Wanted in Rome: Italy’s fascist landmarks mapped in new website

Wanted in Rome: Italy’s fascist landmarks mapped in new website. “An online map charting the existing monuments, buildings and memorials honouring fascism in Italy was launched on Tuesday by the Istituto Ferruccio Parri, an historical research institute in Milan. The luoghi del fascismo website is hailed as Italy’s first nationwide project to document the surviving traces of Benito Mussolini’s regime and assess how the memory of fascism has been preserved and even revived in recent decades.”

WIRED: Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists

WIRED: Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists. “POLICE FORCES AROUND the world have increasingly used hacking tools to identify and track protesters, expose political dissidents’ secrets, and turn activists’ computers and phones into inescapable eavesdropping bugs. Now, new clues in a case in India connect law enforcement to a hacking campaign that used those tools to go an appalling step further: planting false incriminating files on targets’ computers that the same police then used as grounds to arrest and jail them.”

Russia: Schools and universities latest victims of Putin’s war propaganda machine (Amnesty International UK)

Amnesty International UK: Russia: Schools and universities latest victims of Putin’s war propaganda machine. “Dozens of schoolteachers and university lecturers have faced harsh reprisals for speaking out against the war in Ukraine. Some have been put behind bars to serve so-called administrative arrest or have had to pay extortionate fines simply for expressing their opinions either publicly or in the classroom. Others have been dismissed or otherwise reprimanded.”

Mediazona: “The task before us is to make it look like Ukraine simply does not exist.” Mentions of Kyiv and Ukraine are removed from the textbooks of the Prosveshchenie publishing house

Mediazona, translated from Russian: “The task before us is to make it look like Ukraine simply does not exist.” Mentions of Kyiv and Ukraine are removed from the textbooks of the Prosveshchenie publishing house. “On February 24, Vladimir Putin announced the start of a ‘special operation’ and Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Immediately after that, employees of the Enlightenment group of companies, one of the largest and oldest publishers of educational and pedagogical literature in the country, were urged to remove the ‘incorrect’ references to Ukraine and Kyiv from all school textbooks. ‘Mediazona’ talked with the editors of the publishing house about how the ‘cleansing’ of history, geography and literature is going on.”

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.”

The case against Mark Zuckerberg: Insiders say Facebook’s CEO chose growth over safety (Washington Post)

Washington Post: The case against Mark Zuckerberg: Insiders say Facebook’s CEO chose growth over safety. “Late last year, Mark Zuckerberg faced a choice: Comply with demands from Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party to censor anti-government dissidents or risk getting knocked offline in one of Facebook’s most lucrative Asian markets. In America, the tech CEO is a champion of free speech, reluctant to remove even malicious and misleading content from the platform. But in Vietnam, upholding the free speech rights of people who question government leaders could have come with a significant cost in a country where the social network earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue, according to a 2018 estimate by Amnesty International.”

Ars Technica: China’s “democracy” includes mandatory apps, mass chat surveillance

Ars Technica: China’s “democracy” includes mandatory apps, mass chat surveillance. “While China’s growth as a surveillance state has been well-documented, the degree to which the Chinese leadership uses digital tools to shape the national political landscape and to control Chinese citizens has grown even further recently. That’s because authorities have been tapping directly into Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members’ and other Chinese citizens’ online activities and social media profiles.”

The Current: Anonymous Yet Trustworthy

The Current: Anonymous Yet Trustworthy . “Minority and dissident communities face a perplexing challenge in countries with authoritarian governments. They need to remain anonymous to avoid persecution, but also must establish a trustworthy identity in their communications. An interdisciplinary group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has designed an application to meet both of these requirements.”

Techdirt: Tanzania Plans To Outlaw Fact-Checking Of Government Statistics

Techdirt: Tanzania Plans To Outlaw Fact-Checking Of Government Statistics. “Back in April, Techdirt wrote about a set of regulations brought in by the Tanzanian government that required people there to pay around $900 per year for a license to blog. Despite the very high costs it imposes on people — Tanzania’s GDP per capita was under $900 in 2016 — it seems the authorities are serious about enforcing the law.”

NPR: For Many In Venezuela, Social Media Is A Matter Of Life And Death

NPR: For Many In Venezuela, Social Media Is A Matter Of Life And Death. “For many Venezuelans, the relationship with social media is a tricky one. On the one hand, it is a valuable source of information in a country that censors all forms of traditional news media. It can be a lifeline for those seeking help, and a form of protest — the only way to speak truth to power. On the other hand, being too vocal on social media can have dangerous repercussions.”

Techdirt: Malaysian Government Decides To Dump Its Terrible Anti-Fake News Law

Techdirt: Malaysian Government Decides To Dump Its Terrible Anti-Fake News Law. “Malaysia’s government seized upon the term ‘fake news’ as a way to silence coverage of internal corruption. The new law gave the government a way to steer narratives and control negative coverage, going beyond its already-tight control of local media. It would have worked out well for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was facing a lot of negative coverage over the sudden and unexplained appearance of $700 million in his bank account. Razak is no longer Prime Minister.”

Engadget: Contractor hoped to sell social media surveillance to oppressive regimes

Engadget: Contractor hoped to sell social media surveillance to oppressive regimes. “Western companies are still interested in selling surveillance tools to governments that could easily abuse them. The Intercept claims to have leaked documents suggesting that Circinus, the defense contractor run by Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy, planned to sell social media surveillance tools to governments still known for suppressing free speech, including Tunisia and the UAE. Circinus’ tools harvest sites like Facebook and Twitter in a bid to find and identify ‘detractors’ — that is, political dissidents. While the software only sifts through public data, it’s likely this information would be used to punish critics who could otherwise count on a degree of anonymity.”