A cashless society as a tool for censorship and social control

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The Atlantic had the excellent idea of commissioning Sarah Jeong, one of the most astute technology commentators on the Internet (previously), to write a series of articles about the social implications of technological change: first up is an excellent, thoughtful, thorough story on the ways that the "cashless society" is being designed to force all transactions through a small number of bottlenecks that states can use to control behavior and censor unpopular political views. Read the rest

Banned on China's Internet: all discussion of the Panama Papers

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On Sunday, 100 news outlets published the first tranche of articles based on the largest leak in history, 2.6TB worth of records from Mossack Fonseca, the third-largest lawfirm specializing in confidential offshore shell-companies. Read the rest

Today is your last day to comment on Internet censorship through copyright abuse

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Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Hey Internet! Ever since SOPA we've all known that copyright laws have a huge impact on the Internet, free speech, innovation, creativity." Read the rest

Kickstarting a history of women and free speech in comics from CBLDF

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Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund sez, "CBLDF is kickstarting She Changed Comics, a history of how women changed free expression in comics!" Read the rest

Landmark study on the effects of copyright takedown abuse on online free expression

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Three of America's sharpest copyright scholars have released a landmark study of the impact of copyright takedowns on free expression in America: Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice, by Jennifer Urban (UC Berkeley), Joe Karaganis (Columbia), and Brianna L. Schofiel (UC Berkeley) uses detailed surveys and interviews and a random sample from over 100,000,000 takedown notices to analyze the proportion of fraudulent, malformed or otherwise incorrect acts of censorship undertaken in copyright's name, using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's takedown procedure. Read the rest

Surveillance has reversed the net's capacity for social change

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Sociologists describe the "spiral of silence": people with socially unpopular ideas fear that they're the only ones who think that way, and say nothing, and their silence convinces others that they, too are alone, begetting yet more silence. Read the rest

Russia moots ban on discussions about VPNs, reverse proxies, and other anti-censorship techniques

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Russian law provides for a national censorwall that entertainment companies can populate with the URLs of websites they dislike, without much oversight or review (it's similar the system used in the UK in that regard). Read the rest

First order of business for hard-right government: canceling Croatia's answer to The Daily Show

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Marko Rakar writes, "The TV show 'Montirani Proces' is a popular show very much like "The Daily Show" and the crew which creates it is very much like The Onion. They have produced six episodes of their show for Croatian National Television, seventh was supposed to air this Sunday." Read the rest

Donald Trump hires plainclothes security to investigate and interdict protesters

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Donald Trump rallies are notoriously violent, as his supporters, security staff and even Secret Service detail beat up protesters and members of the press who get too close to violent incidents (Drumpf himself explicitly encourages his supporters to beat up protesters). Read the rest

Anti-censorship coalition urges Virginia governor to veto "Beloved" bill

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Peter from the National Coalition Against Cenorship sez, "A bill requiring schools to notify parents if any 'sexually explicit content' is being taught would undermine First Amendment principles and the freedom to read." Read the rest

Google launches Project Shield, to protect news sites from DDoS attacks

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Insecure desktop operating systems (and even server/CMS vulnerabilities) has led to the creation of enormous, powerful botnets comprised of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of machines -- and thanks to the law of supply and demand, it's remarkably cheap and easy to rent time on a botnet and blast any site of your choosing off the Internet. Read the rest

Crowdfunding an English translation of the story of activists who kept the Internet on during the Arab Spring

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Stephan Urbach is part of Telecomix (previously), activists who worked tirelessly to keep the Internet on during the Arab Spring, when endangered despots were killswitching net links in a bid to keep protest from spreading. Read the rest

Uganda's corrupt president just stole another election, but he couldn't steal the Internet

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General YK Museveni has been president of Uganda for 30 years, presiding over a grinding and brutal civil war as well as a series of far-reaching laws that limit the human rights of Ugandans. Read the rest

Citing copyright, Army blocks Chelsea Manning from receiving printouts from EFF's website

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Chelsea Manning's helpers write, "Citing potential copyright infringement, the Army censored materials on prison censorship from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that were sent to Chelsea by one of her volunteers." Read the rest

EFF wants your DMCA takedown censorship horror stories

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is preparing its comments to the US Copyright Office on the notoriously abuse-prone DMCA takedown process, which is widely used to commit Internet censorship with perfect impunity. Read the rest

Back-room revisions to TPP sneakily criminalize fansubbing & other copyright grey zones

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When the text of the secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership was released, we were warned that it hadn't been "legally scrubbed" and checked for translation errors, but the new text that's been posted to the New Zealand government's website contains tiny revisions that sneakily increase the criminal penalties countries must impose on people who commit copyright infringement. Read the rest

After 3d grade complaint, Florida school district bans award-winning "This One Summer" from high-school library

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Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship sez, "A Florida parent thought 'This One Summer' was too graphic for an elementary school library. The district agreed, and then went further; they're restricting access to the graphic novel in the high school libraries as well. Read the rest

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