Leaders with authoritarian instincts may not cede their emergency powers.
On 27 March 2020, European Digital Rights (EDRi) and 12 of its member organisations sent an open letter to representatives of Member States in the Council of the EU. In the letter, we voice our deep concern over the proposed legislation on the regulation of terrorist content online and what we view as serious potential threats to fundamental rights of privacy, freedom of expression, etc.
Public health authorities should work with private employers and trusted community leaders such as faith leaders, to promulgate factual information to employees and citizens. Trusted, influential private-sector employers should create the capacity to readily and reliably augment public messaging, manage rumors and misinformation, and amplify credible information to support emergency public communications. National public health agencies should work in close collaboration with WHO to create the capability to rapidly develop and release consistent health messages. For their part, media companies should commit to ensuring that authoritative messages are prioritized and that false messages are suppressed including though the use of technology.
Accomplishing the above goals will require collaboration among governments, international organizations and global business.
Hungary’s parliament endorsed a bill on Monday giving nationalist premier Viktor Orban the sweeping new powers he says he needs to fight the new coronavirus pandemic.
Nationalist opposition League leader Matteo Salvini said, amid criticism of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban getting full powers Monday, that it had been a democratic choice by the Hungarian parliament.
Most concerning is that this could lead to the censorship of those who disagree with the government’s line on coronavirus – and the extraordinary measures it has put in place to tackle it.
There is a great deal of disagreement among experts on a whole range of questions related to the coronavirus outbreak, such as over the death rate of the virus or the necessity of a society-wide shutdown. Members of the public have every right to weigh in on these debates on social media, too.
A Chinese official has confirmed a scary new fact about the deadly coronavirus: it is airborne.
The drug, developed in Cuba, is produced in China at the Changchun Heber Biological Technology, located in Jilin province, in a joint venture as part of an agreement between the two socialist countries in biotechnology.
It has prevented thousands of deaths in South Korea. Out of the 8,000 infected peoples, only 72 died. Germany has also bought these antivirals from the ChangHeber to fight the pandemic. Out of the 3,156 infected people, only 3 died.
KINGSTON, Jamaica — President of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Dr Peter Phillips, has reached out to the Government of Cuba for Jamaica to access the anti-viral drug Interferon Alpha 2B, which is said to be among 30 such drugs being used in the fight against the COVID-19 virus in other jurisdictions.
This drug is being used in 14 other jurisdictions in Asia, Europe and South America, the PNP said in a statement today.
The recombinant human interferon α 2b (IFN-α2b) produced by Cuban technology is obtained from Escherichia coli.This is the active principle of the product registered in Cuba as Heberon alfa R® trademark (IFN-α2b, CIGB, Havana),which has been successfully used worldwide for the therapy of several viral diseases and neoplasms. Here wedescribe the purity and identity tests used for its molecular characterization.
Developed in 1986 by a team of researchers from the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), human recombinant Interferon Alfa 2B has benefited thousands of Cuban patients since its introduction into the national health system, and is one of the drugs currently used to combat the new coronavirus COVID-19.
Note also how at the bottom they go from 1,344,469 vote totals to 1,072,844. Which is obviously not possible. @MichiganDems you’ve been exposed.
A Missouri House representative introduced a bill in January that would allow the banning of specific books from the state’s libraries and includes threats of misdemeanor charges for failure to comply.
That was my introduction to the political phenomenon known as Antideutsche – anti-Germans. It started in the late 1980s as an exotic offshoot of the Maoist left, whose members denied the very legitimacy of a German nation after Nazism, under the slogan, “Germany, never again.” But for the past two decades, Antideutsche has had one primary focus: an unrestrained attack on anyone who is critical, even a bit, of Israeli policy. According to their amazingly simplistic approach, anti-Semitism is the source of all evil, Israel is the answer to anti-Semitism, and thus constitutes absolute good. Hence, at demonstrations and in Facebook posts of this left-wing group, there have even been calls to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza – that is, calls for genocide.
A court in Turkey’s capital Ankara ruled on Wednesday to lift a ban on Wikipedia, after a decision by the country’s top court that the block breached freedom of expression.
Turkish authorities had blocked the online encyclopedia on April 29, 2017, after which its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, filed a case against the ban with the country’s Constitutional Court.
