internet freedom

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has put data harvesting in the spotlight, but Tom Walker writes that the problem goes far beyond Facebook.

Letter sent by Julian Assange to the XV Encounter of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defence of Humanity, held in Caracas, Venezuela over March 6-7, 2017.

The crackdown by the Turkish regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against the democratic and left-wing opposition, independent media and the Kurdish population has intensified. On October 25, co-mayors of the the Diyarbakır (Amed) Metropolitan Municipality, Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, members of the Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), were arrested.

Free Women’s Congress (KJA) spokesperson Ayla Akat Ata was detained at a protest calling for Kışanak and Anlı's release and is now facing terrorism charges alongside them.

Snowden
Directed by Oliver Stone
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo
In cinemas now

How often in do people stand up to the behemoth that is the mighty US military-industrial-spy complex and get away with it? Not often enough.

But if you count living in limbo in Russia — unable to fly to asylum in a third country once his passport was cancelled, unable to return home to the US without fear of a rigged, secret trial on espionage charges — as getting away with it, Edward Snowden did just that.

Chelsea Manning, the US army private who leaked classified information about US war crimes to WikiLeaks, announced on September 9 that she has begun a hunger strike to protest the lack of respect and dignity from prison and military officials.

“I need help, I am not getting any,” Manning said in a statement. “I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro warned his country’s right-wing opposition leaders on August 9 not to stir up violent unrest as the threat of a recall vote against him waned, the Morning Star said on August 11.

Suspected Islamist militants hacked to death a leading gay rights activist and a friend in an apartment in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on April 25, TeleSUR English reported that day.

The killings came just two days after a university professor was murdered in similar fashion in an attack claimed by ISIS.

Freedom of speech in Turkey is deteriorating at a rate of knots. This week, a British academic was deported from the country with no trial and three academics were arrested, all accused of disseminating terrorist material. Earlier this month, Zaman — a widely-read newspaper critical of the regime — was seized and placed under control of a board of trustees by an Istanbul court.

Rallies were held around the world on February 23 outside of Apple stores to back the manufacturer in resisting FBI attempts to create an iPhone “backdoor” to allow authorities to access protected information.

Demonstrations were organised in about 30 cities, including several US, spearheaded by the internet rights group Fight for the Future.

“People are rallying at Apple stores because what the FBI is demanding here will make all of us less safe, not more safe,” said Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer.

When feminist writer Clementine Ford outed one of her online abusers to his employer, it struck a chord with people who have endured similar sexist harassment and abuse: on their blogs, social media, and even dating websites. However, Ford also been criticised and been told she's doing more harm than good, most famously in the widely discussed opinion piece on independent news site New Matilda by Jack Kilbride titled “Why Courageous Clementine Ford Is Not The Answer”.

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