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.”

CNET: Saudi Arabia will punish satire online mocking ‘public order, religious values’

CNET: Saudi Arabia will punish satire online mocking ‘public order, religious values’. “In Saudi Arabia, posting satire online that ‘mocks, provokes or disrupts public order, religious values and public morals’ could cost you $800,000 and up to five years in jail, the Public Prosecution, a government agency, tweeted Monday.”

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.”