A bill proposed in Missouri this month represents a transparent, shameful attempt to legalize book banning in public libraries within the state, PEN America said today.
Israel’s security apparatus and its over-collaborative judiciary would do well to look up, then commit to memory, the words of U.S. Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis: „Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.“
Police suspect Nave had sexual relations with the judge in exchange for her promotion as well as with the wife of another judge in exchange for his advancement.
Nave has been a dominant and influential figure on Israel’s legal scene since 2015, when he ousted the president of the Bar Association and took leadership of the professional organization that represents the country’s 59,000 attorneys.
Nave, who had an alliance with former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who was friends with Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, who would routinely meet with senior politicians and dreamed of becoming a cabinet minister himself someday exploited his position of power to the hilt. Like a vote contractor for a ruling party, he took advantage of his role to gain sexual favors, connections and power. And yet, if there weren’t any people willing to dance to his corrupt tune, the public may have been spared such degradation.
he global chemical weapons watchdog is facing renewed questions after fresh details emerged about how it suppressed the findings of its own inspectors who raised serious doubts about an alleged poison gas attack in Syria.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a senior official at the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) demanded the ‘removal of all traces’ of a document which undermined claims that gas cylinders had been dropped from the air – a key element of the ‘evidence’ that the Syrian regime was responsible.
27 December, 2019
Today WikiLeaks releases more internal documents from the OPCW regarding the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018.
One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation:
“Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive]… And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA”.
The main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma and two cylinders that were found on the site of the alleged attack, was that they were more likely manually placed there than dropped from a plane or helicopter from considerable heights. His findings were omitted from the official final OPCW report on the Douma incident.
This is getting really, really, really weird.
WikiLeaks has published yet another set of leaked internal documents from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adding even more material to the mountain of evidence that we’ve been lied to about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year which resulted in airstrikes upon that nation from the US, UK and France.
This new WikiLeaks drop includes an email from the OPCW Chief of Cabinet Sebastien Braha (who is reportedly so detested by organisation inspectors that they code named him “Voldemort”) throwing a fit over the Ian Henderson Engineering Assessment which found that the Douma incident was likely a staged event. Braha is seen ordering OPCW staff to “remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever” from the organisation’s secure registry.
Hong Kong (CNN) At the start of this year, as Zimbabwe cut off internet access across the country following anti-government protests, the internet pressure group Keep It On warned that such „shutdowns must never be allowed to become the new normal.“
Twelve months later, however, that’s exactly where we are.
The Indian government has asked third party contractors to help it build a massive surveillance network utilizing thousands of cameras and the current cream of the facial recognition crop at the time of deployment. The whole thing needs to be in place less than 8 months after the contract is secured, suggesting the government is more than happy to move forward with whatever it has on hand rather than whatever might actually do the job well.
It’s also climbing the global censorship charts, trailing only Russia, China, and Turkey in various social media platform demographics. But it is the king of Facebook censorship, delivering more takedown demands to Facebook than closest rival, Russia. When you’re out-censoring Russia, you’re playing the censorship game right.
It requires Russian internet providers to install hardware to allow authorities to locate the source of traffic and block it.
More disturbing were the extraordinary technical capabilities that were used to remove – in real time – any mention of the death of Chinese dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Russia wishes to be equally restrictive although it does not appear to have the technical capabilities and it has not put itself behind a national firewall, at least not yet – it is working on it. It has instead focused on removing people’s ability to access information anonymously.
On Wednesday, the Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency delivered a notification ordering that the signal be replaced by the central government’s Public Radio FM…
… Meanwhile, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) denied any dialogue began with the government, despite Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner saying so on national television.
It includes terrifying pronouncements by unnamed “intelligence officials,” unprovable, overblown, or outright fake statistical assertions about the threat (like the oft-cited claim that fake election news had more engagement than real news), open conflation of legitimate domestic dissent with foreign attack, and routine dismissal of experts downplaying the problem (here are two significant studies suggesting the “fake news” phenomenon is overstated).
Of course, the final, omnipresent ingredient in most major propaganda campaigns is the authoritarian solution. Here, it’s unelected, unsupervised algorithmic control over media. We’ve never had a true news regulator in this country, yet the public is being conditioned now to accept one, without thinking of the consequences.
