‘They Are Watching’: Inside Russia’s Vast Surveillance State (New York Times)

New York Times: ‘They Are Watching’: Inside Russia’s Vast Surveillance State. “Roughly 800 miles east of Moscow, authorities in the Republic of Bashkortostan, one of Russia’s 85 regions, were busy tabulating the mood of comments in social media messages. They marked down YouTube posts that they said criticized the Russian government. They noted the reaction to a local protest. Then they compiled their findings.”

Bloomberg: Russia Seeks to Punish Expats Who Criticize War on Social Media

Bloomberg: Russia Seeks to Punish Expats Who Criticize War on Social Media. “While the exact number of Russians charged in absentia is difficult to quantify, Moscow is already using the fake news law, passed in March, to stifle independent voices on social media platforms where many young people consume their news, according to Stanislav Seleznev, a lawyer at Net Freedoms Project. Besides [Michael] Nacke, Russia has charged several other expatriates who have criticized the war on social media.”

Coconuts Manila: Non-profit launches digital library of Marcos-era independent publications to fight historical disinformation

Coconuts Manila: Non-profit launches digital library of Marcos-era independent publications to fight historical disinformation. “In order to combat the disinformation networks that are working hard to rewrite the Philippines’ history, the non-profit organization Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument to the Heroes) has launched a digital library that features an archive of independent and alternative publications that were in circulation during the years that President Ferdinand Marcos kept the country under martial law.”

Scientific American: Russia Is Using ‘Digital Repression’ to Suppress Dissent

Scientific American: Russia Is Using ‘Digital Repression’ to Suppress Dissent. “As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags on, an information war is raging alongside the physical fighting. Russia’s recent attempts to spread disinformation have not yet found great success in the West. Within the country, however, President Vladimir Putin’s regime is controlling the narrative through censorship, state control of media and other forms of digital repression. This term refers to a variety of practices that use digital tools to stamp out dissent through a combination of actions, both online and offline.”

Brookings Institution: China and Russia are joining forces to spread disinformation

Brookings Institution: China and Russia are joining forces to spread disinformation. “Though Russian and Chinese interests diverge in important ways, they are increasingly collaborating on the narratives being supplied to domestic audiences, feeding similar disinformation and propaganda to a citizenry increasingly cut off from the global web…. Against the backdrop of last month’s joint statement from Xi and Putin, this collaboration should be seen as part of a broader project to reshape the global information landscape to favor the Kremlin and Beijing’s authoritarian political projects.”

Washington Post: Putin’s pre-war moves against U.S. tech giants laid groundwork for crackdown on free expression

Washington Post: Putin’s pre-war moves against U.S. tech giants laid groundwork for crackdown on free expression. “Moscow deployed new devices that let it degrade or even block Russians’ access to Facebook and Twitter, imposed fines totaling $120 million on firms accused of defying Kremlin censors, and ordered 13 of the world’s largest technology companies to keep employees in Russia and thus exposed to potential arrest or other punishment for their employers’ actions — a measure that U.S. executives refer to as the ‘hostage law.’ On their own, these moves were seen as disparate signs of Russia’ descent into authoritarianism. But they also laid the groundwork for the Soviet-style suppression of free expression now underway in Russia, much as the months-long military buildup set the stage for the invasion of Ukraine.”

Reuters: Apple warns Thai activists “state-sponsored attackers” may have targeted iPhones

Reuters: Apple warns Thai activists “state-sponsored attackers” may have targeted iPhones. “Apple Inc issued on Wednesday alert messages to at least six Thai activists and researchers who have been critical of the government, warning it believed their iPhones had been targeted by ‘state-sponsored attackers’, according to activists and the alerts reviewed by Reuters.”

Bloomberg CityLab: Hong Kong’s New Museum Tries to Please Art World — and Beijing

Bloomberg CityLab: Hong Kong’s New Museum Tries to Please Art World — and Beijing. “When planning for M+ began in the early 2000s, Hong Kong was still a relatively free-wheeling place, a cosmopolitan gateway to the growing economy over the border. No more. After mass protests, the 2020 national security law made all kinds of dissent a criminal offense, leaving the staff of M+ to interpret the rapidly expanding rules governing expression. Compounding the challenge, the more than 8,000 works in the M+ collection include a HK$1.3 billion ($167 million) collection of Chinese contemporary art donated by Swiss collector Uli Sigg in 2012, featuring work by Zhang Xiaogang and noted dissident Ai Weiwei.”

CNN: Meta denies Kazakh claim of exclusive access to Facebook’s content reporting system

CNN: Meta denies Kazakh claim of exclusive access to Facebook’s content reporting system. “Facebook-owner Meta Platforms on Tuesday denied a claim by the Kazakh government that it had been granted exclusive access to the social network’s content reporting system. In what it called a joint statement with Facebook (FB), the Kazakh government on Monday touted the purported exclusive access as a compromise solution after the Central Asian nation threatened to block Facebook for millions of local users.”