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Category Archives: Censorship

Human Rights World Report 2015

World Report 2015 is Human Rights Watch’s 25th annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. In his keynote, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth reflects on a year so tumultuous, “it can seem as if the world is unraveling.” Surveying several of the year’s most daunting security challenges—including the rise of the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS), China’s crackdown on Uighurs in Xinjiang, and Mexico’s abuse-riddled war on drugs—Roth stresses the important role that human rights violations played in fomenting and aggravating those crises. The report reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2014, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in question. It also reflects the work of our advocacy team, which monitors policy developments and strives to persuade governments and international institutions to curb abuses and promote human rights.”

Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2015

“The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate. Top of the list, as so often, are threeContinue Reading

Libraries After Charlie Hebdo: The Threat of Violence, The Fear of Self-Censorship

Lisa Peet – Library Journal – “Although written texts often evoke strong, sometimes contentious reactions, political cartoons and caricatures can be equally incendiary. According to Barbara Jones, executive director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association. (ALA), “Cartoons are a particular problem in our office—graphic novels and books with cartoonsContinue Reading

Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers

PEN America – “Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers is a new report demonstrating the damaging impact of surveillance by the United States and other governments on free expression and creative freedom around the world. The report’s revelations, based on a survey of nearly 800 writers worldwide, are alarming. Concern aboutContinue Reading

The Tightening Web of Russian Internet Regulation

Tselikov, Andrey, The Tightening Web of Russian Internet Regulation (November 20, 2014). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-15. Available for download at SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2527603 “Over the past two years, systematic Internet regulation has increased more in Russia than anywhere else in the world. A series of progressively more restrictive legislative developments between the summer of 2012Continue Reading

On Modeling the Costs of Censorship

Michael Carl Tschantz, Sadia Afroz, Vern Paxson, J. D. Tygar (Submitted on 10 Sep 2014) “We argue that the evaluation of censorship evasion tools should depend upon economic models of censorship. We illustrate our position with a simple model of the costs of censorship. We show how this model makes suggestions for how to evade censorship. In particular, fromContinue Reading

Study: Government Blocks Specific Journalists From Accessing Information

David Sorota: “As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, it was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing “seriousContinue Reading

Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later

Fencing Out Knowledge – Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later, American Library Association, Policy Brief No. 5, June 2014. “What do Hotmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Facebook, and National Geographic have in common? They offer content and services that millions of Americans use every day to communicate, share content, and seek information. They alsoContinue Reading

Blogs as an Alternative Public Sphere

Etling, Bruce and Roberts, Hal and Faris, Robert, Blogs as an Alternative Public Sphere: The Role of Blogs, Mainstream Media, and TV in Russia’s Media Ecology (April 22, 2014). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-8. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2427932 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2427932 “Applying a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, we investigate whether Russian blogs represent an alternative publicContinue Reading

Stanford scholar says greatest dangers to nuclear facilities are sabotage, theft from insiders

News release: “Insider threats are the most serious challenge confronting nuclear facilities in today’s world, a Stanford political scientist says. In every case of theft of nuclear materials where the circumstances of the theft are known, the perpetrators were either insiders or had help from insiders, according to Scott Sagan and his co-author, Matthew Bunn of Harvard University, inContinue Reading

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013

John F. Kerry – Secretary of State: “As we mark the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices highlight the continued pursuit of “free and equal dignity in human rights” in every corner of the world. Based on factual reporting from our embassies andContinue Reading

404 Day: A Day of Action Against Censorship in Libraries

“Join EFF on April 4th for 404 Day, a nation-wide day of action to call attention to the long-standing problem of Internet censorship in public libraries and public schools. In collaboration with the MIT Center for Civic Media and the National Coalition Against Censorship, we are hosting a digital teach-in with some of the top researchersContinue Reading