As things stand, what you can and cannot say on the internet is largely a matter for national law, decided by national parliaments. This means that every nation in Europe currently has different laws and practices.
But the EU has quietly been moving to change this. Take last year’s Copyright Directive, which more or less demands the introduction of automated content filters on social-media platforms. And last month, it became clear that an impatient Brussels wants to turbocharge this process by bringing internet regulation to the EU level, where it can pull the necessary strings.
In a broad policy speech earlier this year, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Thomas Haldenwang, called for increased patrolling of digital communication, including social media. German law permits officials to search through data in the digital sphere in the face of certain threats, including domestic terrorism.
Partly inspired by Germany’s social media hate speech law, France’s Parliament recently started debating a similar bill.
It’s not for the politicians to dictate how events should be covered.
The traditional Fourth Estate has for centuries been recognised as distinctly separate from the powers of government which is defined as three estates, the legislature, the executive and a judiciary.
Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Viber, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger were all shut down in Sri Lanka after Sunday’s co-ordinated attacks.
The Sri Lankan government’s decision to block all social media sites in the wake of Sunday’s deadly attacks is emblematic of just how much US-based technology companies’ failure to rein in misinformation, extremism and incitement to violence has come to outweigh the claimed benefits of social media.
The legislation is designed to route web traffic through filters controlled by Roskomnadzor, the state communications watchdog, increasing its power to control information and block messaging or other applications.
These are dark days for freedom on the Internet. As Cory Doctorow wrote in a recent post on Boing Boing: „We are witnessing the realtime, high-speed Chinafication of the western internet.“ Country after country is adopting laws that undermine freedom of speech, usually in the name of „enforcing“ copyright, which is apparently more important.
One of the strange habits of our time is the one in which a self-appointed class roams the land, hands cupped to their ear, hoping to discern something they can identify as a ‘dog-whistle’. I wrote about this habit after Conservative MP Suella Braverman came in for a scolding for using the phrase ‘cultural Marxism’ in a speech.
Will internet regulation end the internet as we know it? Has the left turned against the working class? And will cultural appropriation eat itself? Brendan O’Neill, Ella Whelan and Fraser Myers discuss on this week’s spiked podcast.
Today, a Government in dire need of a good news story has mooted legislation resulting in the very opposite. The Conservative manifesto from 2017 said:
“Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree.”
Now the Tories are delivering on their promise. But their attempt to police the internet should worry us all. The “Online Harms” white paper calls for an independent watchdog to write a “code of practice” for tech companies.
The British establishment has some front. First it decimates our democratic rights by doing everything within its considerable power to dilute, degrade or thwart entirely the thing that 17.4million of us voted for: Brexit. Then it virtually criminalises us if we get angry about this. It treats us as speechcriminals if we fume against the undermining of our vote or describe as ‘traitors’ those MPs who have devoted their every waking hour to making sure Brexit doesn’t happen. The elite’s war on the democratic vote for Brexit is now attended by a complementary war on public anger
As we’ve discussed before, reporter Maria Ressa is a powerhouse journalist, who started an important Filipino news site, Rappler.com. Rappler has been (quite reasonably) highly critical of the Filipino government under President Duterte, and over the past few years, the Duterte government has responded with a bunch of highly questionable criminal complaints against Ressa, which all appear to be in direct violation of the country’s 4th Amendment, which is a near carbon copy of the American 1st Amendment. It forbids any law that abridges the freedom of the press (among other things).
Australia said it will legislate “tough” new laws to prevent social-media platforms from being “weaponized” by terrorists and extremists who may use them to live-stream violent crimes, such as this month’s terror attack in New Zealand. Singapore said it will introduce a law to halt the spread of “fake news.”
Yesterday’s ministerial meeting coincided with a national remembrance service in New Zealand for the 50 people killed in the attack by a white supremacist at two mosques on March 15.
At a news conference after the meeting, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said that new media and technologies had allowed for the promotion of hate speech and posed a threat to the „broad centre“ of society.
