Users of BY-net (a short name for the Belarusian segment of the Internet) have identified a KGB functionary who had been recruiting activists who participated in the silent demonstrations. A man in the photo leaked to Belarusian social networks has been identified rather quickly as Raman Savuchin. Charter97.org reports that this officer was working along with Dzmitry Kalamijec, an officer who became famous in the BY-net after his photos surfaced showing him recruiting Maks Carniauski, one of the prominent activists from the silent demonstrations . Read More »
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.
Reposted from East of Center, 13 January.
A fascinating discussion over at the Central Asian blog, Registan.net, has been taking place this past week about the possibility of Internet-fueled revolution in Central Asia. The debate coincides with recent reports about increasing numbers of Internet users in Uzbekistan, and the surging use of Facebook. Read More »
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 blogging world in Moldova erupted last week over the question of free speech vs. hate speech and how much online news sites should be required to moderate what users can and can’t post to live chats and news comment sections. In a country where social media and online communication has exploded over the past few years, a recent court case is showing just how far the virtual world has outstripped the legal boundaries of the real world.
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I’ve come across a great resource for those interested in staying up to date on digital developments worldwide: the Digital Media Mash Up, which calls itself “a weekly newsletter focusing on digital media events, news, and research from around the world”.Produced by the the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), an initiative of the National Endowment for Democracy (one of TOL’s long-time donors), the newsletter’s archive can be accessed here and you can find out how to sign up.
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.
As Russia gears up for parliamentary elections in a few days and presidential elections this coming spring, more and more eyes are turning to watch a new player in the national political scene there: the Internet. Read More »
Belarusian writer, researcher and social commentator Evgeny Morozov is an expert on how technology affects social and political arenas. Earlier this year he published a book called The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom where he looks critically at the ideas and idealism of cyber-utopianism and how the Internet may do as much harm for democracy as it does good for people in authoritarian states.
In 2009, Morozov gave a talk called The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens where he spoke about these issues. RSA Animate put the talk to images for this great video.
A new report, “Social Change and the Russian Network Society,” by Gregory Asmolov and Josh Machleder has been published on information technology in Russian civil society. They explain how new information technology has given rise to the “Fifth Estate,” a social media-oriented network society that is taking its place alongside traditional media and is changing the way Russians consume information. Read More »
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 »