Mobile app store metrics from NetBlocks confirm the removal of a popular opposition election tracking app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The incident comes as Russia holds parliamentary elections from 17 to 19 September 2021.

The strategic voting application devised by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, titled simply “Navalny”, is now unavailable on the two leading Russian app markets but remains online in other observed countries.

OnlyFans’ decision to ban sexually explicit content raises questions about credit card processors’ power.

Apple is censoring words and phrases customers can engrave on products in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, according to a new report by Toronto-based research institute The Citizen Lab. The iPhone-maker has always said it filters engraving requests to avoid racist language, vulgarities, or intellectual property violations, but The Citizen Lab says the company’s restrictions of political references in Hong Kong and Taiwan particularly go above and beyond legal requirements.

“We found that part of Apple’s mainland China political censorship bleeds into both Hong Kong and Taiwan,” write the report’s authors. “Much of this censorship exceeds Apple’s legal obligations in Hong Kong, and we are aware of no legal justification for the political censorship of content in Taiwan.”

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Aug 14

Canada’s government is poised to pass a “harmful content” regulation. It’s a worst-in-class mutation of a dangerous idea that’s swept the globe, in which governments demand that hamfisted tech giants remove broad categories of speech – too swiftly for meaningful analysis.

A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy has said that Turkey should impose prison sentences to combat “disinformation” on social media.

The party is working on a new draft law and reviewing other countries’ laws about the issue, Ali Özkaya told daily Hürriyet. Turkey, like Germany, should impose prison sentences of from one to five years for disinformation on social media, he said.

Banning people involved in disinformation from using social media for a certain period of time and imposing compensation penalties on them are also among the sanctions Özkaya suggested.

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WHO DO YOU ask to find out if the government of Ethiopia has really shut down the internet? If Facebook is blocked in India? Or if Wikipedia is unreachable from Venezuela? For the past few years, the answer to all those questions has been NetBlocks. 

Since its launch in 2016, the London-based outfit has alerted the world to all and every internet incident. Whenever a ruler, junta or strongman tampers with a country’s connectivity, NetBlocks will be tweeting about it, publishing graphs and reports showing how the disruption unfolded. Day after day, crisis after crisis, NetBlocks’s alerts pour in, almost a fixture of the age of internet censorship. 

The group’s rise has been unstoppable. It has over 125,000 followers on Twitter and its posts can rake in thousands of retweets and tens of thousands of likes. Articles citing NetBlocks have appeared in The New York Times (at least 15 articles), CNN (over 150 times), BBC (over 100), and WIRED (at least ten stories). United Nations documents about the scourge of internet censorship include links to NetBlocks, as do working papers by the governments of the UK and the US. Yet, as NetBlocks has attained stardom among internet-watchers, a question has rumbled on: how does it know that the internet is down? 

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Stunning revelations have emerged overseas about the reckless and duplicitous methods used by US law enforcement against Julian Assange. But in the US, the story has been subject to an almost total media blackout.

As we have pointed out since Media Lens began in 2001, a fundamental feature of corporate media is propaganda by omission. Over the past week, a stunning example has highlighted this core property once again.

A major witness in the US case against Julian Assange has just admitted fabricat­ing key accusati­ons in the indictment against the Wikileaks founder. These dramatic revelations emerged in an extensive article published on 26 June in Stundin, an Icelandic newspaper. The paper interviewed the witness, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, a former WikiLeaks volunteer, who admitted that he had made false allegations against Assange after being recruited by US authorities. Thordarson, who has several convictions for sexual abuse of minors and financial fraud, began working with the US Department of Justice and the FBI after receiving a promise of immunity from prosecution. He even admitted to continuing his crime spree while working with the US authorities.

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The internet nowadays is ephemeral. Layers upon layers of trusted 3rd parties are necessary to distribute content online. It requires ongoing maintenance and is susceptible to censorship or hostile takedowns. In this blog post, I describe the steps I took to host my blog in a trustless, permanent, and censorship-resistant way using the IPFS network and Ethereum blockchain.

We’ll be covering many topics, including NFTs, Ethereum smart contracts, and ENS domains, but you don’t need to be familiar with any of those. This post aims to help you configure your own trustless and decentralized website even if you don’t have any blockchain-related experience.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only. Please do your own research on the potential consequences of trying to circumvent censorship in your jurisdiction.

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Created on Oct 25, 2020
By @gurlic