Over and over and over again, this is what they insisted. Of course, we all knew it wasn’t true, and the German government quietly admitted that filters were necessary a few weeks ago. That didn’t stop the vote from happening, of course, and the Parliament questionably moving forward with this plan. Still, it’s rather striking that just a day after the vote, as pointed out to us by Benjamin Henrion, France’s Minister for Culture gave a speech in which he admits that it requires filters and hopes that France will implement the law as quickly as possible in order to start locking down the internet.
Fundamentally, policing of speech can happen at one of two points: before content disseminates, or after. Policing content after it disseminates involves human agents seeing and reporting content and taking action or requesting action. This can happen on a huge scale or a tiny one: Facebook’s content flagging system, obscenity law in much of the EU and USA, parents who object to books assigned in schools, and China’s 50 Cent Army of two million internet censors, all these act to silence content after it disseminates.
Now that the copyright bill has been approved, each country in the European Union will have two years to adopt the new rules. Legal challenges are expected.
In a stunning rejection of the will of five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety.
The Internet is in danger and you can save it!
The latest comes in some quotes he gave in a great article by DW.com, which correctly highlights how Article 13 is going to lead to widespread censorship. Voss tries to defend it with some truly bizarre claims:
“We are just concentrating on platforms that are infringing on copyrighted works like YouTube. Not for dating platforms or merchandising or local social platforms. Only 1.5% of internet platforms will be affected.”
Only 1.5% of platforms will be affected?
Over the weekend, we were surprised to learn that some readers were prevented by Facebook when attempting to share Zero Hedge articles. Subsequently it emerged that virtually every attempt to share or merely mention an article, including in private messages, would be actively blocked by the world’s largest social network, with the explanation that „the link you tried to visit goes against our community standards.“
In a new official statement on the Directive (English translation), Kelber warns that Article 13 will inevitably lead to the use of automated filters, because there is no imaginable way for the organisations that run online services to examine everything their users post and determine whether each message, photo, video, or audio clip is a copyright violation.
Kelber goes on to warn that this will exacerbate the already dire problem of market concentration in the tech sector, and expose Europeans to particular risk of online surveillance and manipulation.
(13.2.2019) In addition, under Article 11 of the new copyright code, European news outlets will receive a new right to “facilitate the way they negotiate how their content is reused on online platforms.”
(15.2.2019) The EU’s new copyright laws will force all websites to check all posts to see if anything ever published might be a copyright violation. That will include photos, videos, words, tweets, memes, source code — you name it.
(25.9.2018) How a risk-averse bureaucracy across the ocean may decide what you say and do online.
Despite following this stuff for decades, sometimes even I’m surprised at the levels of intellectual dishonesty coming from those supporting bad copyright policy. The latest is that, despite widespread controversy and criticism over Article 13, some in the EU Parliament thought the appropriate strategy was to speed up the timeline to the vote on the Directive — specifically holding the vote before a massive EU-wide protest that is planned for March 23. Rather than recognize that millions of people across the EU are so up in arms over the problems in Articles 11 and 13, German Member of the EU Parliament, Manfred Weber, the leader of the powerful European People’s Party (EPP) simply proposed voting before the protests could even happen.
It’s been really quite incredible to see MEP Axel Voss — the main EU Parliament cheerleader for Articles 11 and 13 — making the rounds over the past few weeks to insist that all the complaints about the EU Copyright Directive are wrong. Just last week we saw him make incredibly misleading statements about which platforms were impacted by the law, leaving out that the minor exemption only applied to companies less than three years old. And now, his political group in the Parliament, EPP, has put out an astoundingly misleading interview with Voss, which makes claims that make me wonder if he even knows what’s in Article 13.
Volker Rieck runs a German anti-piracy operation, and over the last year or so has been an increasingly vocal — if somewhat unhinged — supporter of Article 13 and the EU Copyright Directive. I won’t link, but a few quick Google searches will find some examples of Rieck trying to build out conspiracy theories of big giant American internet companies secretly running the entirety of the anti-Article 13 push in Europe. You could say that some of them dip into red yarn on a corkboard territory. Of course, as we’ve discussed before, the idea that any attacks on Article 13 are all really because of Google has been a key part of the pro-Article 13 lobbying strategy from the beginning. Of course, as we’ve highlighted, if you look at the actual lobbying, it’s been almost entirely from legacy copyright organizations, with very little coming from the internet industry.
