Iran: Outrage after government puts Google on Safe Search for all Iranians (Middle East Eye)

Middle East Eye: Iran: Outrage after government puts Google on Safe Search for all Iranians. “Iranians have reacted with incredulity to a move by the government to forcibly activate Safe Search on Google for all citizens, accusing officials of treating them like children. Iran’s communications minister, Isa Zarepour, confirmed the new restriction earlier this week, saying his government had activated Safe Search following requests from Iranian families.”

WIRED: Russia Is Quietly Ramping Up Its Internet Censorship Machine

WIRED: Russia Is Quietly Ramping Up Its Internet Censorship Machine. “SINCE 2019, VLADIMIR Putin has supercharged his plan to separate Russia from the global internet. The country’s sovereign internet law, which came into force that November, gives officials the power to block access to websites for millions of Russians. The law was used to hit Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with blocks and followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Since then, Russian officials have continuously dripped out new policies and measures to further control the internet, boosting the state’s censorship and surveillance powers.”

MIT Technology Review: Chinese gamers are using a Steam wallpaper app to get porn past the censors

MIT Technology Review: Chinese gamers are using a Steam wallpaper app to get porn past the censors. “Online porn is banned in China, so people there have to get creative to access it. Steam is one of the only popular global platforms still available in the country, and its community features, international high-speed servers, and increasingly hands-off approach when it comes to sexual content have made it an inevitable choice. Chinese users now make up at least 40% of Wallpaper Engine’s global user base, MIT Technology Review estimates.”

CNN: Here today, gone tomorrow: China’s vanishing livestreamers

CNN: Here today, gone tomorrow: China’s vanishing livestreamers. “The 30-year-old livestreamer, also known as Austin Li, was — until recently — one of China’s biggest internet celebrities, with 64 million followers on Taobao, an online shopping platform. He once sold 15,000 lipsticks within five minutes in a sales competition against Alibaba founder Jack Ma, winning himself the nickname ‘China’s lipstick king.’ But the superstar salesman has gone silent after his popular livestream show was abruptly cut off on the eve of the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre this year.”

CNN: Filipinos are buying books to preserve the truth about the Marcos regime

CNN: Filipinos are buying books to preserve the truth about the Marcos regime. “Filipinos living abroad are snapping up books about the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, not just to read about history but to preserve it. The rush to buy books documenting Marcos’ destructive 21-year reign comes as his son, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., assumes office after a landslide election victory in May.”

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.”

Eurasianet: Armenia moves to restrict internet

Eurasianet: Armenia moves to restrict internet. “Armenia’s General Prosecutor has proposed a law allowing the state to block certain internet content, citing Russia as a positive example of how such a practice might work. In a July 4 letter addressed to the government, General Prosecutor Artur Davtyan suggested that the country should adopt legal regulations allowing the government to block material on the internet it deems harmful.”

Rest of World: “Hostage-taking laws” seem to be fueling a Twitter crackdown in India

Rest of World: “Hostage-taking laws” seem to be fueling a Twitter crackdown in India. “Increasingly popular around the world, ‘hostage-taking laws,’ are government mandates that require social media companies to have physical offices and employees in the countries where they operate. In addition to India, these laws have been put in place in Nigeria, Turkey, and Vietnam. Observers say that Twitter’s recent takedowns in India highlight how governments leverage these laws and create a regulatory environment with higher-stakes penalties, which makes it easier to demand companies to censor the speech of journalists and dissidents.”

AFP: US funds software for Russians to slip past censors

AFP: US funds software for Russians to slip past censors. “Russia has intensified its restrictions on independent media since attacking its neighbor in February, with journalists under threat of prosecution for criticizing the invasion or for even referring to it as a war. The US government-backed Open Technology Fund is paying out money to a handful of American firms providing virtual private networks (VPNs) free of charge to millions of Russians, who can then use them to visit websites blocked by censors.”

WIRED: Meta Was Restricting Abortion Content All Along

WIRED: Meta Was Restricting Abortion Content All Along. “…Meta denies changing its policies after the decision—and pro-choice activists say that the censorship has been going on for years. Activists who spoke to WIRED say they have seen the company’s AI moderation system tag abortion content, in many cases about abortion pills, as ‘sensitive,’ decrease its visibility, or remove it altogether.”

Entrackr: Indian government censors tweets critical of Indian internet censorship

Entrackr: Indian government censors tweets critical of Indian internet censorship. “The government of India in 2021 ordered Twitter to take down tweets by the nonprofit Freedom House that discussed declining internet freedom in India. Twitter only disclosed this request on Sunday. The tweets promote Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2021 report. Entrackr has reviewed a copy of the disclosure by Twitter. This content is no longer visible in India, but much of it remains available on Twitter in other countries.”

Techdirt: China Unveils New Regulations Requiring Sites To Pre-Censor All Comments

Techdirt: China Unveils New Regulations Requiring Sites To Pre-Censor All Comments. “…China has pushed out a draft of revisions to its regulations regarding online commenting. And, while some of it is unclear, it appears to include a provision saying that services that enable comments need to have tools in place to review every comment before it can be viewed on the site.”