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 »
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 »
Kazakh Wikipedia has received an award at the annual Wikimania conference, which was held this year in Washington DC. The conference recognized Kazakhstan’s success in the development and improvement of its national division of Wikipedia, the biggest online encyclopedia, writes Caspionet.kz. Read More »
Tajikistan has announced plans to step up pressure on Internet users critical of the government. Officials are launching a public organization to monitor online publications for foul language and instances of libel or insult of public figures, including President Imomali Rahmon, according to Reuters. Read More »
A few days ago, the web site Politikat.net (The Politician; bg), created by prominent Bulgarian bloggers Komitata(Konstantin Pavlov) and Asen Genov, became the subject of the government’s attention. Komitata wrote about it here [bg]. Read More »
A bill proposing a single blacklist of illegal websites came under fire from the Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council because it could potentially lead to censorship on the Runet (Russian internet), according to RIA Novosti. Head Mikhail Fedotov, along with twenty other members of the council, expressed concern that, “the bill envisions the introduction of real censorship in the Russian sphere of the internet,” in a signed statement. Read More »
Google released its transparency report for 2011 last month, revealing that more governments in Eastern Europe were monitoring the online activity of their citizens than ever before. Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Hungary appeared again, while Ukraine and the Czech Republic are on the list for the first time.
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 »
Georgian police have seized the satellite dishes of Global TV, a cable network whose largest shareowner is the the brother of opposition leader and billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, according to The New York Times. Read More »
Look out, Facebook. In Uzbekistan, there’s a new competitor on the social-networking scene that is making no attempt to hide what it’s trying to be.