Two Azerbaijani bloggers have been arrested for uploading a video depicting a donkey giving a news-conference. The video was a parody of Azerbaijan's propaganda "news-conferences." The official charge is "hooliganism" and police say that the bloggers got involved in a "scuffle at a restaurant" but they deny having participated in any "scuffle" and insist that the arrest was political.
My father was born in a refugee camp in Azerbaijan, near Baku, but I've never had the urge to go back and look up the spot.
Speaking to the BBC, Elsa Vidal - Europe desk officer with Reporters Without Borders - said that press freedoms in Azerbaijan were almost non-existent, making it "one of the black spots of the former USSR".
"The situation is still severe and local public servants enjoy virtual immunity from an investigation from the press when they try and expose corruption," she said.
"There are no grounds for the bloggers to be prosecuted. They should be released and all accusations should be dropped.
"The authorities have more to lose in jailing the bloggers than in freeing them, but who knows what will actually be said at the trial?" she added.
The UN Human Rights Committee also raised concerns about the arrests, saying there were "extensive limitations to the right to freedom of expression" in Azerbaijan.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, the French National Assembly has declared a state of emergency with sweeping powers, without any substantial debate. Included in the bill are the power to order the nation’s ISPs to block websites without any judicial review or court order, and for authorities to seize and search electronic devices […]
The $825,000 Z Backscatter Vans the NYPD drives around the city look like regular police vans, but are equipped with powerful X-rays that can see through walls and vehicles. US Customs uses these things to scan cars and freight-containers, but only after they’re sure there are no people around.
“The End of the Internet Dream,” cyberlawyer Jennifer Granick’s keynote at Black Hat, was all anyone could talk about at this year’s Defcon — Black Hat being the grown-up, buttoned-down, military-industrial cousin to Defcon’s wild and exuberant anarchy.
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