Most notably we regret that the Directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of right holders and the interests of EU citizens and companies. It therefore risks to hinder innovation rather than promote it and to have a negative impact the competitiveness of the European Digital Single Market.
Furthermore, we feel that the Directive lacks legal clarity, will lead to legal uncertainty for many
stakeholders concerned and may encroach upon EU citizens’ rights.
We therefore cannot express our consent with the proposed text of the Directive.
One of the more obnoxious elements of the EU politicians brushing off the concerns of the public concerning the EU Copyright Directive, is their repeated, insulting and incorrect, claim that there really isn’t a public upswell against Articles 11 and 13 and that it’s all just manufactured by Google and „bots“ and „astroturfing.“ We’ve already pointed out that nearly 5 million people have signed the Change.org petition protesting Article 13 — making it the largest petition on that site ever.
Despite ringing denunciations from small EU tech businesses, giant EU entertainment companies, artists‘ groups, technical experts, and human rights experts, and the largest body of concerned citizens in EU history, the EU has concluded its „trilogues“ on the new Copyright Directive, striking a deal that—amazingly—is worse than any in the Directive’s sordid history.
The final Parliament vote will happen mere weeks before the EU elections. Most MEPs – and certainly all parties – are going to be seeking reelection. Articles 11 and 13 will be defeated if enough voters make these issues relevant to the campaigns.
(12.12.2018) He was asked to perform at a gig at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in London, organised by university society Unicef on Campus.
The group has since apologised and the Students‘ Union says it „believes fully in freedom of speech“.
Konstantin told Radio 1 Newsbeat the experience reflects a growing trend of free speech becoming stifled on university campuses across the UK.
He shared the „behavioural agreement form“ online, saying the title „nearly made me puke“.
Israel’s military censor, without commenting on the credibility of Hamas’s information, urged the media not to disseminate any details about the Nov. 11 incident in which an Israeli colonel, a Hamas commander and six other Palestinian militants were killed.
Let’s be clear about what this is. This new legislation is a national government requiring a useful internet tool to be less useful to the average Australian citizen that is searching the internet, simply as a favor to a few big content players in both Australia and, what will be more common, abroad. That’s a clear disservice by the Australian government to its own people.
French media stirs up a controversy and blames Israel for trying to enforce censorship.
In March, the United States Special Operations Command, the section of the Defense Department supervising the US Special Forces, held a conference on the theme of “Sovereignty in the Information Age.” The conference brought together Special Forces officers with domestic police forces, including officials from the New York Police Department, and representatives from technology companies such as Microsoft.
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg will testify in an open hearing at the Senate Intelligence Committee next week, the committee’s chairman has confirmed.
Larry Page, chief executive of Google parent company Alphabet, was also invited but has not confirmed his attendance, a committee spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.
Under current US law, Google allows a number of companies to directly and without oversight remove sites from its search index, based purely on the claim that copyrights are being infringed. In effect, a handful of media companies have control over what we can – and can’t – find online.
One of them is Symphonic Distribution, who offer a service called “Topple Track” . This service sent a notice to Google on July 22 falsely claiming that my blog post and a number of other sites were somehow infringing on the copyright of an Australian TV starlet. Automated systems at Google honored the claim and delisted the pages, sight unseen.
(1.8.2018) Google withdrew from China eight years ago to protest the country’s censorship and online hacking. Now, the internet giant is working on a censored search engine for China that will filter websites and search terms that are blacklisted by the Chinese government, according to two people with knowledge of the plans.
Google has teams of engineers working on a search app that restricts content banned by Beijing, said the people, who asked for anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly about the project. The company has demonstrated the service to Chinese government officials, they added.
Move to HTTPS; lose the Chinese. That’s the revised internet maxim. China’s Great Firewall has gradually reduced the number of foreign sites accessible by Chinese citizens… „gradually“ only in the sense that it’s been a continuous rollout steadily decreasing web access. The government blocked an entire content delivery network at one point, so even this gradual rollout has seen its share of spikes.
As is being collaboratively reported at WikiTribune, the BBC says the move to HTTPS for all of it properties has resulted in Chinese citizens being unable to access their contents.
YouTube, Facebook and Apple have taken steps to remove content associated with InfoWars and its founder Alex Jones.
