgyzstan’s secret service to scour Internet for hate speech

Aug 27, 2012
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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 »

Fear and self-censorship on the Uzbek Internet

Fear and self-censorship on the Uzbek Internet

Jul 31, 2012
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Uzbekistan has the most severe restrictions on Internet use in Central Asia, according to a recent report on the state of Internet and politics in the country. Read More »

Wiretapping increases across the EU and beyond

Wiretapping increases across the EU and beyond

Wiretapping and retention of users’ data by government agencies has increased across Europe in the last years. The trend has been thoroughly analyzed in a report by the European Commission. Read More »

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