(3.8.2018) Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it had uncovered a new wave of disinformation attacks ahead of the 2018 elections. To hear Facebook tell it, the new attacks pretty closely mirror Russia’s Internet Research Agency attacks during the 2016 election. As in, the culprits are trying to sow distrust and amplify partisan divisions on both sides of the aisle by creating fake organizations, fake people, fake news, and rockin‘ memes. How much that actually accomplishes is the matter of some debate, but it’s also pretty clear we don’t yet understand how deep this rabbit hole really goes.
According to Facebook, this latest attack on the nation’s gullible shows signs of evolution from the more ham-fisted attacks seen during the 2016 election. And while there’s no hard link to Russia yet, Facebook claims there are some connections between Russian Internet Research Agency „troll farm“ accounts and this new wave of disinformation:
Government “of the People” cannot flourish beneath a suffocating cloak of secrecy. And secrecy is often aimed, not at protecting us from enemies abroad, but at deceiving us about the dark machinations of our own government. The most consequential secrets are those used to conceal steps taken to establish predicates for future wars – unwarranted conflicts that seem to roll off an endless assembly line. No-fly zones, bombings, sanctions, false flags, blockades, mercenaries, bloodthirsty terrorists have all become stock in trade. Sanctions destabilize our targets through hunger and suffering. We terrorize and blow body parts into the streets like calling cards. Regime change is the end game; coups and assassinations are fair play.
Better telecommunication standards are attributed to have markedly raised public awareness over the years. Improved flow of information, however, has brought in its wake governmental interventions aimed at curbing access to ‘maintain order’. A cursory examination lends credence to the trend.
So, yesterday the House Judiciary Committee did what the House Judiciary Committee seems to do best: hold a stupid, nonsensical, nearly fact-free „hearing“ that serves as nothing more than an opportunity for elected members of Congress to demonstrate their ignorance of an important topic, while attempting to play to their base. This time, the topic was on the content filtering practices of Facebook, Twitter and Google.
But new threats threaten the sustainability of the world’s largest information source.
(18.6.2018) On June 20, the EU’s legislative committee will vote on the new Copyright directive, and decide whether it will include the controversial „Article 13“ (automated censorship of anything an algorithm identifies as a copyright violation) and „Article 11“ (no linking to news stories without paid permission from the site).
We’ve pointed this out over and over again with regards to all of the various attempts to „regulate“ the internet giants of Google and Facebook: nearly every proposal put forth to date creates a regulatory regime that Google and Facebook can totally handle. Sure, they might find it to be a nuisance, but its well within the resources of both companies to handle whatever is thrown their way. However, most other companies are then totally fucked, because they simply cannot comply in any reasonable manner. And, yet, these proposals keep coming — and people keep celebrating them in the false belief that they will somehow „contain“ the two internet giants, when the reality is that it will lock them in as the defacto dominant internet players, making it nearly impossible for upstarts and competitors to enter the market.
On May 1, the developers of the Signal encrypted messaging application revealed that over the previous month, Google and Amazon took steps to stop Signal from continuing to bypass censorship measures in place in Egypt, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Workers, youth, journalists, lawyers and human rights advocates will no longer be able to use the application to send encrypted messages and evade government surveillance.
A few years ago, when the EU Commission was first considering some really bad copyright policies designed to attack fundamental principles of how the internet worked, we pointed out the many, many problems with the EU Commission’s online survey (including the fact that their survey tool was literally broken, which eventually resulted in them expanding the time that the survey could be answered). It appears that one thing the EU Commission is good at doing is pushing silly one-sided online surveys that seem uniquely designed to get people to answer in a manner that blesses whatever awful policy the EU Commission has already decided to adopt.
At the session of Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament) on May 1, several changes were introduced to the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Law on Mass Media.
The changes concern media activities in wartime. Thus, Article 517-2.15 was added to Article 517, entitled „Violation of the requirements of the state of emergency“, which implies a penalty for not complying with the emergency regime in the martial law zone. The size of the fine is from 1,000 to 1,500 manat for officials, and from 6,000 to 8,000 manat for legal entities.
The government will also seek to develop a legal basis in 2019 to restrict access to piracy websites.
Critics have expressed concern that blocking certain websites violates Article 21 of the Constitution, which states: “No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.”